Why 'Best Deal' Websites Don't Have the Return On Investment
There are instances when a 'best deal' kind of small business website might be the best option for your company, especially if you have a very simple business which only requires a few uncomplicated pages to convey your message. And affordable websites can look very attractive when you have limited resources at startup time, and don't want to make a huge investment in web design packages that might be well beyond your budget. In fact, some limited-resource businesses might well choose to eschew the professional website altogether and opt for a DIY template-based site that almost anyone can put together.
But there's a serious downside to these kinds of best-deal websites - they simply do not provide the return on investment that you would hope for from your online window to the world. While you might be saving some money on lower costs of consultation, design, development, and support, the actual value you get from the site can very often make even that small investment too much, compared to the value received from it.
The myth of best-deal websites
Those highly affordable websites that offer DIY web design packages are usually based on templates, which by their nature can only provide a generic framework for any tailoring you might do. That means your site will have the exact same look and feel as thousands of other websites on the Internet, with your company name being the main distinctive feature of the web pages. It's also true that a lot of these template-based websites force you to display their logo as well as your own, so you end up being an advertisement for them, as much as for your own business.
A custom website which is designed and developed for you will allow for just about any component of the site itself to be changed at any time, either by the skilled in-house talent that you have or by the consultant who originally designed your website. With the cheap sites, your ability to modify is substantially limited, even though a big selling point is that 'changes are so easy, you can make them yourself, even if you're not a programmer'.
True - to an extent. The kinds of changes which are actually possible are only the simplest ones, like posting a blog, changing a photo, or modifying text. This can be a major drawback if you need something more involved, for instance adapting your site for optimal mobile device usage. Cheap responsive web design is usually bad web design, and that means you will probably be losing out on reaching an enormous segment of the general Internet population.
Search engine appeal
One of the greatest values provided by your website should be in the number of visitors it reaches, which would then become potential customers. In order to really get that kind of value from your website, it has to be optimized so that search engines will rank it highly, and display it prominently for online searches. The cheap website offer can recommend a few of the simplest SEO techniques to you, but your website will not be fully optimized unless it has been customized to your business, your goals, and your business objectives.
This is especially true for Local SEO optimization. There's simply no way a template-based package will be able to help you with gaining visibility in your local region, and since the majority of Internet searches are conducted to the point of seeking nearby businesses, that amounts to a lot of lost business. This is the kind of point that would only be addressed by a skilled and knowledgeable website design company, well-versed in good web application design and custom web development.
In order for a website to look professional and incorporate all the components of best website design, it is well worth the time and money to partner with a really good website design and development company. Visitors to a site can immediately tell when they're looking at a cookie-cutter design, or barely functional web pages - and that will send them scurrying off to a more professional-looking site quickly. Cheap sites just cost less - they don't provide a return on investment.