If you're seriously thinking about sourcing and using cheap web design for your next small business website project, please read this post first!
OK, so I'm all for being frugal with my money, as a lot of solopreneurs are, I think.
I like to make sure that whatever I’m investing in, whether it’s some new software or tool for my business, or something else entirely, that I’m getting the best bang for my buck, as the saying goes.
At the same time, I know that some things can be pretty cheap and cheerful and some things can be darn well expensive.
Now, when it comes to premium productivity tools, apps, and services that I need in my business, I don’t always like to pay a huge fortune for those things.
Let’s look at web design for example because that’s what we’re going to be talking about in this post, right?
So I get emails every single day from companies offering me cheap web design. Cheap services in general. But web design pitches seems to be the most thing that I get emails about.
I recently got an email from one particular agency based in Pune, India offering me a full 10-page website, complete with a shopping cart, and with a ton of extras thrown in like SEO, copywriting, mobile-responsive design, and even discounted web hosting for the first 12 months, all for just $300.
Wow, I mean, come on!
You really can’t go wrong with that kind of offer, surely, can you?
Short answer is yes! You darn well can!
Here’s the problem:
Cheap web design is cheap for a reason. There are many agencies like this set up across the world to bang out WordPress websites by the dozens for a very low cost.
And so the problem with this is that you essentially end up getting exactly what you pay for. Which is a crappy, buggy, template-based website that fails to meet any kind of industry standard code of practice, and worse, a website that fails to meet the needs of your users and customers!
Now, I’m not writing this post to slate off every cheap ass and cheerful web design agency in the world, because I'm sure there are plenty of agencies that won’t treat you like just another number on their sales spreadsheet. You just have to do some research first to find them.
OK, now let me share with you three more reasons why I think cheap web design sucks!
Why cheap web design sucks!
#1. Zero planning or strategizing
Without a strategy, your website design project is almost guaranteed to fail, and what you’ll end up doing is getting so frustrated and seeking out another design agency, or freelance designer, to fix your new but broken website.
The very first and most important process of any website design or redesign project is to go through a strategy stage, along with planning.
During the strategy phase, there are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself.
- What will the primary goal or purpose of the new website be?
- What type of audience or ideal customer will the new website be tailored for?
- If this is a redesign project, what is the current website failing to do?
- What user-data do you have for the current website that you could use to navigate the redesign phase? i.e. buyer journeys, customer feedback, heat maps, click maps, scroll maps, analytics, conversion reports, etc.
- Asides from ensuring the most obvious and essential building blocks are built into your new website, what additional features do you want to have, and why?
- What kind of time-frame and budget do you have in mind for the project?
- What additional resources do you need to make this project successful?
- Do you need to put together a small team for your project to be successful? I.e. bring in a copywriter, graphic designer, UI/UX tester, tea and coffee maker, etc.
#2. Zero testing
Cheap web design often leaves you with no option for testing your site, and trust me when I say that testing is one of the most crucial elements of a successful website design project.
When the project is completed by the cheap and cheerful company you hired to do it, you get handed over the website and left to get on with it.
This means -
- No A/B split testing for your landing pages and conversion pages.
- No testing of new features.
- No gathering new feedback from your users.
- No gathering new user-data using heat maps and click maps, etc.
- No monitoring to see how the new technology is impacting your website’s performance in search engines, and so on.
#3. Zero room for improvement
Because you used a cheap and cheerful web design service for your project, chances are that no strategizing or testing was involved, as talked about above.
Sure, the company you hired listened to what you had to say about building new features and options into your new website, ensuring that the design is aligned with your brand, and everything else, and you most likely have gotten everything you asked for… But!
What if your brand new website still fails to do what you intended it to do?
Do you go back to your design agency and demand they take another look at your website because your conversions suck worse than they did before?
Nope, because it’s too late, you can't do jack sh*t!
They handed you your website after completion, now you’re left to get on with it yourself.
Bad times, huh?
The reason why strategizing and testing your new website are so important is because of what should happen after your site is launched, and that’s to continuously monitor it so that improvements can be planned in advance, and later built into the new design.
This ensures that your site is continuously monitored and modified to ensure it's on track to promote growth and drive results for your business.
Worse case scenario?
Worse case is that you end up with a very poorly designed website built on prehistoric and unreliable technology, that is not mobile responsive, and does nothing to help your brand or business grow.
What should you do?
Before passing the responsibility of designing or redesigning your website to a web designer or agency, first do a little homework.
- Read any reviews of the individual designer or agency you want to hire.
- Ask to see some demo sites or completed 'live' website projects.
- Arrange to meet the designer or agency. If this is not possible, then you can communicate over a phone call or Skype chat. Communication is very important.
It's not always about saving money, certainly not when your long-term goal is to grow and improve your business and services. You have to invest a little, sometimes more money than you think, if you want the best for your business, right?
Best of luck!
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