We like to make sure our prices are competitive so, from time to time, this means reviewing prices offered by other providers. Recently, we came across Logoinn, which appeared to operate as a NZ business, and the prices seemed pretty amazing. Would it be a case of too cheap? Would there be plenty of fine print and exceptions? We decided to investigate to find out more.
Using the live chat option on the logoinn.co.nz website we quizzed the operator to find out a little more about these websites. Some of the answers were confusing (even for me), the spelling less than stellar and revelations about the business interesting.
Let’s start with some quick facts about the business.
- Logoinn is based in the UK, with no staff in NZ (not really NZ-based then). Apparently the work is done by UK-based staff however, based on the chat conversation, English is not their first language.
- The free domain option is not for NZ domains (we include a free .co.nz or .com domain with every hosting package).
- You pay the full price upfront when you order the website – the checkout process is done well but some customers might be worried about paying the full amount to an overseas company, where the chance of getting a refund – if you wanted one – could be tough.
- The free custom logo design is not actually a logo – it’s a concept (they couldn’t explain exactly what that was).
- I was advised that at the end of the 12-months hosting I could take my website to another host for free (same as us).
- The $169 package is apparently restricted to one page – strangely I was told that I would get an admin login to the website, which theoretically gives me the ability to add extra pages. When quizzed about this, there was some talk of ‘you’d be on your own’ at that point so it sounds like you probably could – my guess is they market it as a 1-page to try and get people to upgrade to one of the other packages. Right from the start we never restricted our clients on the number of pages they could have – it just didn’t make sense – we believed it more important to allow the client to add to their website as the business grew and changed.
- Email addresses – A one-off $49 setup fee to add this to your hosting (we include them free with your hosting).
- Text and images – You need to supply all text, images and artwork.
While I was advised it was UK-based (you can look up other variations of their site – logoinn.com, logoinn.com.au – they are all the same with different pricing), the NZ variation had an Auckland number (possibly just routed to their UK office) and a Gmail address, which strangely linked to someone by the name of David Jon, who went to school in India and was using someone else’s profile pic. The $169 website package advertised on the NZ site was definitely a lot cheaper than what they offered in other countries, which was a little suspicious.
But just because something is based overseas, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad idea. We recently extolled the virtues of Aliexpress, a great online shopping option that more and more NZers are turning to, to get great deals on a massive range of products.
What sort of website will I get for $169?
I was told they had a lot of NZ customers but they couldn’t disclose their details, however they then gave me links to a couple of websites they had done for NZ-based clients. Neither of these sites were the $169 package so I’m no wiser as to exactly what sort of site you would get, however I was assured that they would be custom-designed with as many revisions as I wanted (which I find hard to believe).
They say it’s not a template, however the reality is that ALL WordPress websites use templates – it’s one of the great things about WP, you can redo the design without an excessive amount of work. I think what they meant is that they customise the template according to your needs.
They did give us links to two websites, which we had a quick look at.
The first was www.cyclesmartcoaching.co.nz, which I was told was a $349 customised site. While it is a wordpress site it hasn’t been configured correctly and things like the search functionality didn’t work. Other than that it was a pretty smart looking site that was mobile friendly (as are all our websites). Looking behind the scenes it appears they’re using wordpress’ 2014 template, edited to suit. In terms of page speed, Logoinn advertise their websites as being fast, however Google’s PageSpeed report wasn’t that impressive, scoring just 58 for the mobile version and 72 for the desktop.
The other site was www.waimakpatrols.co.nz, based close to our office here in Canterbury. They had bought the Silver package ($443). Loading times were even slower for this site, scoring a dismal 45 for mobile and a not-much-better 54 for desktop – ouch!* In terms of design, it wasn’t that bad for a cheaper website however there were rough edges, elements not aligned properly and some pages just felt unfinished (that could have been the client’s work?).
*Logoinn’s own website is even worse than this, with a very sad score of 36! I would probably suggest they just not talk about building fast websites, which they insist is one of their key features.
For both websites, Logoinn added their own advertising and link at the bottom of the page, something we have steered away from, believing that if you’ve paid for a website it shouldn’t be used as a billboard for someone else (this is something you might expect on a free website). Oddly, Logoinn hadn’t capitalised on the mention by not actually linking it back to their website – it doesn’t inspire confidence if they can’t do things right for themselves.
What’s the verdict?
So, should you buy one of their incredibly cheap $169 website packages? Good question. I’m not entirely convinced it’s a terrible idea however I would be very cautious. Ask lots of questions and make sure you know what you’re getting, what’s the after-sales support is like and if you can see examples of the exact website package you’re considering buying.
Try and find reviews from other NZ customers (we found one on sitejabber, which sounded fake – with a name similar to the aforementioned David Jon) and this worrisome complaint from someone who used them to build a website, and apparently they just disappeared after been paid – a common concern for anyone dealing with an offshore company.
So, tread carefully and keep your expectations low. If you’d rather just deal with a local NZ business that’s been operating in Christchurch for almost 10 years with lots of positive reviews, then check out our range of well-priced – but not disturbingly-cheap – business websites.