Home – New Forums Starting your journey Web design super cheap – maybe too cheap?

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  • #968661
    Becca
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    I recently came across a wed designer who was advertising to do a complete website inclusive of hosting charges and domain registration for $150.00 a year. Was a complete website no limit on pages or anything as well as unlimited hosting…

    Being a web designer myself I just cant see how this would be feasible given the amount of work that goes into each site… so I am just wondering out of curiosity how many people would be willing to take advantage of such an offer?

    I really just love how there was a comparison on site and I (as well as any typical web designer) were branded as being rip off merchants and taking advantage of people because we charge normal rates…. I personally am thinking what the…

    #1034459
    Melinda B
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    Really? I’d run the other way if I was quoted that. Wonder how bad their support is?

    #1034460
    TizzBizz
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    Hey there Becca,

    The first thing that came to my mind was “what’s the catch?”

    Cause with those costs (domain name, hosting…) against $150 a year, I recon this has to be something in there not being openly shown. Of course, I could be mucho wrongo.

    Cheers,
    Kristian

    #1034461
    Becca
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    Hi Melinda / Hi Kristian,

    My thoughts exactly, if i needed something designed I would run as well. They say the more traditional designers are the ones taking advantage of people because they know no better – I am inclined to say that they are.

    They also claim that you get support and maintenance for the year as well, I am seriously questioning how legit the business is. I know very bad of me but it just doesn’t seem right.

    Had me questioning my own pricing for a moment and I am very reasonable, with the amount of time and effort I put into each of my designs I just couldn’t justify doing it for that kind of money!

    #1034462
    Rhys
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    When something is “too cheap” it is easy to measure what you save the day you make the payment. Much harder to measure is what you lose over time caused by lack of quality of service or product.

    I wrote a blog on this very topic a few weeks ago – titled “Price versus Value”, you can read the full text here.

    Cheers, Rhys

    #1034463
    onlinepas
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    Hi Becca,

    One of my first thoughts when I read your post was to ask:

    • Where are they located? I.e. Australia/India/Asia
    • If they are Australian, are they using designers offshore for dirt cheap so they can still make a profit?

    Then I guess, there seem to be some in many industries who are willing to work for next-to-nothing. Usually though, when it comes to web design, you can tell who has paid a bit and who hasn’t. And as mentioned above, what is their service like?

    For some businesses, perhaps it is better to get a web presence (no matter how poor the design is) than it is to wait until you can afford a decent designer?

    Also, I wouldn’t second guess your rates but rather be confident in the value you are providing to your clients. Not everyone is focused on price and I know that my clients appreciate the value I give them rather than how much they pay me per month. If there is value in it, they will come!

    #1034465
    Stuart B
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    LemonChip is targeted toward the same thing. We have done some really big projects for major companies, but also offer very cheap start-up packages, which are custom designed from scratch starting at $300.

    Now $150 per year sounds a bit extreme for my business model, but as mentioned previously it’s possible it’s being outsourced to india or something and they are basically acting as a middle man or something.

    Not all budget web sites are a rip off, most of them don’t look too great on average (not ours, just generally), but yeah for a price that cheap everything included it’s probably worth a closer look.

    #1034466
    prepaidplans
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    Having played around with website for my own interests as well as for large corporates (day job), there are plenty of extremes in terms of pricing out there, but there are also plenty of extremes in terms of quality.

    It pays to do your research but to also speak to other companies and get an idea of what it cost to put something together.

    The larger you are however, the higher the price seems to be as many agencies just charge a certain amount to larger customers. The danger with going too small is not getting the quality or the support you want.

    It hard to know what is the right way to go.

    I am currently working on a project and have allocated $50k to web design and development to get what is basically a brochureware site up and running.

    #1034467
    marketingweb
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    Offtopic

    Offtopic warning…

    “Prepaid mobile”, perhaps it would be worth centering your page as it looks a little odd.

    On my fairly large screen most content is jammed to the left, gap in the middle, newsletter etc jammed to the right, and then the bottom advert and footer is centered. Would look better all centered.

    Just my un-asked for 2c worth!

    Matt

    #1034468
    Becca
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    My web design pricing start from around $750 and are totally dependent on my clients requirements. This does not include logo design, hosting or domain registration.

    I get a full design brief before quoting so I know exactly what they need before providing them with a quote, of course advising if anything changes during the design process that we might need to adjust the remaining balance to suit.

    I always go that bit further for my clients and ensure that the moment their website is finished, that it is a complete website and nothing more needs to be done, I also provide initial support and training documents so they are comfortable updating the site themselves!

    I automatically include SEO in my pricing as well as the traditional pages every website wants, everything else is based on their requirements. I put a lot of time and work into each website, as each design I do is done exclusively for each client – I do not work off templates as I make my own so feel that my pricing and service is very suitable.

    It just really annoys me when you see a website (like I first posted about) claiming that people who charge more (ie. less than $1,000) are ripping people off!

    Only I know the amount of work and time I put into each project so if anyone does not like my pricing, they can go elsewhere as I know what I am worth. Given that I have only been doing it professionally for the last 3 months I may very well increase my pricing in the future, you just never know but considering I have 11 websites over the next 1.5 months to complete I am pretty secure in the service I am providing.

    And my repeat customers love me because I always offer them special pricing ;-)

    #1034469
    marketingweb
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    I actually own the domain name cheapwebsitedesign.com.au among others (nothing to see there yet) and will likely put up a separate site there at some stage once I launch my business properly – to allow me to service both budget and general markets while keeping them somewhat separated.

    However what i’m still deciding on is firstly “how cheap is cheap” (i’m thinking around the $495 mark), and what this should include. On the other hand i’m worried I may create a rod for my own back.

    One of the issues which i’m sure most designers will come up against is that people have different expectations of value. I had one client recently who wanted a pretty basic site, quoted her $1600 (a fair price) and she jumped at it having been quoted twice that elsewhere. At the other end of the scale I have avoided one in particular who was “shocked” at my quote of $600 + hosting and “couldn’t believe I would charge that much for a website” since she had only paid $480 for a listing in a local directory and couldn’t imagine why it would cost any more than that had (for a full website on her own domain!)

    Obviously there are great clients and demanding clients at all price ranges – the ones who only want a cheap website and then appreciate it when you go the extra mile for them are great, the ones who think that $500 is a lot of money so they are really going to make you “work for it” are the ones that worry me!

    Matt

    #1034470
    colinl
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    IMHO it’s hard to compare these kind of services as you really not comparing apples with apples.

    Whilst this designer you are talking about sounds cheap, it could be what they are actually offering is in fact worth just that much (or even less!). You can get domain names for $9, hosting for less than $5 a month (but speed is pretty bad), & you can design a complete site using a WordPress theme template, have it look pretty fancy but not actually do that much. As a developer, you can actually purchase premium WordPress templates that are very great looking, very functional & all you have to do is drop content in. So the business offering $150 sites is actually making about $120 per site & not really doing much for it.

    Those of you who are much more skilled in your art, you are offering a much more customised service & thus the value you are offering is worth the price you are offering at.

    Just as many posters have stated, show value, market your services, & you will be able to pretty much charge what you want.

    Don’t get caught into “packaging” all your services, because a service should not really be packaged. Get out of selling widgets, sell service.

    My 2 cents. All the best..

    #1034471
    paulc8712
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    I have to agree with colinl. People tend to consider all ‘website’ services as the same, when they are not.

    At the cheapest end of the spectrum is the DIY website. Could can probably get one of these operating for as little as $10/year. There are plenty of free website building tools, and free hosting options.

    Next would be the template based website. A customer provides content, and the company contructs the website within a template framework. My own company (The Website Shop) will create a basic website for $99 – including the domain name. Something a bit bigger would cost $149. Is it too cheap? I don’t think so. Constructing a website from content provided by the customer into a pre-designed template website is not thaty big a job.

    Next would be a custom designed website. A company sits down with the customer, discusses how they want the website layed out, souces stock images, perhaps even some custom graphic design. It’s more labour intensive, costs more, and for customers who want that type of product, it’s good value.

    Finally I would say is a full custom build e-commerce site. Payment gateways, SSL, integration with other business systems.

    On top of the initial setup costs, you also need to consider the ongoing maintenance costs of a website. Hosting is just one component. Backups, software upgrades, and most importantly, updating yuor website. Do you want to DIY? do you want someone else to do it? My own company offers a ‘fixed price’ monthly fee that includes all updates, hosting and maintenance.

    At the end of the day, it’s about understanding what you want to get out of your website, and finding a company that suits. I dont think there anything that is ‘too cheap’. There is no point spending $10,000 on a website when a $149 website was all you really needed.

    #1034472
    marketingweb
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    paulc8712, post: 42554 wrote:
    Next would be the template based website. A customer provides content, and the company contructs the website within a template framework. My own company (The Website Shop) will create a basic website for $99 – including the domain name. Something a bit bigger would cost $149. Is it too cheap? I don’t think so.

    I don’t think it’s too cheap for what you are offering (pretty standard price), but I think it’s a case of you get what you paid for.

    I challenge anyone to show me a “do it yourself” or “do it on the really cheap” templated website that is near the top of Google for a competitive search term (not location based) AND converts strongly into sales/enquiries/whatever is your metric. Certainly someone will be able to come up with one, but they are few and far between. (Only exception may be a few wordpress based site built on “premium” templates).

    Generally they are either structured wrong for SEO so don’t rank, the content isn’t written to entice either site visitors or search engines (when it needs to win at both), or it fails on the second one and when customers get there they leave based on the fact it doesn’t look professional hence doesn’t look trustworthy.

    I’m not trying to be elitist here or say everyone needs to pay top dollar, but I really think in most cases you get what you paid for, and under $150 doesn’t buy much professional advice which is required unless you are at least a “professional hobbyist”

    One final thing – the templates on the “Website Shop site” vary from pretty basic to not too bad, and in a couple of cases from the premium section would be fairly good with a strong logo. Unfortunately in all the examples with just a text header it makes them look “cheap” in my opinion.

    Matt

    #1034473
    Steve_Minshall
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    • Total posts: 518
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    marketingweb, post: 42604 wrote:
    I challenge anyone to show me a “do it yourself” or “do it on the really cheap” templated website that is near the top of Google for a competitive search term (not location based) AND converts strongly into sales/enquiries/whatever is your metric.

    Matt

    http://www.shop1auto.com.au over 3300 organic visits in last month, sales generated $20-$30k.

    Well I guess you did say someone would be able to but a challenge is a challenge :-)

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