Why is website design so expensive?


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We hear this from time to time when people say things like websites are overrated, they don’t give any return on investment, it doesn’t really matter, etc.

When the truth is some of the statements are true.

It really just depends on the business, the marketing strategy and the other areas of the business and how they interrelate.

If a business has a terrible product, a great website won’t fix that problem.

If a web designer makes an awesome website and marketing campaign with great leads, but the sales team is not skilled in closing, then it’s ineffective.

The ROI is really found when a holistic approach is taken on the front end to look at every area of the business.

With all that being said, let’s jump into it.

Website design can often feel like an expensive investment, especially for small businesses and startups. It’s a common question: “Why is website design so expensive?” To answer that, we need to delve into what goes into creating a website, why it’s costly to maintain, and why some businesses are willing to make this investment.

What are the costs of a website?

The cost of a website can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include the complexity of the design, the functionality needed, the number of pages, and whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself.

Designing a website isn’t just about making it look good. It needs to be user-friendly, mobile-responsive, SEO-optimized, and able to meet the specific needs of your business. All these aspects require time, expertise, and resources, which adds up to the overall cost.

Why is a website so costly to maintain?

Maintaining a website isn’t just about paying for the domain and hosting. It involves regular updates to keep it secure, fresh, and relevant. There’s also the cost of technical support to fix any issues that may arise. Plus, you’ll need to regularly update content and optimize your site for search engines – tasks that require time and expertise.

Why do businesses invest in a website?

In today’s digital age, having a website is as crucial as having a physical storefront. It’s your online presence that helps customers find you, learn more about you, and ideally, do business with you.

Moreover, a well-designed and maintained website adds credibility to your business. It shows potential customers that you’re professional, reliable, and up-to-date. It’s a platform where you can showcase your products or services, share customer testimonials, and engage with your audience.

Not only that, but some business run business automation processes through their site. These could include things like lead gen, CRM integration, email newsletter integration, capturing data for social media retargeting, etc.

Also, ecommerce sites may find they need custom integrations and solutions to speed up their workflows and improve the customer experience.

Really for some businesses the website is an essential marketing channel, and it may even be an essential sales and IT channel.

However other businesses may have different existing channels for generating leads and closing them, as well optimizing their business processes.

What is the ROI of a website?

While the upfront costs may seem high, the return on investment (ROI) can be substantial. A well-designed and optimized website can attract a steady stream of traffic, generate leads, and convert visitors into customers. Over time, these benefits can significantly outweigh the initial and ongoing costs.

However, it’s essential to remember that ROI isn’t just about monetary returns. A website also offers non-tangible returns like increased brand awareness, improved reputation, and better customer relationships.

Alex Hormozi talks about the 4 elements of leverage. They are: code. content, capital and collaboration. Each of these 4 elements can be used as leverage get better outputs.

When you think about a website, it starts somewhere in the code and content areas.

If it is invested in and grows, it could become a piece of SAAS software, which would have great leverage. Also, if content is invested in on the site then over time that content creates greater leverage. Another example is the site could become an online community for collaboration.

Think about Facebook, which is a website, it has code, content, collaboration, and it also has capital behind it.

So I think it’s a blanket statement with some truth to say that you get out of your website what you put into it.

If you add content to your website every day for 5 years, you will probably have something to leverage.

How do I know if I should invest in a website for my business?

If you’re still wondering whether to invest in a website, consider this: your competitors probably already have one. Without a website, you’re missing out on a vast online market. But then again, you may have a system of leverage that’s already working great for you without a website.

Ask yourself these questions: Do I want to reach a wider audience? Do I want to provide my customers with an easy way to access my products or services? Do I want to build credibility and trust with my customers? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then investing in a website could be a wise decision.

On the flip side, also think about what if I took the money I would invest in a website and I continued to invest it in my current lead generation strategy? The answer may become more clear as a business scales and the investment into a website is smaller and smaller expense.

In 2023, 29% of small businesses do not have a website.

However notice there is a key word in that sentence, and it’s “small”.

Medium and large sized businesses all have websites.

So as a small business owner, it’s important to make the call of whether you should continue to use your current methods for marketing or expand into the website realm.

One additional thing to think about a website is that there are different uses of a website.

Uses of Websites

Some of the uses of websites are:

  • digital flyer
  • content marketing
  • ecommerce
  • lead gen
  • business automation

Just starting out, most people will use their site as a digital flyer. It won’t pull in traffic on it’s own unless there is a strategy to get people there.

Content marketing, ecommerce, and the other types all take investment to create and maintain. So one thing to think about is maybe I should think about my website in terms of steps.

For example: I want to start at the digital flyer level, and then step up in the future to lead gen.

That way your web designer can design with the end in mind, even though you’re just starting out at the lower level.

In conclusion, while website design might seem expensive, it’s an investment that can offer substantial returns. The costs are associated with the expertise, time, and resources needed to create and maintain a high-quality, effective website. The benefits, however, can be immense – from reaching a wider audience to building trust and credibility, and ultimately, increasing your bottom line.

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