What’s Your Business Worth To You?
Is it worth it to save a few bucks in the immediate, knowing a chintzy-looking site could turn off untold numbers of potential customers for the unforetold future? If the site takes too long to load, visitors won’t want to waste their time waiting, and certainly won’t return in the future. If graphics or layout look outdated, they’ll assume your company is too. If the content is misspelled and lacking in professionalism… well, you get the idea. In the end, cutting corners with a cheap web design is far more likely to hurt your business than help it.
Trying to save cash with a cheap web design can end up costing businesses big time: in lost time, lost customers, and wasted investment. It’s better to hire a committed web developer company up front than paying for stack of quick fixes down the road.
One of the reasons cheap web design has such low overhead is that the sites are often template-based. While templates have their time and place, excessive use produces a slew of cookie-cutter sites. Just as you want your business to stand out as unique, your site should be stand out as well. Template-based designs blend in with the masses instead.
Along with looking eerily similar to several other sites, the templates used to build a cheap site look exactly that: cheap. Thrown-together. Dated. Even the least Internet-savvy visitor is sensitive enough to aesthetics to know whether they’re looking at something modern and/or attractive. A good site should incorporate sufficient amounts of “modern” and “attractive,” plus a little extra. Discount designs rarely boast either.
Another quick and easy way to slap up a site is to build it entirely around Flash, so a bargain site will likely be Flash-based. Flash, like templates, is not a bad thing in moderation, but using it as a site’s foundation is a terrible idea. Pages take many times longer to load, an updated plug-in is required for viewing, and sometimes the content is irritating (like an intro that can’t be skipped). It’s also not accessible from most mobile devices.
The Internet isn’t a static marketing device like a print ad in the yellow pages. Customers expect positive interaction at a similar level to what they’d experience from your organization in person. Your site will need regular updating as your information or products change, and to keep content fresh and interesting. To this end, you’ll need to stay in contact with your web developer. It’s smart to choose someone reliable and innovative up front; you’re looking for a relationship here, not a one-night stand. A good developer will also be able to keep your site in style alignment with the rest of your business far more than designers with limited skills, armed only with generic templates and excessive Flash.