Go on Craigslist and you will find a ton of people willing to design cheap websites. Anyone can build a cheap website if they want to – whether they are a novice or a professional.

Sure, we could do that for our clients as well. But, we choose not to create cheap websites, because we prefer to provide high-quality online marketing materials to our clients to represent their businesses professionally and to keep both of our reputations intact.

We do, however, offer some pretty reasonable Website Subscription Plans that make our services affordable and accessible, without sacrificing quality. These recurring subscriptions enable us to offer our smaller clients the same quality of services that our clients who pay a much higher price upfront receive. This is a great option for smaller to mid-size companies who need a great website on a budget.

Your Website Is An Important Part of Your Marketing

We consider a website to be an extension (a very important extension) of a company’s overall marketing plan. In this day and age, it has to be! People just simply don’t pick up the phone book to find businesses to work with anymore. The majority of the time they are Googling local businesses instead and finding them online. So, a company’s website has to be effective to drive potential clients and customers to work with them.

There’s Always Someone Willing To Do It Cheaper

Generally, when you find someone willing to do a cheap website on Cragislist, that is exactly what you are getting – a cheap website that doesn’t do much for you.

They take a free template and simply change the wording and pictures to whatever you want. Any middle school kid can do this much. This is not website design or development, by any stretch of the imagination. And, as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”

Sadly, I ran across someone who just had this happen to them. They found a web developer on a freelancer site and paid a few hundred dollars to setup their website style sheets, create a home page, and create an interior page template that they could then populate with copy themselves, since their budget was low. This is a very cheap price for this type of work.

The overseas web designer (and I use that term loosely) then came back and said they needed $500 to do the job like the client’s example. Based on the example they were trying to emulate, I thought $500 was a fair price for the work. But, when I saw the finished site they received, well, frankly, I was appalled. I wouldn’t have paid $50 for the work that they did. 🙁

What-She-Wanted

What they wanted.

What-She-Got

What they got.

That doesn’t mean that you need to spend a fortune on a website either, but realistically how much time and effort do you think a cheap website designer is putting into your company’s website?

Cheap websites are cheap for a reason. The person creating them didn’t take any time or skill to put together like a custom website would take. And, even if the person offering the cheap website is very good at what they do (i.e. they build custom websites with all the bells and whistles, optimized correctly for page load speeds, SEO, etc.), I can pretty much assure you that they aren’t taking the time to do that with their cheapest website package offering.

If you want a cheap website why not just get a free blog via any of the major blogging platforms – WordPressTumblr, or Blogger. They are easy to use and can get you online for free or cheap. They may not offer you much in terms of online marketing, but then again, neither will hiring someone who is willing to build you a cheap website.

Then again, you could go with the website subscription model, which many web design agencies are starting to offer their clients. At least then you know you are getting quality product with a company that will be around to help you out in the long-term.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.

Cheap Designers Aren’t Well Educated in Online Marketing

Be aware that most of the cheap website design offers do not generally include some very important extras like the website developer taking the time to instruct you in things like why branding is so important, how to maximize your social media to work with your website, the latest website trends, so you stay up-to-date with your website, and how to implement proper SEO (search engine optimization) techniques for being found in search.

People offering cheap websites are in it to push out the maximum number of websites they can in a month, rather than taking their time to really pay attention to details, making sure everything is working correctly and maximized for the client’s benefit, and customizing the website to make it truly the client’s own. A custom website build will involve a whole lot more than just making simple text and graphic changes to a pre-existing template or design.

Your Website Should Work For You

If you want a website that is high quality, is responsive for mobile, can grow with your business, converts your browsers into buyers, and is built with good SEO, then invest in a professional who knows what they are doing and is able to do more than just switch out some text and simple graphics.

Remember your website should work for you. It is your best employee. Would you pay your best employee bottom of the barrel wages? When you hire a cheap website designer they are more concerned about churning out their next $199 website for the guy behind you then they are in giving you much personalized service and support. Think long and hard before going this route with what is, likely, your company’s most important marketing item — it’s website.

Have you hired a cheap website designer and ended up having to pay a higher price in the end to have things fixed? Share you stories or experiences in the comments below.

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Nora Kramer
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Nora Kramer

Lead Web Designer & Developer at Nora Kramer Designs
Nora Kramer is a website professional and online marketing consultant with over two decades of experience in graphic design, website development and company branding. She also has a passion for photography and writing. Nora received the Charlie Award (1st Place) in 2002 for "Best Magazine Feature Article of the Year" from the Florida Magazine Association.
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