Ever wondered why some businesses pay tens of thousands of dollars for a web design when another business just paid a couple of hundred dollars? Is there much difference between expensive, cheap and affordable web design? So which one is the best option for you?

For small businesses we always say price is super important but affordable web design will always be the most cost effective solution long-term.

Beware! Web design businesses, including those who call themselves affordable web design companies, often advertise low pricing as a strategy to grab market share. However, this low pricing can be an illusion when you look at what the web design company is actually offering… and then what they charge for all the ‘optional’ extras.

Affordable isn’t always the cheapest, but it is the best way to go (if the web design company really IS as affordable as they advertise). So what should you expect? What does affordable really mean? And for that matter, what does cheap and expensive mean when it comes to websites? Let’s find out…

Firstly, let’s look at the definitions of each of these words and see what they really mean to us as a consumer buying a product or service…

Expensive – adjective – entailing great expense; very high-priced; costly. To a consumer we assume that expensive products are of high quality and are superior to all else.

Affordable – adjective – that can be afforded; believed to be within one’s financial means. To a consumer we see affordable products as a substitute ‘next best’ to expensive products, consumers buy affordable products when they aren’t on a tight budget.

Cheap – noun, adjective – costing very little; of little account; of small value; shoddy. To a consumer cheap products or services is often something that is bought on a tight budget and assumed that it will only last a short period as it’s perceived as poor quality compared to others.

We can also say that businesses buy a certain product or service because of what status that product or service will provide the business buying it. For example BMW is more likely to purchase a web design that is expensive due to the nature of their business and the perception they need to on flow to their consumers.

So let’s talk about the businesses offering these expensive, affordable and cheap web designs…

As a consumer you would assume that if you were to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a web design you would get everything you would ever need, yes? Well, you’re wrong! Most, let’s call them ‘High End’ web design companies, like to charge an arm and a leg for the most minimum amount of work just so they can get more ‘add-ons’ and then charge you for another arm and leg! Mind you, the design you should get from expensive web design businesses should be second-to-none.

The money you invest into your web design needs to correlate to the work the business is providing you – this means you need to be getting results from your website in fact AMAZING results, the usability of your website needs to be seamless, the content must be compelling etc. etc. I could go on all day about what a website SHOULD be but let’s face it, not all expensive web design companies will provide you with a service that matches the price you will pay.

Let’s go to the opposite end of the scale and analyze cheap web designs! As a small business owner a business that can provide you with a web design for only a couple of hundred dollars, sounds like a wonderful idea does it not? Well, the only problem with this is that in the web design industry Cheap = Nasty = No Results = A waste of a couple of hundred dollars!

How do you know it’s a waste of money? Well when your website crashes or you can’t update the content, or you have no ongoing support, or your friends, leads or customers can’t find you on the web; that’s when you know you have wasted your money!

Cheap web designs usually look like they have been put together by a 12 year old cutting and pasting stuff into a Word Document and then got their Dad to publish it somehow to the web, and due to all the back alley’s they took to get your website to the internet they actually have no idea who is hosting it or how they would change it if you asked… Sounds great doesn’t it? NO!

Small and Medium Sized Businesses need a happy-medium, you have to capture that big business look and feel because the consumer doesn’t care if you haven’t got the budget of a big company. They just want to feel they can trust you and your product/service. So, because you and I both know you can’t afford a $10k+ website, what you need is an affordable web design that packs a lot of punch, something not too pricey and of course all the while, steering clear of something totally crappy that ends up being a waste of money (and usually ends up in you having to start over again from the beginning).

However, just like every purchase you make you will need to compare web businesses to see which affordable web design company in San Francisco or elsewhere is providing you with the best value. Once you’ve looked at price you should be looking at which company offers:

  • the best quality (look at examples of a range of their clients)
  • the most amount of useful features for your business (today AND tomorrow)
  • no hidden fees
  • the ability to change/expand your website for no extra cost
  • a durable, proven content management system
  • the ability to integrate email marketing
  • inbuilt analytics… and more.

When affordable web design actually isn’t…

Some businesses that class themselves as affordable web design actually have hidden fees and use the ability of additional ‘add-ons’ to make more money. For example some businesses say they will design 10 website pages, set up analytics, the functionality for a two level menu option and a CMS.

What you don’t realize that when buying into this, even though the price is great and you think what else could I possibly need? Is that you will start getting into your website and you will need another page added, or you want another menu level, or you want to change the heading banner image, which is all chargeable expenses to that affordable web design business you bought the services from.

You don’t want to get stuck in a trap where you have paid so much money for a web design that you have to continuing paying for the design every time you want to update or change something. Many small businesses fall for this mistake!

So beware! Choose carefully and ask the following:

  • How long will it take to get my website up and Live?
  • How much are the ongoings after it’s built?
  • Do you charge extra if I need to change anything, and I mean ANYTHING, on my website? Remember, you want full control!
  • Do you provide ongoing support?
  • How extensive is the CMS?
  • Will it actually generate me business and be found in search engines?
  • How much to redesign if needed?
  • How much is Web Hosting?
  • Do I have to pay for upgrades or new functionality?
  • What’s the total cost?

Affordable web design, as you now know, is the most effective medium for a small and medium sized business. Affordable web design and development not only provide you with a reasonable cost but also enough functionality to have the freedom of doing what you like to your website. This is exactly where Voco Design is positioned. Total transparency in pricing and services. High-level customer service and quality that enables you compete in the big leagues, even without that kind of budget, and make the impact you are looking to make.

So, what’s the difference between expensive, affordable and cheap web design? Basically, it has to do with the quality, the price and the service provided. So remember, affordable web design will help your small or medium sized business get online in the most effective and efficient way, and will ultimately get you tons of traffic, and make you money. 

Credits: Writer: By Bianca Board – Original Post here.