Why do Professional Websites Seem so Expensive?

Agencies, or web design related companies, must pay dedicated personnel that develops the site. Websites don’t build themselves, they are created by people and those people need to be paid.

Before we start, this is a letter to business owners. They are always complaining why the price of the website is too expensive, and why it takes so long to build. They ask those questions, but they never get a proper answer that satisfies them. Here we go with some factors that tell you why professional sites are expensive even if you hire a freelancer.

Experience

When you pay for a website, you are not paying for the website itself. You are paying also the experience from the expert on the field that helps you to succeed in your business and attract more customers. Experience also brings intangibles (for the users and business) that elevate your business compare with others. For example, somebody with knowledge in website design might create a website. However, that website might not be performing well because it is not well designed or it takes too long to load. Even a single second in delay when users are loading your page can decrease the User Experience and some of those users end up leaving to the competitor’s site.

An expert also can tell you what the best practices are, and what you should and should not do with your website design and code. There are a lot of people out there “creating” websites, but they are not doing the best job because they are not using the right tool for the job and may damage your reputation as a business with their design.

Education

This is another one that most people forget. When you pay a doctor, you are paying not only for the experience, you are paying for the education they received so they can take care of your sickness effectively. The same applies for any job, if the person is trained to do a job, the charges for a successful site are higher than getting out of the street to code your website. Education validates their knowledge and also ensures that those professionals stay up to date with current and future trends to provide the best experience to your users. Great experience to users means great business because those happy customers are willing to come back.

Time and Effort

Web design and development (in this including all information systems in general) are not created with a magic wand; they need time and effort to make the application what you expect. You see a bunch of website builders out there telling you that you can have a nice website just for 10 dollars a month. However, those builders just have a limited number of templates that are reused over and over with all the customers, so you won’t have a unique design for your website. Moreover, the limitations are there no only with the design, but performance in general. If you know about HTML, CSS, JavaScript in general, you will realize that the code is not optimized capabilities of the browsers and users’ connections.
In addition, professionals take steps further in design and development, because they test and optimize the website with all major browsers and ensure that the page is accessible and usable for all users. Remember, that web pages are visited by people with different expectations, people with disabilities, search engines, etc. The website should be optimized and tested to ensure that it provides a great experience for your users.

Research

Professional designers and developers don’t jump into Photoshop (or even a text editor) as soon as they meet with you. Professionals research the competition, similar sites, and users’ needs. They also must investigate what platform is used by the majority of the target audience and how to take advantage of the features supported. In addition, they check what the competition is doing and how they can provide a better User Experience and accomplish higher business goals.

Expenses

As any business, web design firms and professionals have bills to have. To make the business successful, they need to charge to cover the expenses. There are expenses like any other business: electricity, water, equipment, insurance, vacation, etc. In addition, there are services used by the firm that needs to be paid to design and develop websites. Those services are needed and web design firms depend on them to provide better services on their own. You could be a great designer; however, with Microsoft Paint, there is no way you can design a layout. There are specialized tools that needed to be purchased to design professional looking sites. Additionally, agencies, or web design related companies, must pay dedicated personnel that develops the site. Websites don’t build themselves, they are created by people and those people need to be paid.

Different Phases of the Product

This point is merely covered by the previous one. Nevertheless, it is important to be clear that nothing happens from one day to another; there are phases in the development to get the product or website “right”. There are a lot of meetings for design/development decisions that affect the outcome of the project. To deliver on time, the project needs a project manager to make sure that all the phases of the project are on a schedule: gathering requirements, meetings with clients and users, design, developing, testing, etc.

Potential Businesses

Even If you don’t care for the previous points, this is the most important of all because it is based on what represents the website to your business. The first thing that a person does when looking for a service or product is to research. Most of the time, people use search engines to know more about your business. If you don’t have a website, you automatically are losing the battle to the competitors. Furthermore, having a website puts you in the position to reach a larger market and grow your business.

How you present yourself as a business is very important. Having a website gives you the edge over the competition because you can have a constant communication with current and potential customers. The website serves to display your products and services. Also, it gives the feels that you are a serious business with real people because at this day and age serious companies have websites even when they think that they don’t need one. For example, a plumbing company that receives calls requesting the services might think that they don’t need a website because people are not using their contact form. Nevertheless, most people on the web are finding the phone number of the company displayed on the website so they can request the services. Thus, even if the contact form is not used, it does not mean that the website did not provide the purpose because it allowed your customers to reach the business.

Now, back to the looks. People notice when an expert created the design. Professional design is tailored to the business, their needs, and goals. When a website does not look professional, people tend to think that the site is not a real one, the company does not exist anymore, or that the company does not care, which is enough reasons for people to look for alternatives.

In Conclusion

Services are expensive, and web design/development is not the exception. Design and code cannot be created by itself, and there is a tedious process to get the design “just right”. It does not happen overnight and clients should know that even “small changes” can take hours if not days.

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