Why Cheap Websites Aren't Cheap

An article to save you a lot of money, and a lot of headaches. Here's why that cheap website you saw advertised is going to end up costing you way more in the not-even-that-long-term.

Mat French
January 6, 2021

You can’t start a digital agency without an acute awareness that you’re going into an industry selling a product that most people - the people who pay for websites - don’t fully understand. A common issue our clients have faced is not knowing the issues they would encounter when opting for a cheap website instead of getting a slightly more reasonably priced website.

Cheap websites aren’t cheap

The first thing you have to ask yourself, is why is the website you’re buying so much cheaper than the competition? 

The answer is pretty simple - it’s because it’s worse. (There’s exceptions to this rule but I’ll get into that another time - the exceptions are very rare, and always temporary).

Here’s an example - think about Christmas. Remember that one year that your family decided to go all out on the christmas crackers, and when you were sat around the table that year when you pulled the crackers out poured some great bottle opener keyring (I still have mine attached to my keys), the high quality prizes and the crowns that don’t snap the moment you try to put it onto your head… Good times! And then think about the years where you bought the cheapest crackers in the supermarket just to have something to crack during christmas dinner, and out fell useless plastic tat that noone used or liked, and 2 people are sat hatless when the cheap paper tore the moment it touched a head…

… And so it is with websites. Getting a cheap website just for the sake of having a website is like buying cheap christmas crackers - useless and full of tat. Probably poorly made, unoptimised, full of slow-loading plugins, definitely won’t generate business, will most likely break quickly, and when it does break - you won’t be able to reach the developer, because they’re either busy building another crappy website, or they just don’t care about you, because you paid them hardly enough to cover their time - and that’s not your fault, they chose to sell websites for that price, but it’s a race to the bottom that benefits absolutely no-one at all.

If you do manage to get hold of the same developer, you’ll invariably find that their hourly rate to fix things isn’t quite so cheap (it’s a shady and all-too-common practice). So then you need to spend time looking for another, hopefully better developer - that costs you time (probably quite a bit of it). Then that developer has to spend time figuring out what the issue is - after all, they didn’t build the site so they aren’t familiar with it - that’s extra time you have to pay for. More often than not they’ll tell you the site is a trashcan fire and should be rebuilt…

You see where I’m going with this - it’s an endless stream of issues that only ends when you finally find a decent developer, who provides a service that is actually very valuable, and charges what their time is worth. You might as well have set fire to all the money you spent up until then, and you could have avoided a lot of headaches, and your own wasted time, any many missed business opportunities, by simply paying an appropriate amount of money for a website. 

If you’re wondering what that is, Plato only makes great websites - that means a website that looks great, is optimised, loads fast, is well written, and actually generates business. Our prices start at £995. You can chat to us here or or hire us here.

P.S After writing I realise I could have probably used buying a car as a better analogy, or many others, but that’s what came to mind at the moment of writing. I guess it’s that time of year!

We hope you enjoyed the article

Like what you read and fancy a chat? Do it here or go ahead and follow us on social:

Meet the author:

Mat French

Creative Director

Began playing around in Photoshop that came with my first PC at age 8, and never stopped. My first paid design work was a logo for a local manufacturing business in primary school at age 10 - I was paid in sweets and food, and a tour around the factory. I've been fortunate enough to work in agencies and small businesses as in-house designers, freelance on and off since university, before starting Oddbox Studio, and now more recently - Plato Agency. When I'm not building websites or designing or writing, I'm usually reading something about one of those things. It's safe to say design is a lifelong passion.