I’m sure we have all seen the extremely low pricing or cheap website design ads plastered all over Facebook and during a Google search. I’m not writing this blog because we are losing business or jaded, in fact quite the opposite is true. My concern is that the many business people trying to look for websites might get drawn into the "too good to be true" pricing and like a bug to a light, get burned in the process. A website design is really just the tip of the iceberg. It's what below that really matters.
Don't get blinded by the light
Even though it may seem attractive at first glance, if your gut feeling says it can't be right, back away. The old adage “if it's too good do to be true, it's too good to be true" should be ringing in your ears. From over ten years of experience in marketing and as a coach, I know the pricing just can't be real. Instead, there is a catch waiting because what's necessary for your website to actually work is not included in the price you see. The other services required means a pricey "upgrade" is added or you get talked you into a more premium design service. The latter is known as an illegal practice called “bait and switch”.
What should you look for?
Do your homework! Get some good referrals from your peers, get a few references, not just ratings that can be contrived. Often those "cheap" prices are websites that are shown to you displaying an old print method which is only a small portion of the process. You should be aware that most of a website is what you can’t see. It's what beneath the waterline and it's vital to make your website design function properly so that potential customers can find you. A good agency will first ask you about your business or service. Once your requirements are established then and only then will a good agency present you with all the pricing and services required. They will also give you options that you can choose from if you so desire. Instead of being drawn into the unknown, it's better to know the real price up. The cheap price may look attractive but it's deceptive. Don't be drawn in.
So what is really required?
Beyond the design, every website needs a domain name and secure website hosting to build your website on. Websites need themes or templates to start. Cheap designers just fill themes or templates and usually dont customize the pages. Today's design also needs animation and effects, not just text and images. Most importantly, what’s seldom discussed is your content. Designers and clients are seldom copywriters, and unless you are, you will need to purchase content writing services. Just adding content and photos is not enough, however. You need more than a designer; you need marketing experts to make sure your website has good flow and provides a great user experience. Additionalt, most designers are seldom SEO experts. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a must so your website gets found online with Google searches. That's where design combined with quality content and excellent user experience make all the difference in whether or not you get found. Finally, if you're advised to use a WordPress platform, remember that their sites need maintenance and changes, so there needs to be an additional budget for "services and update" costs. A good agency will give you alternative platforms that don't require such high priced maintenance.
Conclusion and real facts
There is a lot more information than just one blog can contain, but when pricing out website services or when you see cheap website design, keep in mind the iceberg principle:10% is above water and 90% in the deep water. Take the website design portion and at least double it for realistic pricing. A cheap website design can end up costing you 5 or 6 times the advertised price than what good designers would offer. Be prudent and do your homework.