Cheap vs expensive website

What is the difference between a "Cheap" vs "Expensive" Website

October 17, 2022CategoriesTags

There is a significant difference in costs when it comes to website design. Some agencies claim that they can make a website quality website for the price of a well-designed business card. Let’s dig into some differences and why you should be cautious when choosing an agency.

Cheap vs expensive website

You may be looking for a cheap website for your small business

In today’s business climate, small business owners are trying to cut costs wherever possible and don’t consider their website as a high-value marketing tool.  However a well optimized website can bring countless clients to your business. Prospects that get a good user experience on your website are more likely to digest the information they need to decide to move forward and become customers.

All you need is a simple website

Even a “simple” website is more complicated than it appears.  It’s not about the layout but rather the systems in place in the backend that supports the creation of those pages.  A well designed back end can accommodate changes easily. This means that once it’s built, it can be updated and by the website owner rather than having to rely on their development team for simple changes and updates.

But my budget is tight, and I found a cheap web design company at a great price

I hear this all of the time. We don’t have the budget for a robust website. Not all websites are created equal. There are a few factors that you need to make sure your web agency you choose are doing so that you are safe in your decision.

Some cheap website design agencies outsource to low-skilled workers

Outsourcing to cheap labor is not a bad thing. It just needs to be done with the right jobs.  And Laying out a website is not one of them.  That’s right, and We’ve had to rebuild entire websites before due to the way they were haphazardly put together. Ensure that your website design company keeps the most important aspects of your development in-house and that the people responsible for the work have the years of experience necessary to reliably complete the job.

Keep website costs down by using pre-built templates

There is nothing wrong with using a prebuilt template when designing a website. Unless the templates don’t consider the custom needs of your company and how your customers interact with your brand. This oversight can lead to lower conversion rates and slower site speeds due to their poorly built infrastructure.  

Custom-built websites offer exactly what the customers require without the bloat of things that get in the way.  We can’t have a slow eCommerce or portfolio website as it would detract from the users being able to find what they need. Load times of 10 seconds or more are unacceptable and should be avoided at all costs.

Agencies may be using hacked, cracked, or out-of-date plugins and themes

I’m always wary of extremely cheap website designers. Often cheap agencies use cracked plugins and themes or ones that are no longer supported. When software is undersupported, it compromises your website's security, putting you and your customers at risk. Most WordPress sites are hacked through outdated software.

Cheap website design agencies lack the knowledge to keep you out of trouble

Web design is more than creating an easy to update, beautiful website that engages with its preferred customers. Designers need to follow guidelines to keep businesses from falling into copyright infringement. Intellectual property theft is easier to identify today than ever. The largest infractions are using images that don’t have a valid license for use. That’s right, and if you don’t own the image, you must have purchased a license for it. Some photos are licensed for commercial use in free directories, while others are only available through paid repositories. Either way, missing this step will land the site owner with a substantial bill when its discovered.

Cheap websites can also negatively affect your page speed

When it comes to user experience, nothing is more important than page speed. Who wants to wait around for a page to load?  No one. They’ll just go back to Google and click on the next one down the list. Google is in the business of giving its searchers what they are looking for.  When Google sees that your page speed is lower than that of your competition, they will rank your site lower to better serve their clients. Images, plugins, and themes have a lot to do with the speed and performance of your website. 

Cheap websites lack image, scaling, cropping, and compression

Images straight out of your camera are huge. We are talking about thousands of pixels wide. We really only need images that are the size of our largest viewport. Large desktop monitors may need larger images, while mobile devices may only need 300px wide images to fill the screen.  These images all need to be scaled down, cropped, and finally compressed so they can provide a quick load time for the end client.  

Taking the time to rename images

Images from your camera have terrible names that don’t support SEO. “1233214.jpg” doesn’t provide any keyword value to the image. Images are only as valuable to search engines as the content that surrounds them. So make sure that your agency takes the time to rename and apply “alt” tags to each one of your images as they use them on your website.

Cheap website agencies don’t all care about the site's internal structure

It’s all about the details. Make sure your web design company takes the time to add the final touches to make your website perform well into the future. Taking the time to lay out your content and structuring things in a way that allows you to easily maintain and add content yourself.  Time spent during the design phases can pay off dividends in the future.  

Analytics and reporting are overlooked

Installing analytics on your website should not be overlooked. We need to understand what kind of traffic is coming to our website based on our organic and paid marketing efforts. None of this is possible without the proper use of analytics and conversion tracking. Business owners need to be able to make sound decisions based on logic and statistics. Make sure your agency creates conversion tracking on your forms and website purchases.

Poor user experience due to one size fits all templates

When we create a website, it begins with competitive research and planning. Each page should have a unique purpose to help overtake the competition. Websites need audience members to engage and return to them. This doesn't happen overnight but rather as an interactive process.

When design agencies aren’t afforded the budget to make a proper analysis, the result is a poorly designed template.  The lack of flexibility results in a website that is not optimized for the user’s experience. 

Cheap websites are more expensive to manage

Most of the website projects that we get are dues to poorly constructed websites. These design pitfalls limit future developers from creating what is required to manage and accommodate future growth needs.  Often this results in the need to rebuild the website from the ground up in the future. 

These are just some of the top factors we encounter:

  • Poorly designed structure that doesn’t accommodate the needs of the client.
  • Plugins and software used caused issues in both security and speed.
  • Cheap, unstable web hosting with terrible security and backups.
  • No SSL certificate
  • Weak credentials
  • Images not scaled and compressed
  • The lack of calls to action leaves customers confused.
  • Too many Colors and fonts were used (looks like a ransom note)


Do your research before choosing a website design company. Ask plenty of questions and make sure you provide your agency the resources it needs to create something that will grow with you into the future. A poorly designed back end is hard to spot and even harder to fix. This can leave a website vulnerable to security issues and provide a slow load time for your customers. A well-designed website will look and feel good. It will be fast, reliable, and secure.

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