Are you a property appraiser with a website? If you are an appraiser, real estate agent, mortgage professional, or inspector you may have a Mercury account already. The A La Mode company makes Windows based websites on a platform called “XSite”.
Appraiser XSites are a cookie cutter approach to create turnkey websites for people in the real estate market. There are also mortgage and inspector XSites.
Why Are XSites Popular?
Cookie cutter website solutions are always popular, because they lure you in with features that seem important. For a market based tool like this one feature they sell you on is the ability to generate and create leads directly from the website. The other is their claim of the ability to setup a website in 30-45 minutes.
We’ve talked to appraisers who have XSites and one of the things they say most often is that they seldom (or never) get leads directly from the website, visitors always want to talk to a person.
Also if you’re setting up a website in 30-45 minutes you must be using their “included rich engaging content” from their pre-written library. If this is the case, you may as well be telling Google not to list you – they have rules against “duplicate content” posted over and over again on websites.
Hook, Line, and Sinker
Getting an XSite is easy. They hook you on the quick setup, and you might get a great package deal to get started. They can point a domain name of your choice to the website, and once you have it you can (if you want) add your own content – even blog posts.
Later, you might think twice once you’ve paid the renewal fee for an XSite to Alamode once or twice. The price is not only bound to go up and be inflated over time, but you’re paying for a hosted solution (whether you added your own content to it or not). This means (like a leased car), you pay for it over, and over, and over again – to infinity and beyond.
If you have an XSite of your own and the leads aren’t “just rolling in” like they promised, maybe it’s time to consider owning your own website outright?
Moving an XSite to WordPress
The A La Mode Mercury XSite solution is what they call a SaaS (Software as a Service) web application. Service providers in vertical markets love to get you into this model because of the profit margin involved in the renewal fees.
Consider if you had leased a car for years, what it would mean to finally buy one. Some people feel locked into an auto lease perpetually because of the rollover miles. Others worry about maintenance issues (and would just rather keep paying). Some just want to have a new car all the time.
With XSite – you don’t have to worry about having a new website all the time, because these are stodgy looking websites build on 1995 technology with unappealing horrid background music and clickity-clack java menus that haven’t been used since the Internet had 36 search engines.
Also, you don’t have to worry about website maintenance, but with the renewal fees you’re going to perpetually pay for maintenance (whether you need it or not). You may feel locked in, because you don’t know of any alternatives (or how to get from XSite to something else).
70+ Million websites are hosted on WordPress (and counting). The majority of them are for business. WordPress is more widely used for self managing websites than any other platform in the world.
We can help move you out of XSite and into WordPress seamlessly, and painlessly. Then you will own your website outright and have the ability to easily update and modify your own content at will right in website admin with a visual word processing like editor. You’ll pay around $10 once a year to renew the domain name and a nominal $5-$10/mo fee for webhosting.
Choose a professional design and unique logo, and WordPress powered websites can be setup to offer the following features out of the box:
- Optimized for Search Engines
- Unlimited Customizable Contact Forms
- Intuitive Admin Dashboard
- Visual Editing of content
- Drag and Drop Widgets
- Drag and Drop Menu Editing
- Social Media Integration
- Auto-formatting for mobile devices
- ipad and iphone (Apple iOS) friendly
Beyond the Website
Turnkey website solutions offer the features of the software itself (and not much more). Can the XSite figure out which keywords are best for you to use? Can it help you integrate and effectively use social media? Will it help you get the proper listings in local and mobile search for Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other directories like Yelp? Not likely.
We can offer you a custom website solution and personal service, something a huge mega-corporation can’t possibly do. Visit our small business website page to get started today.