A lot of people wonder why websites are so expensive.
“All I need is a small website to tell people what I sell and let them put in an order online – how come it’s going to cost me this much?!”
Well, here’s a tip to any business looking to get online for the first time or improve its website: The fewer bits of paper between the signing of the contract and delivery of the website, the better!
Now, a lot of people will tell you that all sorts of ‘steps’ are required between these two things, and that each step has to be documented. For large-scale, complicated websites, they’re right – for smaller-scale, simpler websites, they’re just plain wrong. The web industry has been fleecing businesses for years by insisting that all sorts of documentation is required for every project, every client. The thing for clients to remember is that documentation takes time, and time costs you money.
This phenomenon isn’t, of course, unique to the web. We’ve all heard horror stories about rip-off plumbers, electricians, etc. A lot of people assume that the people who build websites are educated, and are therefore trustworthy – well, don’t! The key to choosing a plumber, electrician or web agency is to find someone who is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart. The easiest way to do this is to use personal recommendation as a way to choose your provider. Another is to talk to an agency and find out whether they want to work with you to find the best, cheapest, quickest way to achieve your goals, or are just trying to get as much money from you as possible. Now, of course a web agency should know a little bit more about the web than you – but don’t let that intimidate you.
My top tip would be to find a web agency that is honest and flexible in the way they work – that way, you know you’ll be getting value for money!