Often times when you are in business a need arises and you start looking at options to fulfill that need. You have come to the conclusion that it is important and that it is a priority. However, the exact process of where to begin with searching for a website designer is not so straightforward. And with all the information that is thrown at us daily in the form of social media we end up thinking that web design may be easier than thought. And there is the the trap. Good design is by definition: simple. But making something simple is very hard. So here, we’ll uncover the seven most important reasons why going with a cheap website is not your best option.
Definition of a Cheap Website
First, let’s define what we mean by a cheap website. A cheap website is one that promises all the bells and whistles, marketing features, SEO, speed, backups, security and more, but the caveat is a Do-it-Yourself approach. Their promise also is that it is SO-EASY, you can do it in a couple of hours and end up having a comparable or even superior website than paying a professional digital agency.
Also, another interesting type of “cheap” website is the one that costs a low monthly rate, but you don’t actually own the content on it and you are just leasing its use.
Reason 1: Poor Quality
You may know this already, because for most people this is obvious. If you buy a cheap website you’ll get the result of automation or inexperienced designers or both. And that leads to poor quality. Some companies promise that you can create your own website using their platform and their interface is an easy drag-and-drop. However, unless you are design inclined, in which case you probably should be designing your own website, dragging-and-dropping the wrong things will also lead to a poor experience and design. If you use a generic template and make your website exactly the same as the next one, you’ll eventually have a lot of trouble making a case for why people should work with you or buy your products and services. People see the effort that you put into your own efforts and then they will use that information as clues to form their trust of your business.
Another problem is the design itself. Design serves both form and function. And some believe that function is much more important than form. However, as with everything, if you are not experienced in creating an outcome for your your target audience, it is very unlikely you will get them there. Imagine a pilot of an aircraft that has never flown before. How confident would you be that he’ll take you safely to your destination?
Reason 2: Limited Functionality
Another reason for avoiding cheap websites is the lack of features and functionality now and in the future. Almost always, the cheap website providers are able to provide their solutions by heavily limiting what their websites can do and making generic assumptions about what all businesses in that market would need. Sometimes you see them use the same template for lawyers and dentists, except they change a little bit the stock images.
The internet has evolved and people go to websites and use digital media in general to actually gain an advantage. Rarely do people visit a website only for the information. Websites are now interactive. For example a lawyer office may offer contract templates for people to download while they are added to a database for further nurturing. Or a chiropractor may offer a 360 virtual tour of their office that people can access with VR technology so they are more comfortable with the experience once they get there. In essence, the web offers much more than just a brochure, and the functionality of the website can and should grow over time to become a competitive advantage. With cheap websites, you won’t get it now, and you won’t get it in the future.
Also you’ll have limited customization of the way things look. In fact, you may customize something yourself, only to find that if you use the image you wanted, the website breaks its display, or doesn’t work in mobile devices, etc. And so you start having to navigate the platform wasting valuable time just to figure out what level of customization is allowed by the cheap website.
Reason 3: Poor Security
We live in a very interesting time where hackers and scammers are everywhere. They are trying to gain advantages and they’ll go after the low hanging fruit first. Having a cheap website may seem like a good idea at first because of its low cost, but if the security of the site gets breached it can become very costly. For example, if you have an e-commerce cart, and your website gets hacked, a process of finding and cleaning the hack is necessary. If you don’t find the hack quickly, your users may be exposing their private information to the hackers. And if the cleaning is not even possible because you didn’t have proper backups, you’ll end up having to do it all over again. You want to make sure that your website is monitored and secure and that you address concerns right away. Things that are simply not happening with a cheap site.
Reason 4: Poor User Experience
Interactive UX, or User Experience is a huge topic, but in essence, it is responsible for how people interact with your brand online. A poor user experience, in our opinion, is worse than no user experience at all. People get very frustrated when a website doesn’t work properly. When you click a button and it doesn’t do what it is supposed to. Or when they don’t see clear instructions on how to proceed. Often times untrained designers can’t even see the problems with the interaction because they only saw it from their perspective. As a business owner creating your own website, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. And you’ll make poor user experience decisions unwillingly.
Some of those poor user experience decisions have to do with navigation. Are your users aware at all times where they are and where they should go on your site? Is the navigation consistent in position and composition? These and more questions are important factors in the success or failure of your new website.
Reason 5: Poor Support
Designing a website, putting color palettes together, choosing typography and finding the right angles, all of those things are fun. And we all love artistic fun. The problem is often when it is not fun any more. When something breaks on your website and it is late on a Saturday night, then what? Troubleshooting lines of code to find out what is happening… or disabling plugins one by one or testing MySQL queries to see which one is breaking everything. We can tell you, for the average person, that is not considered fun. Hours upon hours of burning your eyes on your screen without a clear end in sight. But often, these cheap website providers have so many people and so many of them have problems that simply they don’t have the resources to deal with all the problems. All they hope is that you just go away. And you end up frustrated and unhappy without solutions. You’ll see that these providers don’t give you a direct phone number, instead they direct you to an automated system that puts you in a holding pattern for what seems to be forever.
Reason 6: Poor SEO
When you create a website for your business, the ultimate goal is that it serves as a hub for all your content and interactions with your target audience. But, if you disregard search engine traffic altogether, you’ll be left with having to bring traffic to your site all on your own. When you have a properly search engine optimized website, you’ll gain the attention of your target audience when they are searching about what you offer. You want to make sure that people in your niche can discover you in an organic way. Often these “cheap websites” just don’t have the necessary access or tools for you to optimize your site.
On top of that, sometimes the websites themselves may look great on a screen, but when you look at their HTML structure it is a convoluted mess that no search engine spider wants to eat. A poor structure can be responsible for so many lost opportunities when it comes to search engine traffic.
Reason 7: Poor Branding
Even though branding is last in our list, it is probably one of the most important reasons. Imagine if you met a person that is dressed like a doctor, speaks like a doctor and has a few diplomas on the wall that says that she is a doctor. Next day, you visit her and now she is dressed like a firefighter, she talks like a firefighter and in the wall, she has now replaced her previous diplomas with firefighting ones. And finally at night you meet for dinner and she is dressed like a clown and makes jokes the entire night! Yeah, you wouldn’t trust her for your surgery, for putting out the fire or even for making you laugh. Brands, just like people, should have a consistent voice, tone and style. That allows us to trust them. McDonalds is a trusted provider of hamburgers and every time that they speak to me, through advertising, through web content or through their packaging, they always remain the same.
Cheap websites can’t properly represent your brand because they were not created for your brand. They were created for a thousand people just like you. Therefore taking away the trust that you hope to build with your audience.
So, next time that you are in the market for a new website for your business, don’t think necessarily in terms of price and cost, instead think in terms of what is the outcome that you really want from your digital media presence. And then find a provider that will get you there.
If you are in looking for taking your business to the next level and want to combine marketing with the best in information technologies make sure to contact Merkados today. Digital media marketing is the new way to grow your business and succeed.
We wish you all the success you deserve!