Jan21
27

Hibu website review

Hibu Websites, Website reviews, Website Scams Share this post

Hibu Website review

This is a review of Hibu’s website product.  I realize that most of you reading this do not know me.  Let me just say right up front that I am a very straight forward, no BS kind of guy. I also realize that I am a web design guy (I’m a 1 man web design firm) that is reviewing another “web design” company’s’ product.  For that very reason, you could easily discredit anything that I say in this post BUT BEFORE YOU DO I ask that you read to the end of it (for your sake).

I’d also like to clarify 1 more thing (because I get accused of this from time to time).   I am NOT writing this Hibu website review to earn business (I’m crazy busy now).  I’m writing it to save small business owners from becoming victims of Hibu.  There will be NO calls to action on this page as I figure if you are interested in my web design services, you will click the shameless link I just gave you.

Top 5 reason you should NOT pay for a Hibu Website

#1 – Price

At $399 down, and $100 per month **Update 9/12/15 – I’ve heard they’ve bumped the up front cost up to $599**, you will pay $1,599 for a Hibu website for the first year.  Every year after that, you will pay $1,200!

a) These sites are not close to being $1,500 sites.  Hibu will tell you that your price includes extras like a redesign every 2 years, claiming your listings, submitting your site to search engines, and directory listing services to “get you inbound links” to your new website.  The fact is – they don’t do the directory listings (at least not as many as they say they will), website don’t need to be submitted to Google any more, and most small business owners will not take them up on the re-design offer.

b) $1,200 per year (the $100 per month) is essentially for hosting, and you can buy the hosting at Go Daddy for less than $100 per year!

#2 – Hibu can’t decide on a platform for their websites

Hibu continually changes the platform that they build and host their websites on.  My guess is that this is because they are always looking for a platform that cost a little less so they can maximize their profits from their websites.  I would suspect that this is because they are learning the hard way that the profit margins in websites is no where near that of their core product – they Yellow Pages.  The fact is, it takes a lot of work, and a lot of man hours to put together a truly great website.  Some customers will leave (in their case, a lot will leave when they realize they are not getting a return on their investment) and many will just quit doing business with them.  When you do a true cost analysis, they are not making enough profits to satisfy their shareholders.  Of course I’m completely speculating as to their motivations, but the fact is, they’ve changed their platform at least 3 times over the last 2-3 years.

#3 – The Hibu website team

Hibu likes to brag about how you will have access to a team of website experts.  What REALLY happens is that every time you call in, you will have to deal with someone different!  This makes getting any website work done very difficult.  If you get frustrated enough, they will eventually give you one person to contact – but until that point, it’s call the 800 # and hope you get a good website “expert” on the phone.

#4 – They claim your listings

Hibu brags that this is a good thing, but the reality is that when you finally get fed up and leave them, you will have a very difficult time getting control of YOUR Google+ listing again.  Also – if Hibu claims your G+ listing – you will NOT have access to it.  Your Google + listing is yours…why would you let them (or anyone else) take control of it?

#5 – Limited on page SEO (or completely inept SEO)

I can’t tell you how many  sites I see from Hibu that say “welcome to my website” or have very, very generic content.  Some of the sites that they build have duplicate titles (very bad), bad h1’s (heading tags), multiple H1 tags (I’ve seen as many as 16 H1 tags on a page), no image alt tags (or duplicated one’s), duplicate content (copied from other companies websites) etc.  The list goes on and on.

You can read this post if you’d like to learn more about the coding errors of Hibu websites – Thorough review of an actual hibu website.

I could go on.  I could probably come up with 10 more good reasons why you should not pay Hibu for a website, but this post is getting a bit wordy already.

Do you have any experience with a Hibu website?  I’d love to hear from you.  Even if you completely disagree with me or if you have a website you think is great – feel free to post it.

 

About the Author

Chad Musgrove is the owner, janitor, receptionist, book keeper, website developer and internet marketer of Pro AD Insight. PAI is a website design and internet marketing company specializing in providing the small business owner with amazing websites and top notch pay per click advertising at incredibly low prices. Contact Chad today to learn how he can help you with your website.

27 Comments

  1. Chad, I have a tennis retail store in stuart, fl. and would like to have a serious web site. I attempted it myself and lost interest. I need a professional job done. Thanks.

    • Thanks for reaching out Lee – I’m enjoying working on your website!

  2. Chad,
    I have been talking with Hibu about redoing my website and am not happy with their tech support. I have a retail needlepoint store, which I’ve owned for 41 years. I would like to redesign my website, make it mobile friendly and possibly add an online store. I have read your review of Hibu and wonder what suggestions you have for me.

    thanks you,
    Sally

    • Hi Sally,

      First recommendation I would have is that no matter what you do, do NOT use HIBU. Issues with support are only the first of many you will run into. I will reach out to you to answer any questions you have, and point you in the right direction.

      Regards,
      Chad

  3. I currently work for this company however I am on the way out….. Depends on where you are if their products are a good fit for you such as print…. But … Websites are nightmare for both the customer and the rep… You absolutely get punished for having sold it and when it cancels 90 days down the road thru no fault of the rep they reverse your commissions … Unattainable quotas, inferior product, recipe for epic fail …

    • Agreed -there are actual situations where the print products are appropriate and deliver an ROI. I’m thinking plumbers and septic tanks companies in rural areas where high speed internet is still a problem. Funny that I thought of plumbers and septic companies when writing about Hibu! 🙂

      The decline in Yellow Pages is an issue for companies like Hibu (and DEX) because they can’t continue to reap their massive profits on the small rural phone books. I admire their efforts to get into the website / internet marketing game, but the problem is the profit margins they have been so used to seeing in print are not there in the website game! I believe that ultimately, this is the cause of the sub par, over priced, totally spun website products (and pay per click products) they are producing.

      Anyways – good luck to you in the future. I’m happy to hear that another prisoner has escaped Hibu! 🙂

      P.S. – reach out to me via my website contact for with real contact info (if you are comfortable with that)… I’d like to talk to you further.

  4. Hello, Chad. Thank-you for your insight (well, along with the 200 others at customeraffairs.com edited by Chad to “consumeraffairs.com” as no site exists at the one provided by the commenter). I own a small restaurant and used HIBU for years as part of their “yellowbook bundle.” Last month they took my site down, saying they want to “rebuild a new modern website.” I now realize I don’t own my own domain name. Is Google Domain a good alternative route?

    • Hey Danny,

      Actually – even though you don’t “own” the domain that Hibu provided for your website – they used to allow customers to buy the domains for $30. I recently transferred a couple of my clients domains from Hibu to the registrar I use. I would suggest contacting them and asking about transferring a domain to Go Daddy.

      As for “Google Domain” I have never used them. I buy all my domains from Go Daddy or Enom (through a company called West Host). Who you use shouldn’t matter though.

      Contact me through my website and I’m happy to help you research it a bit. If you have an aged domain (through Hibu) – it would be better to use that for your new website.

      Good Luck
      – Chad

  5. I hired a local private guy here in Bel Air, Maryland to create a website for my law office. I opened my solo practice in July 2014, and it is just me and my computer – I don’t even have a secretary. I get by month to month just barely covering my bills. Unfortunately, my website does not produce new clients….ever. This local private guy set me up with Go-Daddy, and he reportedly did the SEO tweaks required by Google. But, if you google “divorce custody lawyer in Bel Air, Maryland (or Harford County, MD)” my website does not pop up until page #5! Can you improve my page placement on such google searches for local divorce and custody lawyers? I don’t have much of a budget. Someone contacted me out of the blue recently who runs a “SEO optimization plus” business out of Calif; they wanted $1,200 per month! That is more than my rent, elec., gas, and internet combined!
    thanks for your time!
    Jim Gault

    • Hi James,

      I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your site is not even a little bit optimized. In addition to that, there are several mistakes on the site that, while not necessarily hurting its performance, are not helping.

      As for whether or not I can help you show up better – the short answer is yes. Whether I can do it on not “much of a budget” is another matter. Either way – I’ll shoot straight with you and let you know. I’ll give you a call.

      Chad

  6. We use Hibu on our site and are waiting for our contract to run out. We are essentially over paying for them to host our website at this point as I am the one to make all the alterations (I am a web designer by no means). We are considering hosting our website through Hubspot now since we use them to manage our social media, mail, and measure our online analytics. Any advice for or against Hubspot or any alternatives that we should consider? Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel,

      I am not familiar with website hosting from Hubspot but in general, there are a few standard things to look out for when considering a host.

      The first thing that I would ask about is whether or not the hosting is on a “shared” hosting environment. Most likely it is. I recommend against shared hosting as it’s generally slow and unreliable. Up time and website load times are factors for ranking on Google, so purchasing “cheap” hosting is something that should be avoided.

      Are you planning on having the website rebuilt? I would assume so, because with Hibu you will not get to keep the content when you leave them.

      Who is the domain registrant? Did you have the domain prior to Hibu, or did they purchase a domain for you? If it’s with Hibu, you will have to transfer the domain from them if you want full control.

      Lastly – I don’t recommend waiting until your contract is up to get the new site built. If you do, you will either end up paying month to month, or your site will be down until the new one can be launched.

      Feel free to reach out via the website contact form and I’ll gladly give you a call to answer any other questions you have.

      Regards,
      Chad

  7. Hi. Enjoyed your article. Would love to talk to you about “finishing” my website that my Son set up for me. Thank you.

  8. I have been trying to find their cancellation policy for their website services, but Hibu doesn’t list it anywhere. Does anyone have any idea what it is?

    • Hey Adam,
      Sorry for the delay in approving your comment and responding. If you are speaking about cancelling the website, the typical contracts are 12 months for the initial term, then they go month to month. If you call customer service, they should be able to provide you with the original contract you signed and also tell you when your contract is up. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Regards,
      Chad

  9. I read your thoughts for the hibu web site company, we are currently looking at signing on as a new customer.
    You mentioned customer service and weak page development as some of your biggest concerns.
    Do I need to ask them any other questions to help make a better decision?

    • ummm… not to be rude Craig, but how could you read this post and still consider having HIBU build your website?

      Save yourself time, money, and headaches….find another company.

  10. Just want to say great article. I’m actually helping a lawyer rank on google but what i ran into is he has everything with Hibu, which sucks! Now i offer all the services that you do and not trying to sell my stuff at all! But what I’m getting at is Hubu is in control of these clients with horrible rankings and horrible adword campaign and now the websites.. customers don’t realize they are being held hostage. The lawyer I’m working with was blown away when i showed him all the bad reviews on the web and how much Hibu is actually hurting his business. now he has two websites with Hibu and both are old domains with no ranking and that’s what hes paying for.. I’m going there today to get him away from them! Anyhoo
    Chad I want to say thank you for being the same type of mindset I am and trying to forewarn consumers that it’s not a good choice and only down the road with they realize that they are spending money to get no where.. smh at Hibu..
    anyways peace.. might have to connect with you sometime.
    Troy.

    • You are welcome Troy.

      1 recommendation I have is for you to get the existing domains transferred to a Go Daddy (or any registrar) account. When you get them away from Hibu – you can put your new content on the existing domain.

      I say this because I’ve seen many customers just start over with a new domain after they leave Hibu, even though they’ve had an existing domain for many years. The problem with doing this is that domain age is a pretty big ranking factor with Google – so it’s better to build the new site on the same domain if it’s a few years old.

      Disregard this advice if Hibu gave them a crappy domain and they’ve only had it for a few months. 🙂

      Good luck.
      Chad

  11. So who do you recommend to build a website and do seo for a low cost ?

    • Hi Michelle,

      While not the purpose of my blog post, I recommend myself of course! 🙂 That’s what I do for a living. I don’t know any other web designers that I would recommend.

      The main point of my posts is that no matter who you choose, just make sure you don’t choose HIBU.

      Also – SEO is not ever “low cost” as the “SEO” companies (or those pretending to be SEO’s) that charge very little (think under $500 per month) for SEO services aren’t really doing SEO. They are doing black hat SEO, or doing partial SEO, but when companies charge to little for SEO – that’s a huge red flag in and of itself.

      Depending on your industry, location, and competition – ranking for keywords can be fairly quick but that doesn’t mean the work itself should be “low cost”. It just means that you can rank faster for keywords, and then move on to many other keywords as the best way to dominate your competition is to rank for as many keywords as possible. For most sites, the list of potential keywords is in the thousands.

      Just to give you an idea – my SEO services start at $1,000 per month. I offer substantial discounts to those that hire me for multiple services (SEM, Website, Call Tracking etc.). I do not perform SEO on website that I didn’t build and don’t have total control over.

      Hope that helps and good luck in your search.

      Regards,
      Chad

  12. I work for Hibu and the prices you’re quoting are off $100+ for deposit. Secondly, the sites are done just fine. After a couple years they will refresh the info at no cost. They will do everything and the buyer doesn’t have to spend thousands of hours trying to figure everything out like I did when I first opened my business. There are 1000’s of guys just like you who promise the stars but don’t have enough time in a day to do shit.

    The best SEO is an owner who posts things on their Social Sites twice a week and volunteers their services to non profits and colleges.

    Lastly, if your new business fails you aren’t stuck with a $3000 website. Hmmmmmm……$130 bucks a month for a top of the line website isn’t so bad! https://hibu.com/websites/

    • Hi Drew,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      I have yet to see a Hibu website that performs. HIBU has changed vendors many times over the years. Please provide a sample of a current HIBU website that is built properly, and actually ranks on Google. I’d be happy to review it.

      As for your comments about a $3,000 website (from me) – it’s just not true. My rates start @ $799 for the website, and then $50 for VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting. The $50 also includes minor changes (text or images), and monthly summary reports that are connected to THE CLIENTS Google Analtyics (which is linked to Google Webmaster Tools (Google Search Console) and Adwords where appropriate). All of my clients have access to THEIR Google Accounts and can see any and all information available to me. Hibu installs there own analytics accounts, and does not give the client to information. I suspect they also do not setup analytics properly (Related: Your Google Analytics Data is Worthless)

      As for your concern about my clients ending up without a website if I were to go out of business, I have been in business for over 10 years. There were a couple of stints in that 10 years where Pro AD Insight took a back burner because I had to take a job with a corporation for various different reasons, but Pro AD Insight has been doing business for over 10 years, and none of my clients have ever been left without a website. If I did ever shut the doors, I would email my clients all files and databases so their websites could be transferred to the web hosting company of their choice.

      With regards to SEO and SEM – my clients get REAL SEO work done, and my PPC management fees are about 1/2 of what anyone (not just HIBU) charges. All PPC clients get call tracking (I won’t work with anyone that won’t pay $20 per month for a phone call tracking line) for accurate call tracking, and their accounts are not stuffed with thousands of keywords and questionable clicks.

      Bottom line – HIBU websites are overpriced. If they have indeed raised the rates an additional $100 up from and an additional $30 per month, then, in my opinion, they are even a bigger rip off to the small business owner and should be avoided at all costs.

      Feel free to leave your rebuttal in the comments section. I’m happy to engage in an open dialogue about Hibu Websites

      Also – I’ve never filed bankruptcy on my company.

    • wow my deposit was 154. it costing 1200 or more per year who you have to screw to get that pricing. I Have been paying since Dec 2016 never launched my web page. But there still taking there payments.

      • Jennifer,

        You should be able to cancel that contract and get a refund. Hibu used to advertise that they do not have contracts (I believe the pricing is a bit lower if you sign up for a 6 or 12 month contract). If you signed a contract with them, and they have not launched a website in over 5 months, I would think you could submit a dispute with your credit card money and get refunded the funds that were paid to Hibu for services not delivered. Of course, you will have to call and request a cancellation from Hibu first – but if they do not cancel the contract and refund your money, I would file a dispute.

        Good Luck.

  13. So, Chad .. is Drew working for Hibu? I see he didn’t leave a reply to yours.

    Mike

    • Good Morning Mike. On the internet, especially in blog comments, it’s very hard to verify people statements. However, Drew did state that he works for HIBU and his information seems to reflect that. Either way, I highly doubt that I will ever see a response to my comment to Drew. 🙂

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