News and Tips

The true cost of cheap websites

6 May , 2011  

I don’t think a week goes by that we don’t get an inquiry where the client admits that they’ll go with the cheapest quote. A few days ago I had one such lead where I gave a ballpark price and the response was, “Oh, but apparently some people can do that job for $1500.” The fact of the matter is anyone claiming to be cheap isn’t going to be any good—and the staggering amount of people out their brazenly offering “cheap websites” only compound the problem, making people think if you’re paying the kind of rates a true professional would charge, you’re being ripped off.

In this post I intend to explain why cheap websites are actually more expensive. So, why is that?

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”

We’ve all heard the phrase before; something that seems like a bargain often comes with a catch. Websites are no different and if you’re paying someone peanuts what will the monkey behind the computer be doing for you? Design–wise you’ll probably get someone lacking in creativity or someone who will rehash a template they’ve used for a thousand other clients. The site will be hosted on a budget server that is sluggish and falls over every five minutes. And if you get a cheap quote from an agency be sure to check the small print in the contract to make sure they’re not going to sting you with inflated monthly retainers. And as I’ve discussed before, beware of getting your website built overseas.

Credibility damage

A cheap website could cost your company its credibility. If people complain that a quote is too expensive I always recommend no website over a cheap one. It now goes without saying that whenever you have a meeting, call a potential lead, conduct a seminar or hand out a business card the first thing your potential new customer or client will do is look at your website and the quality of the site will shape their perception of your company. As much as a good website can bag you that new client, a poor one can make them go elsewhere.

Done on price, not value

A cheap website will make little or no consideration of marketing or return on investment (ROI). When everything is geared towards doing things as quickly and cheaply as possible they really don’t have the time or the inclination to think about how this site is going to make your business money.

Potential loss of sales/inquiries

A poorly built website will ultimately lose you sales and inquiries and therefore money. Your website visitors are a highly impatient bunch. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in seconds (literally) or get the wrong vibe from your website, they’ll leave. It’s as simple as that.

The longer road to getting it done properly

We’ve “fixed” so many websites over the years. Most people who get a cheap website done soon realize that you get what you pay for and for a combination of the reasons above will end up getting it rebuilt. Simple mathematics tells you that “cheap website” + “proper website” costs more than “proper website” on its own.

If you are unsure, please take a look at the process that goes into developing an effective and successful web site.

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