They say you get what you pay for in life, and it’s certainly true when talking about your website. But what a lot of people struggle to get their heads around is what difference you’ll get by spending a bit more. In this post, we look at five key differences you should expect to get by paying a little bit more for your website.
Most of these differences require time to be poured into the project and being a service industry, this will usually directly affect the cost; most agencies will calculate the cost of a project as Hours Required x Hourly Rate = Cost.
When it comes to a website project, the value of thorough planning can’t be overstated.
Firstly, good planning will save costs in the long run because projects won’t overrun or go over budget. The project should be booked into the studio schedule, allowing plenty of time for each stage to be completed and approved before moving on to the next.
All the requirements of the project should be agreed upon before the start, even if this requires several meetings so that there are no hidden surprises for either side later on.
💡 Good planning saves costs and makes your website last longer
In addition, good planning of the various features and functionality that are needed will future-proof the website, meaning unnecessary changes won’t need to be made in three or six months. By taking the time to understand both the aims of the business and how this project makes that happen, your web team will also be able to draw on their own valuable experience to provide their input - meaning you get a better result.
Steve Jobs famously stated, "Design is not just about what it looks like and feels like; it's also about how it works." Achieving the perfect balance between commercial needs - how the website will help an organization reach its goals - and aesthetics - what it looks like - is essential for great website design. To truly excel, designers and developers must collaborate, understanding the client's needs and the best way to meet them.
“Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
— Steve Jobs
Cheaper websites may have an attractive home page, but when you explore further, other pages may appear hastily put together. Investing a bit more can get you custom designs for every page of your site, guaranteeing the highest quality and meticulous attention to detail.
This third point has a very obvious and direct benefit. If you can manage your site yourself on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis, you won't have to pay your web designer each time something needs updating. Most websites these days come with a Content Management System (CMS), but by paying more you'll get a system that:
Here's a big difference that may not be immediately obvious when comparing quotes: while it's typical to charge separately for the creation of content (copywriting, sourcing and taking images, etc.), paying more for a website includes having the content put into the site and "polished" to look its best.
Cheaper websites may be delivered empty, leaving you to add all the content yourself, or have the content just copied and pasted in. This is where many websites fail; when attention hasn't been paid to how the copy and images within the pages look. After all, this is what your customers/users will be looking at in the most detail, and it can make the difference between a sale being made or lost.
It's worth paying a bit more to ensure quality images are sourced and prepared properly for the site. Have your copy optimized and structured correctly to help with your search engine performance. Investing in some professional copywriting can also significantly increase the number of visitors that convert to an inquiry or sales.
No matter how much you pay for your website, you should expect it to be tested before it goes live, but if you pay more you can expect a more thorough and well-planned testing process that will mitigate any embarrassing oversights. A good process will allow for testing both when the site is first built and before it goes live, meaning technical issues will be picked up and rectified earlier, taking the burden off you when it comes to launching day.
An experienced web agency will usually work off a go-live checklist to make sure nothing gets forgotten and will allow the time for multiple testing by several different skilled individuals, to achieve the necessary distance from the site to give an objective and “user-centric” perspective.
We realize that everyone needs to work within a budget of some sort. For some, a cheaper website might do a perfectly good job. But if you need a professional website that presents your organization in the right light and works hard to achieve your business goals, you need to spend a bit more. It will be worth it.