Make no mistake, website design is a very competitive industry. Designers have come up with some creative and sometimes crazy ways to sell small business owners on their services. I don’t say this lightly: Most of these gimmicks are…well, gimmicks. I want to slice and dice them so when you are ready to have your website designed, you can separate a quality designer from the “gotcha” designer.
Low Priced Quotes – A very important factor, as it should be. We do not all have unlimited budgets so the cost of a website is a factor, for sure. But a website is an investment – for many businesses, the most important investment you will make. A very large portion of your customers will look you up on the web. Your website is their first impression of your business. Shouldn’t it make a lasting, positive impression? Website designers are not all the same. Some are skilled artists but poor at understanding the needs of your business. Others understand the business side but lack the design skills and largely work off of pre-made templates. In both cases, you will likely be quoted a low price, because a key ingredient is missing and the designer knows this. While you may be inclined to settle for a designer who isn’t quite the best fit but is very affordable, this will cost you many times the price of the website very quickly.
When your website doesn’t convey trust, communicate professionalism, and make it easy to do business with you, people stop and go elsewhere. And it is as easy as hitting the back button and clicking on the next result in Google. That easy. Think of that happening multiple times every day. If a customer is worth $100 to you over a year’s time, a cheap design could cost you 10, perhaps 20 customers a week. That’s $1,000-2,000 every week. Out the door. That $1000 website doesn’t seem like a very good deal anymore.
Don’t let price be the deciding factor for the web designer you choose.
Instant Quote = Fast Service – Some designers promise instant or very quick quotes, without really knowing what the design will consist of. They believe that if they provide a fast, low-cost quote to you, you’ll sign on even though you don’t know what you’re getting. “Get your completely custom website for $499!” the ads say. Go ahead, Google “$499 website” and see how many there are. All preying on the hope that you cannot tell the difference between a website that will win you customers and a website that will cost you customers. But you know better. How can a designer possibly make money building a website for $499? By using the exact same generic design and features for every client that takes the offer. They download a template, change the pictures and text for your business, and voila! Sure, it’s customized. Because giving you a website that had their last client’s name and pictures on it would be a bit awkward.
Like buying insurance or having work done on your home, the details matter. If your insurance policy is only $200/yr but waives coverage for nearly everything, that is a bad value, right? If your home contractor promises a beautiful new kitchen for half the going rate, but doesn’t follow code and uses substandard materials, putting your safety at risk, that is not a good deal.
Be sure you know exactly what you are getting for the price quoted, and if a website designer gives you a price before they know all of the details of your project, walk away.