Low-Cost Websites Come With a High Price

You can get a website for a very low price today…but what is the trade-off?

In our experience, many people who decide an inexpensive website is the way to go don’t realize what they are sacrificing for the price. A low cost inherently means something of quality has to be removed somewhere, be it the originality of the design, site performance, or customer service. Yet people talk themselves into spending as little as possible on their websites. We’ve heard a lot of reasons why someone has chosen not to invest in their website. We’ll analyze just five of the most common.

“A low-cost website can meet all my needs just fine.”

A website is an organic deliverable that should expand and contract depending on the needs of the client. In the case of a low-cost website, the only way such a price can be achieved is by building every website the same way. We don’t advocate that because it puts the client’s needs in a box. Let us say that another way: if every website costs the same price, your needs are being treated the same as the next guys. Even worse, you are certainly sacrificing quality and originality. This goes against the most basic needs a website owner would have, which are “I want people to visit my site” and “I want people to stick around after clicking on my site.”

“I have plenty of business coming in, so why do I need to invest in a website?”

Some businesses are doing very well even with no website or a really outdated website. With such success, why invest in a website? The way people do business is rapidly changing. More and more business is done through e-Commerce because that’s what consumers and businesses are demanding, it’s convenient, and it’s adding automation to manual practices. Ask Netflix, which has no physical retail locations. The first place anyone goes to learn about a company and determine if they want to do business with it is the Internet. When someone performs a search, you want to be there. When someone finds you, your site ought to represent you well. It’s your virtual business, and as such it is an extension of your company. If it looks bad, you look bad. If you want to keep doing great business in the years to come, you’d better make sure your website is working for you and not against you.

“I’m an individual or small business. All I need is a simple website.”

In the case of small businesses or individuals, you don’t need to spend as much as a national brand. However, with a smaller, lesser-known brand, it’s probably even more important that you stand out visually. Your website is the face of your business. People will see it and judge the quality of your product or service. A great, original design is where you need to invest, and you will not get this with a cookie-cutter template site. Additionally, a website has a lot of moving parts that can become overwhelming for a small business owner who already has a full plate. This is where the support of a project manager and account executive can be invaluable. You’ll pay more for a dedicated, knowledgeable team, but the peace of mind such support can offer is priceless.

“It doesn’t matter what the website looks like, as long as I’m on the Internet.”

We don’t want to beat a dead horse, but it does matter what your site looks like, especially on mobile devices. Users form an opinion about your site in seconds. Over 75% of them make judgments about your credibility based on your website’s appearance. After all, what else do they have to judge you on at this point? If your website is visually unappealing and difficult to navigate, no one is going to stick around. Invest in your website’s appearance.

“I have a friend / I know a guy who dabbles in websites. He can do it for me.”

Hiring the family friend to save money on a website sounds nice, but it is extremely rare for such individuals to be great designers, developers, and project managers. They are going to be weak somewhere, and this will hurt the final product. Since they are a friend, you fall into the trap of trying to be nice instead of being honest. In the worst cases, you are handing the face of your business off to an amateur. Spare your sanity and your friendship. You really want a professional who does this for a living and is dedicated to the project. You are paying for experience so mistakes aren’t made and things are done right the first time.

There are many more such examples, and we call shenanigans on all of them. Low-cost websites come with a high price. We think spending a little more, or maybe a lot more will serve you better.

Streng is a full-service agency specializing in integrated marketing. We design and develop custom websites using the Umbraco and WordPress CMSs. Contact us anytime at 630-584-3887.