It is tempting to go for the cheapest website solution you can find. A do-it-yourself free “drag and drop” website builder, perhaps, or getting your brother’s best mate who is in IT to knock a site together for you. You might think you’re getting a bargain. After all, your cheap website might come out looking as good as a professionally built site that costs big money – so you’ve been clever, right?
When it comes to quality it’s mostly the things you can’t see that matter on a website. A cheap website may end up costing you plenty in all sorts of ways, even damaging the reputation of your business.
The Hidden Dangers of a Cheap Website
With a site built on a one-size-fits-all template you may have to skimp on the finer detail and branding that makes your business special. There’ll be design option and functional limitations and dozens of similar sites for similar businesses out there.
Probably the biggest downside of a cheaply built website is that it will likely lack many of the fundamentals of SEO (search engine optimisation). Being able to track the data about visits to your site, and fine-tune a website for SEO is the way to being well ranked by the search engines, and that’s how a website brings in the business. If no-one finds your website, it just won’t work for you.
SEO has become a specialised area of expertise, which is why digital design agencies now employ SEO experts alongside SEO-aware web designers and developers. Together they craft bespoke sites for their clients, aimed at ranking high on the search results for relevant keywords and locations.
Besides being overlooked or ignored by the likes of Google, your cheap pre-formatted website will also probably be slow to load and won’t fit well on a mobile or tablet screen – things that users will find annoying. If they do find your unresponsive site, they’ll probably bounce right away into the arms of one of your competitors.
Why Hackers Like Cheap Websites
There’s a danger too attached to security when you build a website with a template which has hundreds of styling options built in, and integrated functions and features, many of which you may not need or make use of. All those things require a great deal of background coding, and because they are downloaded by hundreds of users they are easy for hackers to target. Hackers can exploit all that coding relatively easily, and assault all the websites using that template.
Patching and fixing a template website yourself is difficult if not impossible, even if you’re tech savvy. You remain dependent on the host platform to supply security patches and keep things up to date.
This highlights another problem with cheap websites built on free or low cost services: the fact that you cannot choose where to host your website. Hosting is usually part of the package for a cheap website, and you either like it or lump the whole site. That means you cannot move your hosting if you want better speed, security, support or scalability for your site.
The Value of a Website
Considering the enormous intrinsic value of a website to your business, whatever it is, it is not wise to skimp when it comes to investing in this vital marketing tool that brings in revenue.
If you feel you can’t afford to pay for a professionally built website straight away, at least seek some advice so that you start with a basic site that can be developed later on. Choose a platform like WordPress which gives you vast scope for adding functions and features as and when you can afford to, and offers an easy-to-use content management system allowing you to update and edit your website content yourself.
Alternatively, seek out a reputable web design agency, like Dentons Digital, that offers affordable payment terms to suit any budget, which means you can have a top tailor-made website built to your specifications by experienced, professional designers and developers, without delay.