How much does a website cost? Why are websites so cheap? How can professional websites be produced for such a low cost?
Cheap Web Design
As a professional web designer it is understandable why I would be concerned at having to face competition from companies advertising cheap web design for rock bottom prices. But should I be?
I could suggest that similar concerns would be shared by anyone who is also working in an industry where competitors are undercutting prices for services in a race to the bottom. This could put you out of business, and the only chance you may have of getting work is if you offer to do it for practically nothing.
Surely from a customer perspective this is great news though.
Well is it?
I worked in as a manager in eCommerce for a multinational company for many years. We operated in markets around the globe, and part of my role was to ensure that our websites complied with UK and international rules, including price transparency (or pricing clarity). Some of these rules were set by the EU (European Union), the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), and also regulatory bodies in the US, Canada and Australia.
One key principle we had to follow was to be up front about pricing. We were obliged to communicate the final price to the customer as early in the buying process as possible. And rightly so, although we realised that those competitors who did not comply with the regulations appeared to be far cheaper.
I’m sure we have all seen the kind of adverts for cheap flights for £29, but by the time you reach the checkout page you’re being ask to pay much more due to taxes, airport fees, and surcharges for a whole bunch of mandatory items which could have been communicated right much earlier in the process.
What is Drip Pricing?
Grabbing people's attention with cheap pricing and drawing them in is a very effective way to attract potential customers. The practice of
drip pricing goes on to gain a potential consumer's interest with a misleadingly low headline price without the actual final price being revealed until the customer has already invested time and effort in the buying process and made a decision to purchase.
This can also distort competition by making it can make it difficult for businesses with more transparent pricing to compete on a level playing field.
So what about cheap web design?
Well if the price you see IS going to be the price you pay, and for that cost you know what will be included and not included in the price, then I have no argument with that. That's fair competition.
But what really does concern me are those companies who I keep seeing pop up on social media with attention grabbing promotions such as
Let us build, host and manage your website or ecommerce store for you - for just £49 One-Time Payment
In the real world you will find it hard to find a graphic designer produce you a logo for that cost, but apparently you can get a complete website... even an eCommerce store for a one time payment of £49.
When I investigated further on their website I found monthly pricing for a range of tiered services to manage your website for up to £429 per annum?
So what does a £49 one time payment actually mean, and what happened to pricing transparency? I do find that concerning, but I refuse to follow suit.
Targa's approach to web design pricing
Targa Web Design offer a range of great value fairly priced options including fixed price web design packages which DO include everything stated up front for the price quoted.
For more information about pricing, packages, myself, and services that Targa has to offer, start by taking a look at our websites for small businesses page.
About the author: Daron Harvey started building websites and working on SEO back in 1996. From 2000 spent 20 years in eCommerce, project managing and maintaining global multi-lingual websites. Subsequently founded Targa Web Design, specialising in website design, UX and SEO.