The hidden, nightmare costs of a cheap website

Previously, we’ve written about how businesses that don’t make more than 1.000€  in monthly profits usually don’t want to hire a brand or a web designer. However, what if you’re beyond that threshold and ready for a redesign? In that case, we want to discuss today what affects the price of web design services and what it means for your business when you go cheap. Be mindful of the hidden, long-term costs of a cheap website!


First things first, a website is an investment

When it comes to online businesses, your website one of the biggest pieces of your brand and business. You don’t have a physical storefront or an office, neither are you selling products in retail stores. Your website is your 24/7 sales guy, representing your company’s best possible offer. Your website is where the deal gets closed!

You could be doing all the marketing, all the pitching and it could be doing great, but if your website cannot close that sale (you know, converting), it’s all for nothing.

And that’s why a website is the single most significant investment an online business can make. Therefore, hiring a web designer, or a brand strategist, or both, is also an investment. If you look at hiring a design profession as such, you will be significantly better off.

So, what should you be paying for when hiring a designer and avoid these hidden and horrendous costs of a cheap website?

The three things you should be paying for

  1. A business solution aka a strategy
  2. The expertise of the designer
  3. Their visual design skills

Let’s elaborate on all three to see how they relate to the costs of a cheap website.


1. A business solution aka a strategy

You know the term, “you get what you pay for”? It really stands out when you’re hiring a designer and they are not providing you with a business strategy. You can stop right there because you’re going to waste your time and money. That’s going to be the biggest hidden costs of a cheap website.

A website without a strategy is useless. It will not serve your business goals, because it will not even consider them. You’d do a better job designing a website for your business then a designer that doesn’t cater the website to it because you will know more about why that website exists for you in the first place.

Imagine that you are spending a lot of effort, but also money, marketing your services or products. You’ve Instagram influencers promoting you, you’re running outstanding Facebook ads as well. Now, these people are willing to buy, sign up or pre-order your offering. They get to your website, it’s beautiful. It wows them, and they are super excited and are eager to convert. But they don’t have a way to do. As they are trying to, the CTAs are confusing, they don’t know how to checkout/buy, they don’t know how to contact you nor do they know where to go.

Would you want your new website to work against your business?

Maybe, someone finds your website through a Google search, they love your blog post because it’s helpful and insightful. They go to explore the rest of your website to see who you are but your website doesn’t answer any of their questions. They just feel like that they are being sold to every place they look including unlikely places such as the footer or the about page. It’s too pushy, it’s overwhelming and unpleasant. They leave.

Don’t think we are exaggerating, this happens ALL. THE. TIME.

A proper website strategy allows you to grow your business, your sales or conversion rates. It’s custom to your business’ specific needs. And that’s the bulk of the price you should be paying for a designer.

When this isn’t part of the services you’re paying for you will save in the short term. However, in the long-term, you will be losing money because you will be losing sales and conversion. That’s the biggest one of those hidden costs of a cheap website. By a mile.

The money spent on an effective website can reduce your overall marketing costs while enhancing top-line sales, which is an ROI worth pursuing.

Infoempire, Reasons You Should Invest In A New Website Design

Don’t forget there are plenty of ugly or questionable looking brands and websites out there that are loved by their customers and who are making big bucks.

One of the costs of a cheap website is when you don’t look at it as an investment. When you hire a designer only to design something pretty you’re not looking at the process as an investment, so you’re wasting your money no matter how little you’re paying right then and there or how much you think you’re saving if you were to hire a strategist instead.


2. The expertise of the designer

The second thing that factors into the cost of the design project is a designer’s overall expertise. A junior designer will cost a lot cheaper than a senior one. We don’t recommend trying to hire a college kid to take care of your whole website, no matter how well-meaning they might be. There is a simple reason for this, they don’t know what they don’t know.

We remember when we were junior designers, we were well-meaning and eager. But  we didn’t have experience asking the right questions. Like the most junior designer, we were focused on the how instead of the why. We were focused on making sure that the color and layout were great (well-meaning), but we weren’t aware to question why the client felt the need to have their requested content on those pages or how the said content would help or harm their goals. You learn these things with experience in order to provide better value, aka solve the business problems people like yourself need help with solving!

Now, you don’t have to hire a 50-year old seasoned veteran. Mostly, because this profession isn’t even that old. However, don’t try to save by hiring a junior designer (especially one that’s still in college with no work experience). It’s going to backfire the same way and cause you to have long-term, hidden costs of a cheap website.

We don’t care how old the designer is if they are in college or not. We only suggest you look for someone with around 2 years experience. That’s more than enough for them to get the hang of the ropes and deliver you create service. (If you want to hire a less experienced designer or a college student, do so to maintain your website).


3. Their visual design skills

The last thing that, usually, effects a designer’s price is their skills. Even though design is a lot more than just the visual design, this is what we are referring to here. People hire a designer for their visual design skills, that’s often times a big part of it. The better their designer, the high they will charge.

Most often, clients don’t hire the designer they love the style of because it’s out of their price range. That too will lead to long-term hidden costs of a cheap website. Save up if you must and wait to hire your dream designer. Otherwise, you will not be happy, and it will show in your branding. It will most likely lead you to have an inconsistent branding as, over time, you try to level it up yourself or keep hiring one-off designers to do it for you. Additionally, the money you wasted on the designer you didn’t love the style of could has been saved time and effort.

When you’re on a super tight budget and just starting out, it’s important to understand what you can expect when you opt for a free or cheap website solution — just because you’re not paying in dollars doesn’t mean you won’t be paying in other ways.

Taughnee, Endeavor Creative

This is actually another important reason for thinking about the costs of a cheap website. With this point, it’s a little less quantifiable as it’s mostly about your satisfaction. If you’re not happy with the design if you’re unsure about the designer’ style, why bother? It will end up showing as inconsistencies in your brand sooner or later, and that could hurt sales and your reputation as well. Give yourself a piece of mind, in the long run.

Most websites are good enough

Yup, exactly – most websites are good enough. The reason you want to hire a web designer is to take your website from ‘good enough’ to ‘ fucking great,’ ‘profitable’ and ‘a converting machine!’ Skimping on a quality design service causes you to stay at ‘good enough’ because you’re not getting the results you’re looking for. And, you guessed it – that’s another one of those costs of a cheap website.

You’re inviting the hidden costs of a cheap website by buying cheap

You’ve been working your ass off to make sure you have a fantastic, scaling, and profitable business. Maybe you started it to help other people like I did. Or, to do whatever you want on your own terms and schedule. Maybe you started it to have financial freedom, to get rid of debt or to be able to take care of your family without ever worrying about price tags. That’s amazing!

A cheap website will basically undo your hard work and force you to work harder to keep up with it. That’s another one to add to the nightmare costs of a cheap website. Don’t do that to yourself!

Think of it as making a bad business investment because that’s what it really boils down to. Most bad investments have hidden costs, and cheap websites do too. When you’re not thinking about the long-term benefits of a quality website you’re putting yourself in the position to have hidden costs of a cheap website haunt you over time.

It’s like buying a Hummer because it’s on a big ass sale while not account for the amount of gas you will have to buy for it every week. It’s like buying a fixer-upper because it’s significantly cheaper than a finished house while not accounting for the hidden things needed to be fixed that you can only know about once you open up the walls.


The takeaway

We often see clients wanting to save a few bucks on hiring a web designer. There is nothing wrong with wanting a better price. However, what ends up happening is that if you cut the costs too much you sacrifice the quality of the designer services and you end up wasting your time and money.

Hidden costs of a cheap website vary. The most obvious one being you’re not getting your money’s worth on your investment. Today’s takeaway is simple, start thinking about your website as an investment and then start treating it as such. We promise you, you will see better business results if you reframe your point of you.

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