Cheap vs. Professional Websites

Cheap vs. Professional Websites

Good websites aren’t cheap. Cheap websites aren’t good.

Phillip Lockwood’s web agency, Distill, has annual retainers exceeding $1 million each. This means, some of his clients pay $1 million upfront to access his web services when needed. In his article Why You Should Pay As Much As Possible For Your Website, he forewarns business owners that when you negotiate web development to a rock-bottom price, you are doing more harm than good to your business.

“If you use your wife’s nephew because he’ll do it for free, you may find yourself in the same situation as many of the clients who have come to me with a story of how they tried exactly the same thing (such projects never turn out well).”

Don’t skimp, you only get one chance at first impressions

Adam Green is an award-winning copywriter with clients from all over the world. He believes a Web designer is worth their weight in gold and knows that if you want a website that wows everyone who sees it and that’s an absolute joy to experience, you’ll have to pay for it. He describes business websites as,

“It’s an insurance policy against poor first impressions. It’s how you make your brand shine before the world. […] And while the prospect of paying for custom web design strikes fear in the heart of many a small business owner, it may be time to go the extra mile to distinguish yourself from the competition.”

So consider avoiding the same mistake as other business owners. Don’t do this disservice to yourself and to your business.

Cheap websites are actually MORE expensive

Online credibility expert, Tim Bennett, writes about The true cost of cheap websites and how anyone claiming to be cheap, specifically in the web industry, isn’t going to be any good. He also confirms what you already know,

“Whenever you have a meeting, call a potential lead, conduct a seminar or hand out a business card the first thing your potential new customer or client will do is look at your website and the quality of the site will shape their perception of your company.

Cheap websites will cost you, not only in lost inquiries, lost clients and lost sales (which can be somewhat reclaimed), but cost you in lost reputation and lost first impressions (which can never be reclaimed). Like me, Tim recommends to his clients NO website, over a cheap website.

From my own 15 years in the web industry, I’ve come across unfortunate numbers. Websites that lack web strategy are redesigned:

every 3.2 years

and each web redesign costs:

$50,000 on average

Here’s the data if you love spreadsheets »

When it comes to cost, primary school math teaches us that:

cheap website


proper website


proper website

A low-quality website ALWAYS costs more than investing in a proper website in the first place because it’ll inevitably need to be redesigned, if you want your business to grow.

For a business that hopes to grow and operate for 32 years, their web costs will look like this:

cheap website
$ x 10



proper website

It doesn’t make sense to repeatedly throw money away toward low-quality websites. It will ALWAYS cost more than a proper website from the onset.

Final food for thought

So you’ve gotten a behind the scenes look at the 25 high-level steps involved in the web design and development process. Each high-level step branches off to dozens of other steps, handled by web programmers, web designers, information architects, project managers, SEO experts, social media experts, etc., etc., etc.

So now what? What if I’m happy with my DIY website? What are the actual differences between a DIY website and a professional website?

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Better yet, leave a comment and tell us what you’re struggling with:

1) tell me about your DIY website? Was it everything you dreamed of? Did you seek web experts for help?

2) tell me about your web growth preference: do you prefer to learn to DIY better or to entrust it to expert hands?

I’m listening. I read every comment.



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