I was motivated to write this blog after connecting with two clients, completely unknown to each other, who happen to have gone through the same negative experience trying to design their website "on a budget". In both scenarios, the clients were on a tight budget and were relying on their website to generate business in the form of new clients and bookings
The first client first did a Google search looking for a website designer and after receiving a few "high" quotations, decide to embark on the journey of self web designing or also know as DIY (Do It Yourself) web design. There are many services out there like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify that have many "off the shelf" web design solutions and quite frankly, offer excellent looking websites. In this client's case, he needed many features, pages and functionality that perhaps these DIY services offered but were very difficult to implement on the client's site. The positioning of the navigation, creating and laying out content sections, adding specific fields to a contact form etc... The client spent over 2 weeks chatting with various support agents, watching hours of YouTube video tutorials and searching throughout hundreds of pages of community forums searching how to make certain changes.
The second client also searched out web designer, received "expensive" proposals and eventually sought out a recommendation on facebook for a website designer. In this situation a colleague gave a recommendation of a contact in a website design/development program in college. It all started great. The price was right, the website looked great and the website was launched successfully. Many months had passed, the business was now offering new services and wanted to update her website. The client emailed the web designer with a detailed list of changes and updates and very quickly received the "Mail delivery failed"" bounce back email. The website designer had disappeared and was no longer reachable. After some investigation, it turns out the website designer graduated college, moved and went abroad to work. This is where I came in contact with the client and started working together with her.
When it comes to website design, it's no different than working with a car mechanic or a contractor, you get what you pay for!
So What Should You Pay?
Like any product and service, the price range for a website can vary. Of course, it depends on the functionality you require and the services you require. Let's keep things simple and assume the most common type of website people need, a "brochure website design." On average it takes us 30 - 40 working hours to put together a fully customized brochure website. This is after gathering all your "wants and needs", your content and images. The entire process really takes us anywhere between 4-6 weeks from the first handshake to the delivery of the completed project. Of course your location definitely matters as the cost of living and working in Toronto, Ontario is much higher than working in a smaller city such as Barrie, Ontario.
Seek Out The Best Web Design "SERVICES"
The most important feature to consider while seeking a website designer or planning in redesigning your website is to remember that websites always needs to evolve. Technologies change, user demands change and most importantly, search engines constantly require you to monitor and manage your website. Search engines simply hate delivering "old" and "outdated" websites to their users. With this in mind, the web design company you hire should have a great reputation, history and experienced enough to also adapt with the changing demands. At OMIS.ca, we've been around for the 15 years and we don't plan on closing up shop anytime soon! 15 years of experience means we've been able to change the way we design websites and most importantly, have been able to keep in touch with all our clients to meet their changing needs. Whether it's a simple website update or a conversion from a brochure website to a online shopping website.
For those businesses or individuals wanting to have a website, it's important to consider the importance of what a website can do for you. Many still believe that a website is a "nice to have" feature and even believe it's just a marketing tool. This is entirely false. Websites have grown to be an essential part of a business' operation, gathering customers, generating revenue and streamlining the way your business works. Whether you sell goods and services online or simply promote your business online, your customers will check your website out BEFORE calling or visiting you for fact-gathering and educational purposes.
What "Low Budget" Really Means...
With this in mind, put a value on your time and a value on customer acquisition (how much time, money and effort you spend to find new customers). In our experience, low budget "cheap" websites always end up costing more than a professionally built and managed website - all things considered. There is time and money lost, missed opportunities and time taken away from your "actual" job!