What exactly is a "Cheap Site"?

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I see posts on Facebook all the time asking someone who can build a "cheap website" or a "site that won't break the bank".Or "I need a simple, basic and low-cost website, but that is engaging and professional."Those who want a low-cost, affordable basic website also plan to monetize your site – either directly through an online store or promoting a product or event that will drive offline sales.

Remember the old saying, "Do you have to spend money to make money?"That's a good idea now!

Although you may find that the examples below are a bit extreme, give me the pleasure of providing some analogies…

Would you walk into a car dealership and order a basic, new, low-cost car that also drove well, had great fuel consumption, and looked amazing?This will probably confuse a car salesman until he/she gets more information from you.

You could talk to a builder about building your new home and make the price your #1 focus, stating that the house needs to be cheap and basic, but it must have gorgeous granite, hardwood floors, Thermador appliances, Mediterranean roof, etc.?

I get emails all the time where the person who wants to build a website believes they need something "simple" and "nothing sophisticated".Then the email continues with: "I just need the basic pages – homepage, about, services, testimonials, maybe a photo gallery and a contact page."

Although the site described above may seem like "basic site" or "simple site" , it is not really different from a standard informational site. And, a standard informational site (and ANY site for that matter) should – first of all – be a professional website; aesthetically pleasing; mobile responsive; easy to navigate; have a good and clean code; and have a number of other very important features that a web designer and professional developer will ensure that they are integrated into the internet site.

What value would you assign to the finished product mentioned above?How much time do you have available to spend researching how to build the site, which software to use, which host to use, how to set up your custom email addresses, how to add email opt-in forms, and everything else needed to get the results you want and need?Or do you need to focus on YOUR area of expertise and spend money for a professional to build your website?

We hire professionals to cut our hair, fix our plumbing and cure our diseases.Why wouldn't someone hire a professional to build the internet site that will be the online face of your business for millions of people to see?

This brings me to the big question: What does it really mean affordable site, cheap site?How does one respond, "how much does an internet site cost?" Guess… the answer will always be: "depends".

The definition of the term accessible site is "cheap site; reasonable-priced site."

OK, that's fair.But, everyone has a different idea of what cheap and reasonably priced website means for them because everyone is in a completely different financial situation and have a completely different mindset when it comes to money.

It's like saying, "I want a very good car."For one person who can be a Mercedes, for another it can be a Ford and for another it can be one that simply works as it should.

What if you needed to install hardwood floors in your home and simply ask a company, "How much does it cost to have hardwood floors installed in my house?"There is no way they can answer this question without first knowing how many rooms, the square footage and the type of wood you want.

When you post vague questions on social networks, people simply respond with suggestions based on their own experience with a business and their own idea of what affordable or low-cost means to them.So how to ask the question and get the best information that can help you make your decisions?We'll get to that soon, but first…

Let's break it down a little bit

I know someone who paid $300 for a website and I know someone who paid $25,000.A company I saw at Shark Tank said it paid $200,000 for a website.We charge between $600 for a website (when we started in this business) and $10,000.

Just for fun (and search, of course), I googled "cheap site" on Google.Here's the price range I found in the companies in the search results (this was the lowest price each of these companies offered, all with limitations in terms of pages and features): $600, $900, $1,599, $3,000, $3,570, plus a few that offered a monthly fee, one of which starting at $99/month.

Can you see the trend here?There is no "standard" rate for a site.And the concept of "cheap site" means something different for everyone and for every company that offers it.Many factors need to be considered to determine how much it will cost to design and develop a site.Here are a few:

  • Is the company you're considering a small business or a larger agency with employees and overheads?
  • How much experience does the person or company have?Is the person or company just designing and developing your website or are there other services involved, such as extensive SEO work?
  • Have you bought your domain and hosting?Have email addresses been set up yet?Typically, they are managed by the person who is building your site or at least guiding you through the process.
  • Is it a whole new site that never existed or there is already a site and this is new?If it's a new one, will it be created in the same domain with a page soon displayed during development, or will it need to be built in a different domain and then migrated to the primary domain (which takes more time and work)?
  • How many pages will you have?Will each page have the same header and footer?
  • Will there be a blog, categories, tags, etc.?
  • Is there already a logo drawn?
  • Will there be ecommerce for products you will sell?A subscription feature – paid or free?Several forms, possibly advanced, that need to be created?Ticket sales?A portfolio of your work?
  • Will there be opt-in forms on the site for people to subscribe to an email list?Will subscribers receive a free download (pdf, video, etc.)?Will opt-ins appear in multiple places and will be the same or will each be different and offer a different gift for download?Was the freebie for download created?If not, who will create it?
  • Is the content ready or needs to be written?
  • Do you have professional photos or need to buy stock photos or do a photo shoot?
  • Will you maintain the site when it is complete or will you hire someone to do so?

This list of questions can actually continue indefinitely as there is MUCH involved in building a website, no matter how large or small, basic or sophisticated.For more examples of things to consider when building a website (or hiring someone to build it), read our post titled Preparing for the Design or Redesign of your site.

There is no standard fee for a website.

Whenever I see one of these posts, I want to comment, "What's your definition of cheap site?"

Before going into other more effective ways to search for a web designer and/or developer, I would like to point out that the mere definition of cheap website is exactly the opposite of what you should look for when it comes to your site.

Take, for example, the process of buying a house.When you are thinking of buying a house, are you looking for a cheap and reasonably priced house?Of course you are – we always want something that is cheap and reasonably priced, but again, it means something different for everyone.One person may think that $300,000 is cheap, but another may think that $1 million is cheap.It's all related to many factors that should be considered.

You're not really looking for a house that's well built; in a neighborhood that caters to you in terms of location, schools, etc.; did not flood; has rooms of size suitable for your needs; and a number of other specifications?Also, of course, the one that fits your budget (which only YOU know and would have to share to get the information you're looking for).

Since each neighborhood and home has different characteristics, location and costs associated with them, how can such a generic and vague question be asked without providing more information?

When you ask someone for a recommendation to a web designer and/or developer, how about declaring it this way:

  • "I'm looking for someone to build my site, who has basic pages (i.e. home, about, services, blog, content).I have a budget of $x to spend."
  • "I'm looking for someone to build my site, who has basic pages (i.e. home, about, services, blog, content).I have no idea how much this can cost, but I know I can't spend more than $x. ”
  • "I'm looking for someone to build my website and I have an online store and an association area." (or any special feature that currently exists on the site or that you think needs to be added based on whatever you are offering). Then indicate what your budget is, the most you'd like to spend or have no idea how much it might cost and would like to receive recommendations.

The issue here is that we see generic and open posts all the time and often take the opportunity to connect with the person and provide them with information about our offers and prices just to find out what they want to spend $500. It's especially incomprehensible when they need a plethora of advanced features, but keep in mind that this should cost only an X amount (and that amount is usually pretty low). This may be because they don't really know what is involved in building a professional website or because they put the price above all else and are not focused on goals, solutions, user experience, growth, all the details listed above, etc.

Almost every time we meet someone who chose the cheap site over quality and professionalism, it is clear that your site was not built for the long term or with results and solutions in mind.

The next time you post that you are looking for a service provider and/or see this type of post, ask yourself or the person who is posting to define what cheap website really means to it.Challenge yourself (or them) to dig deeper and focus more on the desired results compared to how cheap something so important can be.

Just like your physical home (car and computer…), you want your internet site to last and run for a long time.You don't want to have to start over every year when/if it breaks or isn't bringing in new customers/customers/patients.

A wise person we know always reminds us that "cheap is never good, good is never cheap".Of course, a very cheap taco can be extremely delicious.But we're not talking about clubs.We are talking about the face of your business (especially if you don't have a physical business and rely on your website to inform and attract customers).

Tell us what you think of the term "cheap site" and what goes on in your mind when you see people asking for a referral?

Por David Maillard

Creating online homes for talented entrepreneurs and helping you grow your business online.