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martial arts ninja kicking out at a cheap website

Buy a cheap website – buy twice!

Looking for a cheap website? Let us ask you 2 questions about your web development. Why are you investing in your online presence? And why are you looking for a cheap website? You see the two really are completely opposed. If you’re investing in your online presence, it goes without saying that a cheap website is not going to give you the investment you need.

A cautionary tale of ‘web development’

‘Web development’ shouldn’t mean creating lots of different websites. Web development is an evolutionary process that starts with your website, and progresses with your business and the technology and software associated with the internet.

With that in mind, let us tell you a story about a business owner we met recently. She runs a niche business, in a sector that has a rich online community and lots of social media activity. She was looking for someone to build her a website. A cheap website. Her third website. That’s right. The first web developer she had used created her a website and then disappeared. The second website was created by a web developer she had found in the Yellow Pages. She was promised everything and ended up with a standard website. No doubt, that was also a cheap website, but added together with the costs (not to mention the inconveniences) of website one, she had pretty much spent the money she would have paid for a properly designed website built by a professional web development company. Needless to say, this isn’t what we think of when we talk about ‘web development’.

So, why are you investing in your online presence?

Taking a step back to answer this question, while you’ll all have a slightly different response to the question ‘why are you investing in your online presence’, underlying all the answers will be the undeniable fact that the world is becoming more ‘online’ and more interconnected every day. You only have to witness the demise of the Yellow Pages – now a shadow of its former self – and consider the fact that ‘to google’ has been accepted as a verb by the Oxford English Dictionary for 10 years now, to understand the power of being online. Internet usage statistics are staggering – and no matter what size of business, whether you are a small, local operations or a multinational, those that ignore online are already missing out.

The benefits of being online:  

  • Gives you an internet presence
  • Increases your visibility to a much wider client base
  • Makes your business ‘searchable’ by internet users
  • Gives more opportunities to interact and engage with customers and potential customers
  • Increases marketing opportunities

And while there is some debate about whether a business even needs a website with the growth of social media, no one doubts that most businesses would be wise to invest in their online presence.

Bearing that in mind, why on earth wouldn’t you use a professional web development company to design and support your website? After all, this is going to be your online ‘shop front’ – your business portal. A cheap website won’t cut it – and could even harm your business.

Using a professional web development company:

  • Gives you the security of knowing your website is a solid basis for your online presence
  • Ensures that your website will be customised for your business, taking account of what your website needs to achieve, and properly user-friendly
  • Should ‘future proof’ your website and allow your website to be updated as technology advances
  • Will give you a properly optimised website, a website that can be found by the search engines
  • Offers ongoing support as your online presence develops
  • Will give you ‘value for money’

With more and more people searching for products and services online, and with more and more businesses taking the step to be online, your website and your online presence needs to be well thought out, fully functioning, and fit for purpose.

Back to our business owner that we mentioned earlier. We discussed websites, the services we provide, and then it came to the crunch – costs. She would prefer to pay cheap and risk a further disaster, than to invest in a website built by a professional web development company with a track record. And with issues of online security and online branding so vital to businesses today, we have to question whether this approach can possibly make business sense?

Using a trusted professional avoids disappointment

It’s not just using maverick web developers that can cause problems. Did someone offer to help you with your website – a friend, neighbour, an employee? This may work out very well if it’s someone who absolutely knows what they are doing, has a track record in developing and maintain websites, and is someone you trust.

Are you sitting comfortably? It’s time for a couple more stories. Short, and to the point, they make uncomfortable reading. Imagine a big leisure facility opening soon. A helpful volunteer has bought the domain names and built the website – and then disappeared. Taking ownership of the domain, and all the content, with them… disappointing, yes but more than that, this organisation is now in a position where they have to start again without the domain name that they had chosen for their business. The organisation could even find themselves held to ransom to buy it back, if they manage to track down the person responsible, and will also have to start again with content. Their online brand may be compromised before they even open. Hardly a great start to a business.

Our last case study gives a different perspective on the problem of using web developers who don’t really know what they are doing, but again, it’s short and to the point. We’ve been approached by a company that does a lot of business through online sales. But the developer they used didn’t understand search engines, analytics and how it all works,and it shows in his coding, which features # hashtags in the urls: http://www.onlineseller.blah/paper-chains#/specFilters=3m!#-!11&pageSize=12&viewMode=grid&orderBy=0&pageNumber=1 This can cause problems with Google and other search engines becoming confused about which pages to index. He’s now having to consider creating new landing pages (among other things). This isn’t a case necessarily of a charlatan at work which does apply to the other case studies, but simply of someone setting him or herself up as a web developer without really knowing what they are doing. But whichever way it happens – incompetence, ignorance or dishonesty, we come across something of this problem at least once a month. So frequently, in fact, that ‘buy cheap buy twice’ has become something of a catch phrase for us when we talk about web design.

Concluding the case for using a professional web development company

Of course”, we hear you cry. “You’re a professional web development company. Of course you’ll make the case for using your services”. Hands up – guilty as charged. But our client base and testimonials bears us out, as does the catalogue of stories like those we’ve included in this blog, businesses that went for the ‘budget’ website option and then ended up paying out as the cheap website they bought first was not fit for purpose, didn’t function, wasn’t optimised for search engines – if indeed a website was ever forthcoming. A number of our clients have come to us after a disastrous first experience developing their business website. We’re not the cheapest – but we believe we offer outstanding value for money given the services we provide.

  • Professional web design, based on a comprehensive briefing process through which we understand your business and what your website needs to achieve
  • Solid web hosting and web security keeping your online presence safe from hacking and other technical issues, with 24 hour support.
  • Search engine optimisation to make sure your fit for purpose website can be found by the search engines – and your customers
  • Ongoing web development to keep your website up to date with technology and software developments
  • Integrated digital marketing to promote your website and make sure your online presence is getting seen

If you’d like to discuss your website, we’d be happy to do so. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need to redo what you already have, we’ll start with a free consultation to see what you need and explain how we can help. Trusting our professional web design and development team to create your website and support you as your business develops will be an investment that will bring rewards. With over 15 years’ experience and a great track record, there will be no more cheap website disaster stories for your business.