Ever heard the saying, “you get what you pay for”? Well, it doesn’t apply to websites. If you get a cheap website, you actually end up paying more in the long run.

Unfortunately, many businesses get burned when trying to nickel and dime it with IT services. It’s like auto repair, you don’t really know what’s going on under the hood, but if it looks OK and drives then what’s the problem? Problems usually surface when trying to move from having a website to generating sales.

Believe it or not, a lot of people still think that if they get a website, they will get exposure to millions of people instantly. This is completely not the case. When you get a website, that’s all you get. You get a URL, www.yourdomain.com. You’re the only one who knows about it. You need to actively market the website through search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, and social media in order to garnish any real benefit from your website. A $499 site will make such investments futile for the following reasons:

  • A cheap website does not have the programming structure to accommodate meaningful search engine optimization (SEO) results.
  • A cheap website is often very expensive to maintain and update, or it is locked into a low-cost monthly service rate using a website builder / cheap mass template service (but then it's not really your website and you don't own the source files).
  • A cheap website cannot compete with the top players in a given market and will get buried to the bottom of any web advertising.
  • A cheap website will not convert the few visitors that it does manage to get into customers, thus wasting away any budget devoted to bringing in traffic.
  • A cheap website will bring a negative return on investment.

A website is an investment, not an expense. It is a powerful marketing channel that can keep bringing you customers and generating revenues for your company. A $499 website will not attract traffic or get potential customers to contact you. A cheaply built site likely has a flimsy foundation, cross-browser compatibility problems, major security holes and issues under the surface that will emerge over time. Sometimes fixing such issues will end up costing an arm, a leg, and a headache, and soon you realize you should have built a proper website from the start.

A professional website should be built on a solid content management system. The template should be customized and adapted to the logo and brand of the business. Everything should look and feel professional and trustworthy. The programming needs to be search-engine friendly (no flash or other gimmicks), cross-browser compatible (mobile-friendly) and easy to update.

Web developer warning signs to look out for:

  • Lack of portfolio or portfolio with poor quality designs.
  • Poor communication. Phone or email, whatever the medium, your web designer should always respond to you within one business day at least.
  • Does the web developer ask for 100% payment upfront? Sometimes this indicates that they probably do not have a good track record of collecting a portion of payment upon completion. This covers all their work, no matter what the quality.
  • Overconfidence or absolute conviction in offering the best solutions for the best price that will generate maximum revenues for your company 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Either they are gravely misinformed or they are lying.

Anna Gondzik

An accomplished full-stack web designer / developer, Anna excels in creating immersive digital experiences. Her expertise lies in combining aesthetics with user-centric functionality, crafting responsive websites that captivate and convert. With a strong WordPress command, Anna's work spans various industries, transforming concepts into stunning digital realities. A University of Toronto Digital Enterprise Management graduate, she's committed to enhancing the web's interactive appeal.