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.