What Makes A Website Cheaper?
Are Cheap Websites Too Good To Be True?
You’ve seen the advertisements - websites done in less than an hour, only $10 a month, the list keeps going. But what’s the catch? How do some companies spend millions of dollars a year on their website while others can apparently pay just $120 a year?
Platforms like Squarespace and Weebly have pushed hard in the market, advertising cheap and easy websites for any business. Sure, it can be done but when it comes down to it, it depends on what works best for your business and what it needs to function. For some businesses, robust functionality is a necessity for them to even operate, while others can live with the extremely limited abilities - it all depends on your needs.
If you’re going to use a system like Squarespace, you should be aware of what causes them to be able to be done so quickly and easily.
Using templates make things go faster, so if you’re okay with using a pre-made design then you’re good to go. You should be aware that you cannot change a lot about the template or even make small changes to placements, etc. You will be put inside a box and need to stay in it.
Going for a cheaper option, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a great looking website that works. That being said, there’s some limits on functionality for the cool things your site can do. Unlike many CMS platforms, there isn’t a lot of support for third-party apps and plug-ins that help you do more with your site. Including email newsletters through Klaviyo, payment options with Klarna, and many other popular plug-ins aren’t readily available when it comes to some of these platforms, meaning you have to reach out to a developer.
Little to No SEO/Digital Marketing capabilities
If you need to get new users to your site and are hoping to use any sort of digital marketing, templated sites are not going to allow you to do so. On sites like Squarespace, there is one box for “SEO Keywords” on each page, which is hardly going to do anything to help you. The inner workings of SEO are too complex to go into now, but it requires access to code, HTMLs, meta-tags, and so much more that you can’t do through a template.
That being said, some rare and lucky businesses just need word of mouth to grow and are set without it.
For most of these platforms you’re able to create an eCommerce component. This gives you the ability to create products and have a check-out. For some small businesses this works great! But there isn’t a lot of functionality in terms of website search, product filtering, and product options. Meaning if you have a lot of products, have customization on your products, or need filtering, you won’t get that functionality with a platform like Squarespace.
Again, when you’re just starting out we understand that Squarespace can be the way to go, but for eCommerce businesses planning to scale their growth, we recommend starting out on a platform like BigCommerce or Shopify that can grow with you.
Now that being said, let’s talk about what can make your website less expensive if you’re choosing to go with an agency or use a CMS. Every business is different and if you’re going with any agency, we promise it’s worth it to do it right the first time and make sure you are happy.
Limited Number of Pages
The smaller the website, the less design and development time there is. Keep in mind, there is the base charge of building the website and CMS, so one page here or there might not make a huge difference.
Selling things on your website adds an extra layer of complexity that takes more time, design, and resources to create. Obviously if you’re an eCommerce business you don’t have much choice, but note that it will add complexity and cost.
Like the minimal number of pages, the less information you have on your site, the easier it will be to design around it. That being said, you shouldn’t limit what you’re doing to make it fit into a smaller site.
Little to No Design Changes
If you are happy with the way your site is made the first round, it can save time and money moving forward, based on who you’re working with and how the process works. For efelle, we include a few rounds of revisions in our project, but other agencies may not.
The Bottom Line About Website Redesigns
Those businesses that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year creating the perfect website? There's a reason for it and it's evident in their success as well. No, you don't have to spend that much, but remember you're investing in part of your marketing.
Think of it like you're hiring a new person for your marketing team. They're going to effectively tell people about your brand, build your business, and produce ROI. Why would you go with someone who doesn't fit the job perfectly when the right candidate is an option? The same is true for your website. Do what will work best for your business.
If you’re starting out and have a really limited budget… we get it, use the cheaper option. But if you’re going to spend the time and money to redesign a website - why skimp on it, miss out on revenue, and probably have to redo it soon anyways?