What defines a great deal on website design?

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No one wants to pay more for the development of their website than they absolutely have to. There are numerous ads and promotions from website template sellers, DIY website services, and cut-rate “web designers” from all over the globe who claim that they can develop great looking sites at unbelievably low costs. Before you pull out your credit card and sign up for one of these bargain options, do you really know what defines “a great deal” on website design?

There is a big distinction between low cost and great deal…value. Spending as little as possible is only one side of the value equation. What that low cost is actually buying is the other side of the value equation. The investment in a website has to stand the test of value over time. Here are some important considerations before you decide if an unbelievably low cost website development option will maintain its value over time.

Websites have many touch points across a business.

Websites have moved way beyond the online brochure and for most companies they are central to many business functions, particularly marketing and sales. Food marketers need their websites to respond to the needs of their customers/buyers and their ultimate consumers. In today’s business environment, websites have become an integral part of everyday business functions and is “the source” for information globally. The organization of content, graphic aesthetics, functionality, and service interactions need to be well thought out and designed to meet the individual needs of the business. One size never has and never will “fit all” in terms of website development.

Today’s bargain often becomes tomorrow’s expense.

Most often, the “get a great deal on a website” vendors sell you their tools and then literally “push you off the dock” to figure out how to use them to your best advantage. Or, they provide an off-the-shelf template that may or may not really fit your content and functionality needs. With so many options and plug-ins, most businesses need the assistance of an experienced and well-qualified vendor to guide them through the planning process to make sure that all the bases are covered. While, the upfront cost for this level of service is not comparable to “get a great deal on a website” promos, it will be money well spent because going back later to correct oversights and misguided choices will cost more, both in absolute dollars and in having a site that is not meeting your business goals.

Experience really does matter.

Business owners and marketers often make the mistake of assuming that a vendor selling software or a “complete website development solution”, knows how to design a website. There are two phases to website development:  planning and implementation. Before you can build anything, you need to define what you are going to build, you have to have a plan. This is the time to define the features, functions, graphic and copy content, integration with brand identity, and target audiences. This is a creative process. Once there is a plan for the site, it can be implemented/produced. This is why selecting an experienced, well-qualified website design partner will help ensure that the investment you make upfront will continue to achieve your goals in the long run. The cost of developing a website must be measured against its value over time…that’s how to determine if you’re getting “a great deal on a website”.

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