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Everywhere you look, it seems that more and more companies are offering websites for cheaper and cheaper prices. Do-it-yourself with Wix or Squarespace, use a WordPress template, get it all done in one week, whatever. As part of a creative digital agency, it’s been interesting to see this trend take shape, and I’ve found myself thinking a lot about what it says about the industry and the way people view it.
Of course, people want lower prices for website design and development – you can hardly blame people for trying to keep expenses down to keep the bottom line up. After all, not everyone has the means to throw around lots of cash all willy nilly, so wanting a $300 website is totally reasonable! The problem, (and hold on, I’m about to unleash my inner accounting-nerd on you,) is that buying a website isn’t an expense. Literally, it is not. It’s an accounting asset (or we can call it an investment, if you will). Credit cash, debit website. Why is this important? Because of what that actually means for your business: in super-simplified terms, assets generate revenue.
That’s right, a website should actually make money for your company (it also should save you money too, but I’ll touch on that in a later post). With all these $300 website offers floating around though, that fact is getting lost in the noise, because those particular products actually ARE expenses. A sunk cost that ain’t never coming back, and in all likelihood won’t do too much for you unless you sink more dollars into it in the months and years ahead. Why do I think that? I’m so glad you asked!
Somehow, somewhere, somewhen, websites became commoditized. In layman’s terms, that basically means something of economic value with distinguishable attributes has become simplified to the point where all are considered to be the same. In this case, a $300 website perceived as having the same value as a $3,000 or even $30,000 custom website to a business. When something “built for you” is the exact same thing that was built already for Joe Shmo, how much value can it actually have?
The best real-life comparison I can think of is a car, and how crazy a car salesman’s life would be if the same were to happen. Think of it this way, if all cars were perceived as equals, everyone would be driving around in the cheapest thing they could find just to get them from Point A to Point B. Like a car, custom sites not only get you from the metaphorical Point A to Point B, but they do it while having low-maintenance requirements, sporting heated/cooled seats & turbo boosters, and making people stop on the street to take pictures they can post on Instagram with the hashtag #LifeGoals. No one takes a picture of a mass-produced car. The website development world is once again offering the Model T, and its Enzo Ferrari is rolling in his grave.
A website can be just a billboard, sure. You can list your phone number and email address so people can contact you, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Best $300 you ever spent!
Or you could hire an administrative assistant that catalogs visitors and reaches out to them on your behalf to increase outreach; you could hire a salesperson to show your visitors exactly what they need to push them to buy, increasing sales; you could hire a data scientist to translate information across your other digital platforms to increase productivity; or…
Or you can build a custom site that does all of those things for you, catering to your potential customers and simplifying life for your employees & coworkers on the administrative side to reduce costs and drive up revenues. While it won’t cost $300, it certainly is cheaper than hiring multiple employees to do the same work, plus, a website comes fully trained, immediately ready to take action and is infinitely adaptable to handle your growth and evolution. A website can, and therefore should be designed to improve your business.
It all boils down to this: you are not a commodity, but a website that actually is one won’t help prove that to the world. You are unique. You are custom. You have needs that no other businesses have, because your strategies and approaches are different, all specific to you and your niche. I don’t need to tell you how big the internet is, or how important it is to be on it – that’s a foregone conclusion – what I need to convey is that what people see and interact with matters, and the ways a website can be used to augment your business cannot be ignored. A $300 out-of-the-box templated website on Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress simply will not do you justice.
So, what SHOULD a website cost? That’s a question we get all the time, and one I’m sure Google does too (that’s probably how you got to this article in the first place). I’ll tell you a secret though…that’s not the right question. That’s that expense mindset of “what do I have to give up?” It’s time to take the asset approach and start thinking “what can I gain, and how can I use it to grow my business?”
So…what’s your business worth to you?
We build custom WordPress websites that are designed with only you in mind, and actually care that you get exactly what you want. Let’s chat today about taking your business to a new level.