By Beth Meakin
We’ve been building and hosting websites for years, so have heard and seen a fair share of online disasters. If you have ever searched the internet for a website building company, you may have come across some cheap prices which seem too good to be true – well the reality is that it generally is. The temptation of a bargain can be hard to resist, but cheap websites can cost a lot more than you think. A successful website involves a lot of time, experience, design and development work – cheap prices cut all these things out and you’ll end up with a poor representation of your business.
Your website is your online shop window, so it needs to effectively showcase your skills, products, services and overall personality of your business. Cutting costs by using website templates or falling for the promises of cheap online companies can leave your business’ website looking shabby and abandoned with numerous problems, and little solution. As a business owner, you need to consider the bigger picture and put performance before price – otherwise, you’re almost definitely setting yourself up to fail.
Your website is one of the most valuable sales tools you can have – but before you opt for the cheap website design and build, read this post to find out some of the main issues that are caused by cost-cutting…
Low-cost website design companies will use super basic, generic templates, which will fail to convey your brand’s personality effectively. Bad website branding means weak industry presence, and will cause you to fall way behind your competitors. It’s important to keep your branding consistent across your website, and shouldn’t be confined to a set template.
The inflexibility of cheap templates, as well as the inexperience of the developer, means that going in at a later date to update or alter the current design can be near impossible – and you will end up making compromises at the expense of your business’ image.
Cheap websites that are designed poorly will more than likely function poorly, too. Visitors may get lost, or find it hard to complete any valuable actions such as filling in a contact form – that is if they stay on the site long enough.
Just because a website is made live, doesn’t mean that it can be found. One of the most important factors in online marketing is the ability to rank on search engines, and therefore attracting new customers to your website. Cheap websites tend to pay little attention to the basic requirements of search engines and lack many of the fundamentals of SEO, of which your website’s online visibility depends on. You are not going to appear in a good position on Google, and you’ll drive your potential customers straight into the arms of your competitor.
Cheap websites will mean not a lot of time will be spent on your online content – it’s likely to be full of spelling errors, bad grammar and maybe even duplicate content, which is seen negatively by Google, and could result in you receiving a penalty. People should view you as the experts in your field, and mistakes like this can really drive customers away.
If content is not part of your website package and you opt to create the content yourselves, there’s a lot more to it than just writing something yourself and whacking it on the website. Good online content requires effective keyword research, SEO evaluation, and originality checks, on top of readability and spelling.
If you’re unsure about your content it might be worth carrying out a content audit.
What’s the point of a website if it doesn’t drive enquiries or convert customers? Low-cost website developers are very unlikely to whip up a website that guides visitors to complete an action or encourage them to buy your products/services. They won’t carry out split tests to see what visitors respond to best, and they won’t make adaptations to maximise the conversion rates of the website. Choosing a quality web design company to create your website will make sure you are getting the most out of your website.
Template sites usually come with hundreds of fonts and styling options which is code that will still be loaded behind the scenes, even if you don’t use them. As a result, your website will be incredibly slow loading, and people will not hesitate to click off a slow loading website – search engines are also quick to unfavour slow sites.
Super low-cost websites are usually hosted somewhere unreliable and unsecure – probably somewhere off-shore. Some templates have also been used thousands of times and installed on thousands of different websites, which makes it easy to identify vulnerabilities in the code. Hackers prey on these websites as they are so easy to target, and can ultimately infect all sites using that template. Quality websites are hosted on a secure server with developers rewriting existing code to avoid these problems.
When your website crashes or gets hacked, what do you do then? Cheap website packages will leave your website more vulnerable to these problems, but will they be there to fix it when something like this happens? Super cheap websites are likely to have been built by inexperienced developers, so they aren’t likely to know how to fix the problem properly, even if they manage to sort it temporarily.
If you are looking for a quality website design and build company, make sure you choose a company that does not cut corners – a poor site can actually cost you more in the long run. Do you want to see where your website could be improved? take our quiz. Want a further insight? At Frogspark, we use the latest technologies, years of experience and extensive industry research to create top-performing websites that convert. Speak to our team if you would like to find out how we can help you and your business.