The term “cheap web design” is searched around 1,900 times per month (according to Google). That’s nearly 23,000 searches per year!
That is a lot of searches. With the search volume though surely, there are good and bad aspects of cheap web design, and there are many elements to this.
But how do you know what you should be looking for if you’re when comparing cheap website design packages?
These are essential minimus you should expect from any web design package, cheap or not. If you don’t see something there, chances are it’s going to cost you more later, which detracts from the concept of a cheap web design package.
Monthly cost – Especially important when looking for a cheap website, it should be crystal clear how much it is going to cost per month. This way, you can define clear expectations of how much you need to budget.
Access to edit the website – You want to be able to change and edit the content, images etc. yourself, rather than needing an essential change made to the content on your website and waiting on someone else to do it.
SSL certificate – When people browsing your website, it keeps their connection secure, this is pretty much essential part of a website. If this is not included, it is once again, an extra expense unless you don’t mind having that not secure notification in your browser.
Mobile-friendly – is essential for any website now, that more the majority of people browse the web on their phones. AS part of the package it should say something along the lines of the website being mobile-friendly or it being a responsive design.
Hosting – to keep things cheap, it’s preferable that this is part of the package, otherwise, you’ll need to find hosting and incur a greater expense.
The number of pages – it should be clear from the package how many pages you get as part of it and if there are any limitations. Before you look at website packages, think about what pages your website will need, it will help when picking a package. The minimum you’ll likely need are:
- Privacy/Terms and Conditions
Support – Once your website has been built and set up, are they on hand if you need help, or are you left to fend for yourself? If it’s not part and parcel, could be that you need to pay additional when you need help.
User documentation – do they have everything you need to understand how to manage/update your website?
Nice to have
These elements are not necessarily at the forefront of essential, but nice additions that you can look out for to give your website package that extra selling point.
Storage capacity/bandwidth – The storage capacity/bandwidth is how much resources your website uses, each time someone visits your website it will use up these resources, so if there is a limit on this, receiving more traffic than your package allows can take your website offline. Unlimited is the best solution.
Website tracking/statistics – How will you track website performance? Some platforms will come with inbuilt website statistics, others will offer it through third-party applications (like Google Analytics), in some cases, like Procredible websites, you’ll get both. Regardless of how this is implemented, it’s a nice addition to have.
No set-up fee – Might be unavoidable in some cases, but this can add an extra strain on the upfront cost, especially if you are a small business looking for a cheap website to avoid these big expenses.
Number of accounts/users – If you have multiple staff that you want to have access to the website to make updates, then being restricted by the number of accounts you can have on the system. Worth looking out for how many you get and better still, if you can manage them yourself.
What to be wary of
There are some elements of a website package that you may not be able to see from looking at the package details. These elements are ones you might have to look a little further or ask the company you’re considering about, as these can absolutely make or break having a good website.
Copywriting with EVERY web project – There is no problem with offering copywriting services as an add on to a website. That way you can choose whether you or the company are to create the content for your website. But when all the websites created are having their content written for them, then you need to consider how they have the resources to create unique content for each website. The likelihood is, that you end up with [similar, slightly reworded content], which isn’t great for your websites SEO.
No preview before launch – when building a website, the first time round there are changes you’ll likely want to see to the design. Sometimes these will be minor tweaks, other times, they may be larger changes. Regardless of the size of the changes, you want to be able to see the site before it goes live. This might be something to bring up with the company you’re looking to deal with how long it is before you see a preview.
Not outlining a brief – An outline what your website does, target market etc. Some companies will likely get a base idea of your business, such as an accountant and simply choose their Accounting template and then populate it with generic content and images.
Same-y template builds – Always worth checking out a companies previous work, so you can see the quality of website they put out there. Their other side si, you want to be able to judge whether they are busting out lots of websites, using same-y, generic templates. If their websites look the same, how are you going to get yours to stand out from the competitors?
This should give you an idea of what you should look for in a cheap web design package. This contains a lot of the elements, but what it comes down to mainly is being clear and upfront with what you will (and won’t) get If there’s something you think should be there, then it might be worth enquiring about.