This question is often asked, why do I need cheap web design? Many people have the misconception that web design is simply making a website look good. This is not the case. Good web design can enhance a user’s view of your company, excellent web design will create a lasting impression with your end user. A user friendly website draws people in and keeps them there. If you present a poor quality, hard to navigate website to a new customer, it is very unlikely you are going to keep their attention. After all, first impressions count.
So what exactly is website design?
Website design is about the initial conception of a website and the decision of how it is going to look and feel. The designer would already have an idea of how the website will look visually and know the basics of how they want it to function. The website would then be planned and constructed. Then the final part of the construction process would take place, with the website gathering all the required media, such as graphics, interactive features and the search optimised text to complete the final design.
What about do it yourself options?
Whilst do it yourself options are out there, they are unlikely, unless you are very experienced in website design, to give you a significant return on your investment. Why? Because you need to stand out from your competitors and buying an “off the shelf” template and adding a few unique graphics and some text will not have the wow factor that you need. One of the biggest issues you will have is going to be the fact the do it yourself option will not be search engine optimised (SEO), meaning that even if your website was visually appealing, it would be low down the search rankings. You may even potentially end up being pushed further down the listings due to Google rankings from programmes such as Panda and Penguin. It is a mine field!
Other potential problems you could encounter, are the ongoing fees. With off the shelf templates, you can find that you will be charged an annual subscription fee for items such as hosting and that you don’t actually own the website itself. Some companies where it is a template pricing model will also charge you for every edit you make. Not ideal when the name of the game to keep up the search rankings is to frequently update your content, with new and unique content.
If I was to use web design services, will this not cost a lot of money?
In short, no. There are many cheap web design services available on the market. Many of these companies are well established and can show you a portfolio of previous work they have done, so you can assess what you are getting for your money.
Does cheap web design not mean poor quality?
Certainly not! You can get a basic web design, which you own, with 1-4 pages and unique graphics and text for as little as £189. If you are unsure of what you are getting for your money, request a quote and state what you have in mind. If something is a little out of your budget, ask the company if there are any work arounds, so you can have the desired effect but at a lower price. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
How do you get the most out of cheap web design services?
One of the golden rules is know your budget and be realistic about what you can get for your money. Have a look round a few websites for website design and you will soon see what you can get for your money. More often that not, some of the more expensive web design companies will charge you for all the different services they offer. Have a look on the services they offer, do you need all of the different options they include in their pricing? If there is something that you do not need, for example translation if you are solely operating in the UK, then ask for it to be removed, meaning it cuts your bill down further.
If you come to your website designer already with a few ideas already, for example what interactive features you would like, a general look or maybe some opening text, this cuts down their workload and they can usually give you a ball park figure right from the off. As tempting as it is, if you have a lower budget do not be expecting a top spec website, it can prove frustrating for both client and supplier! That being said, do not be afraid to try and haggle! Have a list of definite must haves, and then desirables, this will help you keep you on track and let you finish with a website that you are truly happy with. Do not get sucked into the mentality with a less expensive firm, who have a “just good enough” mentality and encourage you to cut corners. This will ultimately mean that you are not happy with the finished product in the long run. If you have a list of must haves, do not under any circumstances compromise on them, your desirables try to keep them, but be prepared to balance cost and if they are essential for your website.
Quite often suppliers can do a special deal on repeat products, do you have a number of websites that need doing? Or are you going to be a repeat customer and use other services they offer? If so, then tell your website design services this and see what they can offer you in terms of a special deal or offer.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your website design bill, opposed to going for an all out do it yourself option, or full website design, is to ask if the company does mix and match options. If you have someone in your firm that is good at a particular topic, for example SEO, then why not say you will do that part and provide the text, opposed to paying the company to do it? Use your in house expertise wherever possible. Of course, any good website design company will wish to check items such as these, to ensure that you will be getting the maximum exposure from it and it is fit for purpose, but it will be a lot cheaper than having someone do it from scratch.
One point that is sometimes overlooked is how do you feel talking to the point of contact within the company? You need to be able to feel that your views are heard. It is all well and good employing a quality web design company, but if they do not listen to your views about what you want out of your site, you could end up having something that is not quite right. You need someone who will listen to your views, however also be able to give their own professional judgement on your ideas. Look for someone that can balance both of these options. The other thing to consider when considering a less expensive firm is do they offer a support network? Once the website is finished, are you left on your own? Ask yourself, if you have a few tweaks and amendments to do, do you need to do it yourself or can you ask the agency to do them on your behalf? Also if you have a bug or error on the website, will the agency step in to help?
You can get good quality web design services, at a decent price and be satisfied with the output. You will need to invest some time and effort into doing your homework on the different companies and cost options out there, as well as looking at their portfolios, but it is time well spent.
In summary, you can make the most of of cost effective web design services by following the next few hints and tips:
- Do your research on companies and what they offer for what price.
- Assess each quote and consider if you need all the services they offer, if you don’t need a service ask them to remove it.
- Look at each company’s portfolio and assess the quality of their work. Would you be happy with it?
- Are you happy to deal with them? You must feel comfortable talking to their Project Manager / Client Liason.
- Have a list of must haves for your website and do not compromise on these, otherwise you will end up with a website you are not happy with.
- If you have in house expertise, then see if you can use this to further cut your bill down. However caution should be taken when asking people to step out of their comfort zones and skill sets, as it means focus is taken away from other parts of your business and could prove to be a false economy.