A Cheap Website Or A Valuable Website?

Over the last year and a half, I've observed a lot of the local development scene and what other development companies are currently offering their clients in terms of valuable websites. Throughout my observations, I've noted to myself where some companies excel, and where others... could use improvement.

If you’re looking to hire a web developer for your new or redesigned website, then you most likely have your own idea of cost in mind. And, you certainly have plenty of options to choose from, from web development companies, both big and small, to companies that sell do-it-yourself (DYI) website-building tools. In the web development industry, pricing ranges from very low to very high, and it can be tempting to go with the cheapest service you come across. My point today is this: If you go for a cheap price for your website development, then you’ll end up with a cheap product (in more ways than one). Many web development companies show their true value through their pricing while others are far more concerned with just making a buck.

The Customer Mindset


I came across an example of a prospect’s low-pricing mindset last week, after I put together a proposal for their website redesign project with added eCommerce functionality. In the proposal, I’d highlighted how we’d go about improving their website design for their visitors as well as optimizing their website for search engines (I gave their current configuration a 2 out of 10 in these areas.). But, as they were reviewing the proposal, the prospects were sticker shocked at seeing my proposed price. They explained that their current website was made by a friend for $500, and that’s about what they were expecting for a redesign, even with added eCommerce functionality.


The thing is, many important attributes that make a successful website were lacking in their current design, low-priced though it was. Their website wasn’t working for them; it wasn’t helping their business. That’s why it was $500. That’s how much it was worth. A website that functions expertly, loads quickly, is easily found online, is secure, and does its job of making conversions for the business’s sales funnel is not going to be $500. That kind of website is worth more than that; there’s a higher level of expertise and skill involved, and it’s meant to increase your business’s revenue, recognition, and reputation over time. It’s a powerful business asset, not simply a decent-looking online business card.


How Can You Find the Value?


A lot of website design and online marketing companies are setting up websites to about 50-60% of completion, and this is how they achieve that low, low price. Anyone in the field can sell you a low-quality website for a cheap price, but here’s the catch: that website will not provide value to your company. Trail 9’s mission, in comparison, is to provide you with a website that generates your company more leads and revenue, and that adds real value to your business. That’s the whole point of having a website!


When you’re choosing a web development company, and you’re going over your potential choices, see if you can gauge the developer’s mentality. Are they truly trying to help your company? Or, are they just in it for a quick buck? Are they interested in your individual business needs? Or, are they treating you like just another paycheck, and pushing you through a standardized workflow?


A good way to tell if your developer is offering real value is if they’re suggesting tasks and changes based on what your specific target audience will like to see in your website. This means that they’ve asked you about your business, your goals, and who you’re trying to reach. They’ve also researched what your target market is like and what they typically relate and respond to.



Every Service, No Matter How Small


This principle, of choosing value in your website over cheap prices, goes for everything website-related; not just full-on website design projects. For example, if you’re just looking to better your website’s SEO, get some extra website support, or find a good website maintenance service, it’s important to pick a service that offers true value to your company.


Here’s an example: Last month, one of our clients switched their maintenance work to a new, super low-cost vendor, who was quoting a price of $240/year for maintenance upkeep. This is far too cheap for a year of dedicated maintenance work, and means that their website is not going to get the personalized care, upkeep, and even hosting that it needs to continue functioning well. The website’s user experience will begin degrading, and that drop will start affecting its SEO. Less and less people will find the website than before, and eventually, it might as well not even be there for all the traffic it gets.

Companies with subpar products sell with their price tags-- that’s how it works! A good development company, on the other hand, will be flexible with what you want to do, provide an open mind on how to accomplish your goals, and add real value to your company. They’ll give you a product that’s truly worth investing in.