I’ve worked at all levels in web design and development and IT. I’ve worked on IT projects where clients are spending tens of millions of dollars. I’ve quoted for websites for a few hundred euros, where the client was horrified at my rip-off prices. I’ve quoted for websites, where the client ended up choosing a provider who ultimately supplied an inferior product at over double the price, because the client felt that a “budget” website had to be inferior to a more expensive website.
Can I let you into a couple of little secrets?
- There are a lot of morally questionable people operating in the website business. They will take your money, provide you with a website, and then disappear – support will not be offered. I know, because “clean up” operations make up a not inconsiderable portion of my business.
- The price of a website is a product of the time spent on it, and the hourly rate. Ultimately we have to charge for our time, and products that take longer cost more. Those who don’t charge enough for their time, or consistently underestimate the amount of time a web project takes, will go out of business because they won’t be able to make a living wage. I provide budget websites, but my hourly rate is quite high. I work fast and efficiently, so I can complete your website quickly and give you an inexpensive site while still being able to pay myself well.
So what are the disadvantages of a budget website?
- Well, it WILL be based on a template, however modern high quality templates are so configurable that they are really frameworks. One of my favourite things to do with a customer who doesn’t want a template site, is to show them two completely different sites built on the same template framework. The point is moot after that, and using a template is no longer an issue.
- At the rates I’m charging, you’ll be getting less design work. However, if you can supply good quality homemade images for your site, this won’t be an issue, and the design can always be revisited at a later date.
- You’ll be responsible for your own backups and updates. I’ll show you how, but you’ll need to do it yourself, unless you want to pay me to do it, or forego updates and backups altogether in the hope that it will all work out fine (hint – it won’t!)
And the advantages?
- It’s cheap (duh!)
- It’s expandable – we use a content management system, meaning a new template can be applied for a new look, you can bolt on extra features like e-commerce without having to start from scratch.
- It’s transferable. The system we use is the industry standard, so you can even get another developer to do the work if you wish.
As long as you pick a reputable provider for your budget website, and have realistic expectations on what can be achieved on a budget, you can have a website that will server you and your business for many years to come.