How Cheap Websites Can Cost More
Here’s a basic fact of life: all business owners want to save money. Ok, all mammals want to save money.
If you own a business, you have to find a way to bring in more customers. Clearly, the internet isn’t a passing fad, so you’ll need a website for your company. In fact, it’s the digital front door of your business. For many people, it’s the very first impression they get of your business.
If you have a bad website, it’ll also be the last thing they ever see of your business.
Costing you customers is only one of many areas where a cheap website can cost you more than you realize
We’ll discuss how going cheap on your website can end up costing more in the long run.
Basic website costs
When it comes to getting or creating a website, it can seem like there are dozens of fees that really add up. Domain registration, hosting fees, and the platform itself can often appear to add up to a fair amount – however, opting for the cheapest option does not guarantee success.
Let’s take a look at some of these basic costs and why you need them:
In order to get your website online, you need a domain. Think of it as the real estate where your business will live. This is often the first cost associated with building a website and it’s important that you are aware of any renewal costs associated with keeping the domain active.
You can opt for a monthly or annual fee, with the annual often coming at a discounted rate. If you don’t register a domain, you won’t be able to ever take your website live on the internet. You also won’t have access to your own email address (unless you want to opt for a more generic address, such as XXXXX@gmail.com, which we don’t recommend from a brand reputation perspective).
A hosting service will provide space on a server for your site, allowing users to access it online when they type in your domain. Quality hosting is essential and usually comes with a fee attached, although you can often find budget-friendly options.
However, there are many hidden fees associated with hosting services – from setup costs to extra charges for additional storage space or bandwidth if your website exceeds the allocated amount (which could happen if your site suddenly receives a spike in traffic). It’s important that you are aware of all these costs, and that you understand how much space you would need for your website and email hosting.
Keep in mind, different websites have different packages as well as support. For some hosting companies, you can actually still get someone on the phone. Others, not so much.
A reputable website development company, like Make it Loud, will be able to guide you through each of these aspects and help you choose the right package for your needs.
You’ll also need to choose a platform on which to build your website. The most popular option is WordPress, although there are many other platforms available. Depending on the level of customization you require, it may be worth paying for a premium package, as this can provide greater flexibility and scalability – meaning you can grow and change the site as your business grows.
So, while it’s tempting to opt for a low-cost website solution, you need to consider what that might cost in terms of time and effort further down the line. The key is to find the right balance: spending enough on getting your website up and running – but not so much that it starts to eat into your budget too much.
By doing your research and understanding exactly what you need from a website, you can make the right decision for your business.
Building a website yourself may seem like a great way to save on costs, but we often see business owners who tell us that these sites don’t bring in customers. This means that whatever time you saved actually works against the business in the long run.
Not only can these websites be overly simplistic, but they can also lead to a number of issues, including:
Flaws: DIY websites often contain errors and flaws which can lead to poor user experience. This can damage your reputation, and could even lead to customers abandoning your site altogether.
Security vulnerabilities: As with any website, security is paramount but DIY sites are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of professional design and coding. Without regular maintenance or updates, you could be putting your website (and therefore your business) at risk.
Lack of scalability: As you grow, it’s important that your website grows with you but DIY sites can often lack the flexibility and scalability needed to do this. This could mean investing in a new website down the line, which would ultimately cost more than if you had invested in a professional website solution from the outset.
Not future-proof: Without the necessary coding skills, it can be hard to ensure that your website is future-proof. This means you may have to invest in costly updates or redesigns down the line, as technology and user behavior changes.
While businesses that are just getting started often treat the creation of their website as just another box to check, it’s literally the online door to your business. So, while DIY websites may seem like a great way to save on costs in the short term, it’s important to consider the long-term implications.
The Average Cost Of A WordPress Website – What’s Involved
Generally speaking, the average cost of a WordPress website can vary greatly depending on your needs.
Different hosting plans and extra services will be taken into account, such as website design and maintenance, selecting appropriate theme templates and artwork, marketing strategy implementation, and additional features you may need.
Ultimately paying for quality work takes priority – otherwise, you risk sacrificing important aspects like security which might incur more financial losses in the long run.
While there are some web design agencies around Atlanta that start at $10,000, the average price of a professionally designed and developed website is $5000-$8000, but at Make It Loud, we start at a much lower fee.
How Much Does A Bad Website Cost Your Business
Partnering with an inexperienced or inefficient developer can lead to costly mistakes and wasted time. In addition, a poorly designed website can turn off potential customers and damage your brand’s reputation.
Here are just a few ways that your company will suffer as a result of a poor website.
Your website can either make or break your business. A poorly designed one can turn potential customers away, ultimately costing you sales. The problem is that there is no way to track how many customers you can lose with a bad website.
That’s why it’s essential to prioritize the quality and usability of your website. With a well-crafted site, you can entice visitors to take action and convert them into loyal customers. If a website is designed poorly, especially if you are looking to do it yourself with no experience, the user experience will be poor and you’ll lose out on the opportunity to convert a visitor into a customer.
Think of it this way, you have SIX seconds to impress visitors with who you are and what can you do for them (emphasis on the second part!). That’s where solid design can win or lose the day.
A sub-par website with a clunky user experience may very well scare customers away. It’s like walking into a restaurant that is dirty, poorly designed, and appears to lack good hygiene practices. Don’t let a DIY design end up costing you a golden opportunity to showcase your brand to the world.
Poor user experience
It’s not only about converting customers. A bad website can also lead to a poor user experience. Your website should be a breeze to navigate and have a design that captivates your visitors. Outdated and frustrating website designs can lead to lost sales if visitors leave without taking action. Keep your website user-friendly and visually appealing to keep customers engaged and coming back for more.
DIY Website Companies Don’t Care About Your Business
Keep in mind, DIY Website companies build boxes and offer a variety of ways to fill these boxes with pretty pictures. You provide the text. You add CTAs (call-to-action buttons) as you see fit and this is often the most overlooked aspect of people building their own websites.
No aspect of these sites is customized or specifically for what you do. This is where the businesses work on fitting everything into a box vs designing a site around what you actually do.
We always tell customers that a bad website does far more for your competitors than it ever will do for your business. Why? Simple. Think of what you do when you land on a terrible website. Do you read more? No. Do you call the company? Nope. You bounce away to a better one and do business with them.
How Quality and Value Are Connected in Website Development
When it comes to website design and development, you often get what you pay for. This says a lot when what you’re working with is “free”.
While inexpensive short-term fixes may seem more cost-effective, the realities of high-quality website design usually become evident in the long run. It’s important to consider both the price and the value offered when shopping around for a website developer.
Quality websites are designed with your growth in mind and offer far more than simple, cheap solutions. They feature clean code, strong foundations, optimized usability, and secure web hosting – all important aspects of creating a website that provides real value in the long term.
When looking to build a website, it’s essential to look for quality over quantity. A website should be an extension of your brand, not just a placeholder on the internet. Investing in a high-quality website from a professional developer will ensure that your business has an aesthetically pleasing and efficient digital presence that supports your business goals.
Tips on Choosing the Right Professional for Your Project
When choosing a professional for your project, an important factor to consider is the total cost of ownership. Cheap websites may be seemingly inexpensive up front but often end up costing businesses more in the long run.
It’s better to invest in a professional who can provide quality work the first time without having to make additional revisions or repairs down the line. Since websites are subjective, it’s part of the process to have tweaks and some changes, but you really want to work with a designer that starts off asking questions about your business or has already done websites in your industry.
The right tools and experience
An experienced professional will have the right tools and expertise to ensure that your workflow runs smoothly, that all deadlines are met, and that you get exactly what you expect out of your project.
References, reviews, and case studies
You should also look at references, reviews, and case studies from previous customers or employers so that you can see who has had success with different projects and who has struggled due to poor work.
Their own website
What does their own website look like? Does it appear professional, user-friendly, and modern? It’s important that you consider the work they do on their own brand as this will give you a good idea of what they are capable of producing. If their own website is not up to scratch, what makes you think they’ll create the desired product you need?
The Benefits of Working with Professionals
Building a successful website is about more than just saving money. The quality of your web design does make a difference, especially in regard to the user’s experience and the potential for increasing conversions and long-term profitability.
By opting for the cheapest route with amateur designers, you are sacrificing more potential than initially meets the eye. Professionals have honed their craft over years of experience and know how to keep visitors engaged and generate conversions, meaning increased potential earnings for you. It may cost more initially, but these benefits will pay dividends for years to come.
Here are just a few of the benefits of using the professionals:
Improved user experience
Professional web designers have the tools and skills necessary to create a website that is both aesthetically pleasing and optimized for search engine rankings. This will result in an improved user experience which should lead to better engagement and more conversions.
A well-designed website can help guide visitors through your sales funnel, resulting in higher conversions for your business.
Increased long-term profitability
Investing in a professional website will ensure that it remains up-to-date for years to come, meaning you can enjoy the benefits of increased profits for longer than with an amateur-built site.
Improved brand reputation
A professional website will help build trust between you and your customers, which can result in increased referrals. If you were looking to invest in a new product and went to visit their website which was completely unprofessional, there’s a good chance you would look elsewhere. Your potential customers are exactly the same. Your website is a direct reflection of your brand identity and your reputation, so why risk it by developing a sub-par site?
By hiring a professional web designer, you are investing in the future of your business and its prospects for success.
Trust Make It Loud to Build You a World-Class Website
At Make it Loud, we’re not just any run-of-the-mill digital marketing agency. We have one job- to work with you to try and help you make more money.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced member of our website development team, give us a call at (678) 325-4007. You can also take a look at some of our work by visiting our digital marketing blog.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. He is also the Director of SEO. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center and other groups.