None of us like wasting money yet thousands of small business owners spend millions on web design and online marketing services every year. If it's not the hundreds of spam emails from overseas claiming to get you to number one in Google overnight, it's the online directories companies trying to sell you advertising.
We all know that we need to be online, the first thing to get right is a good website, the second is to consider how we get a presence online.
Let's start with getting your website right. If I asked you how much do you think it would cost to get a new website designed and built what would you say?
For the sake of arguments let's say you are an accountancy firm with 5 employees. You're not doing anything ground-breaking and you simply need an online presence that's going to advertise your services and provide a way for customers to get in touch. Pretty simple right? Let's have a look at the options..
Do it yourself
If you want to pay nothing, sure go ahead and build yourself a website using the hundreds of free website builders out there, great it's free but to be honest you're not a designer therefore it's probably going to look rubbish.
Get some quotes
This is where the fun begins! To make this fair let's make it clear what we want. A simple 5 page website designed, it needs to be modern, responsive, look good, be easy to use, have a few pages of content, a blog and contact forms. Easy peasy!
I guarantee by randomly selecting 5 companies from Google you'll be getting quotes anywhere from £100 up to £5,000! Crazy right!? So what are you actually paying for?
At the lower end of the budget it's most likely to be a one man band / freelancer who takes a template online, makes a few tweaks and sends it over. Very little actual design has happened here. All looks well but unless you are an actual web developer you won't notice any issues, these can include coding errors, no regard for design and generally a pretty poor job, yes you'll have a web presence but you'll not get a "wow".
If we look at the high end option most of what you are paying for is experience and design, you're likely to have many people involved in building this simple website including account managers, designers and developers. For a simple project all of this resource may not be needed but you're going to end up with a much nicer looking website, all the bells and whistles and a good quality product all round.
Oh no, how much to change that?
I bet at some point you've dealt with someone like this, call up your web designer and ask for some minor amendments.. "Sure Mr Smith that'll be 4 hours work at £50 per hour", what!!? Are you for real? Can I change it myself? "No sorry, you need to be a web developer".
It shouldn't cost the earth to make simple changes to your website, you should be able to either do it yourself or have an agreement in place for any amendments. It's also nice to actual speak to someone and not have to waste your time "sending a support ticket" - waste of life!
Is there any hope!?
Yes don't despair! There are many great web design companies to choose from, just make sure you pick the right one, speak to friends (but don't get your mates nephew from down the pub who does websites after football training on a Tuesday) Get recommendations, decide what you actually need, the features you require and be wary of overpricing, poor service and hidden costs!
And as this is on our website we hope to one of the good guys and that's why our approach to web design is clear, affordable and fair. Check out our website packages here.