What Does a Website Cost? It's a Matter of Ply
Nicci Francis | Wednesday, December 05, 2012

For most web designers, the first question out of a prospective customer's mouth is, "How much does a website cost?" Often, customers are looking for a quick and easy price quote, but the answer to their question depends on what kind of website--and what kind of service--they want. A budget website may not be the best option for attracting and keeping customers. Just as in a luxury auto, extra features are worth the extra cost. On the other hand, shrewd businesses must keep their budgets and their bottom lines in mind. No one wants to pay more than they have to.

Although the adage claims that "you get what you pay for," savvy shoppers know that this isn't always true.  Sure, you would expect to pay more for a fancy imported sports car with heated seats than you would for a rusty old beater that single-handedly depletes what little is left of the ozone layer. Sometimes, though, there is just no need to pay more. For example, many store brands and generics are made by national name brand leaders. The product is the same, but the cost is not. Do you need to pay more for a recognizable name? Probably not. Yet millions of consumers pay more than they have to for a similar product based on name alone.

I will admit that I am a bit of a miser. I refuse to pay more for something than is absolutely necessary. At the same time, I am not willing to sacrifice quality where it matters.  

Like in toilet paper.

Recently, I was purchasing the necessary papers at a local drug store. I looked for a while at the triple-ply, super-deluxe, extra-soft mega-rolls, and then compared their price with a store brand further down the shelf. The store brand proclaimed itself to be "environmentally friendly," and the package was a fraction of the cost of the Cadillac of toilet paper just a few short rolls away. Pretending to be eco-conscious whilst actually being a tightwad, I purchased the cheaper store brand.

Worst. Mistake. Ever.

Let me tell you what "eco-friendly" means when it comes to toilet paper: one-ply. This budget TP has all the soothing softness of sandpaper, yet was so thin it was practically transparent. Suffice it to say instantly disintegrating toilet paper is less than effective. From now on, when it comes to saving money and saving trees, I'm going to have to work my conscience elsewhere. I'm splurging on the extra ply.

So what does toilet paper have to do with the price of a website? Well, it's a matter of ply. Where are you willing to cut corners, and where are you willing to spend for the features you need?

A budget website will typically lack the features you need to make your online business presence a success. Without quality design, your website will not stand out from your competitors--or if it does, it might stand out for the wrong reasons. Many times, customers visit a business's website before they ever set foot in your bricks-and-mortar location. Your website becomes your virtual storefront; does the quality of your design reflect prime real estate or an abandoned strip mall?

Of course, professional design is only one ply in your website's cost. It doesn't matter how great your website looks if no one ever finds it. Local SEO and rich content to improve Google ranking drive customers to your site. Just as in toilet paper, the second ply is crucial. 

Once a potential customer appears at your online storefront, they will need to be able to enter the site and find the functionality they need. Features such as e-commerce and mobile capabilities are added ply that give your visitors the online experience that converts them into customers. Design, content and SEO, and custom features and capabilities combine for a triple-ply website that is clearly worth more than an ineffective one-ply site that leaves your visitors dissatisfied with the experience.

As we've said before, though, you don't want to pay more than you need to for these features and services. Will your site require continual upgrades billed at your designer's hourly rate, or does it run on an automatically updated closed commercial content management system? Has your designer locked you out of your own site and made you dependent on him to keep the site running, or are you able to access, maintain, and update the website yourself? Is your designer billing you for services and features you don't need, or has your site been custom-created for your business?

Before we provide you with an estimate or price quote for your site, Webdexterous works closely with you to determine your website needs. We want to provide you with a multi-ply website that helps you convert and keep customers. Contact us to find out more about the products and services we provide for our customers. 

Go on . . . give us a squeeze.