For some businesses having a ‘same as’ style for their online presence is fine and they are happy to live with this. Others, who may be in a more competitive industry and need to be competitive online may require a more complex design process, hence the cost.
Dangers of Using Cheap Web Template Design Agencies.
There are many web companies that you can find online that are happy to charge you next to nothing for their services are actually not being 100% truthful and open with you. Following are some hidden dangers when using a cheap web template.
1) Firstly, your website is going to look like every other website online. There is no individuality and no personality within the designs. In fact, it will be very hard to tell your website from the millions of other templates out there. Really, is this what you want for your business? If you are happy to be a clone then go for it….otherwise get an agency like Hopping Mad Designs to come up with a website that is going to make you look special.
2) Is your website going to be used as a platform to drive new business? If so, then it needs to be ranking on Google and for this to happen you MUST have some planning and thought put into your web site design process. Going down the template path IS NOT going to be the best option when it comes to your SEO Google rankings. This is so very IMPORTANT and critical for your business. So if you think you can go ahead and pay next to nothing for a website; that is less than a couple of hundred dollars, you can forget about ranking on Google.
3) Most of these templates have been built by companies using their own content management system platforms. This means that once the site goes live, you have to use their hosting for the life of the website. PLUS, you may be restricted with the amount of changes you can make. Be really careful with this as many web agencies will quote SUPER LOW prices to get you through the door, but all the future adds they slug you with is where they make their money. It’s a common trap and I see so many companies get ripped off in tis fashion. Make sure that if you get any type of website developed that you go with an open source CMS platform like WordPress or Joomla. For more complex sites give Magento a try.
There is nothing worse than being stuck with a web agency cause you have to use their software, CMS, hosting etc. You do need flexibility in business and being trapped by a web agency is not a good move.
4) Is your website conversion focused? That is, does is entice potential browsers to become paying clients. Time poor users will not give your site a second look if there is the slightest confusion or road blocks in the buying process. This is especially true for those eCommerce websites. People want clear direction and simple user interfaces. Cheap templates will not provide this and sure you might save a few dollars in the beginning, but as soon as you realise that your site is not functioning properly, the costs will all add up when you have to re do everything again!
So What is a Fair Price to Pay for a New Website?
Ideally basic brochure websites can cost any where between $1500 and the $3000 mark. If you think about your business as a brochure and converting it to a web format, then this is what you would be getting. There would be about 10- pages and the design should be customised based on your design requirements.
If you want a website with a bit more complexity that has a gallery, some animating banners on the home page with some forms to capture clients information, you should be paying around $3500 – $5000 for a website like this.
All the above sites are mobile friendly.
That basically covers off most of the business to business market website costs. Anything beyond this and anything with more site complexities need to be fully scoped out at web briefing stage and this needs to be fully costed. I speak to many people who at this stage think that they can outsource these complex style websites to India where development costs are a lot cheaper – all I can say is good luck to them.
I have to be really honest here. At one point in time many years ago we did outsource 1 (internal HMD) web project out to India and it was an absolute nightmare. Remember we do this stuff all the time and we know what pitfalls to look out for and ways to avoid them. And even for us it was a hellish experience.
I know technologies have improved and the way that business is conducted has got a lot more streamlined and that offshore web agencies will swear that they have fixed all the bugs in their systems. BUT, whilst this may be the case, how come I still get calls and emails from people who to this very day have used offshore cheap web companies and feel completely frustrated. When I ask them what happened it goes something like this:
- designs were absolute garbage
- communication was poor
- excuses were made daily as to why things were not getting done and when they were eventually done they were wrong.
- The website when it went live was riddled with faults and bugs
- ….the list goes on and on……..
So in summation all I can say is that if you have the patience of a saint and are prepared to offshore your web design, be prepared for the long hard road ahead. Nothing that is done cheaply and this goes for the online world can have a positive outcome. There will be many website design mistakes. Sure, they may throw millions of testimonials at you but I can promise you 1 thing, you will end up paying for this dearly in the short to medium term. If you want a website that will work for you and act as a great sales and marketing mouth piece then you need to be speaking with us here at Hopping Mad Designs.