6 min read
Updated: December 01, 2021

The Hidden Costs of Inexpensive Websites

I'm going to answer a commonly asked question:

Why should I buy a custom website from you for more money when I can find a freelancer or smaller agency to build one for $5,000 or $10,000?

The answer is really simple and the old adage is true: “you get what you pay for.”

The truth is, there are a number of hidden costs associated with inexpensive websites. Think about it this way: a high-performance website (for which I’m going to pay quite a bit more) is ultimately going to be free because it will more than pay for itself. How to find one of the best Web Design Companies for your business?

The way a website pays for itself is through the results it delivers. High-performance websites, which are built by an expert web development agency, generate the right visitors and convert those visitors into leads and opportunities. In the case of eCommerce sites, a high-performance website will convert those visitors into actual closed sales. 

Why does a cheaper website cost you more?

With an inexpensive website under $10,000 there are a number of hidden costs and drawbacks including: 

They do not attract traffic the same way a high-performance website does. 


Because the website architecture is not robust and not structured the same way high-performance websites are. 

Here’s how it typically works.

When building a website, a smaller agency or freelancer will forgo using proper coding and instead use what is called a “visual builder” —  a type of software that allows you to build a website using drag and drop tools. 

Unfortunately the visual builder software automatically compresses every line of code on the website. Here’s why that’s a problem:

When a user visits that website every line of the compressed code (which is every line on the website) has to expand and the website must load according to the platform: mobile, desktop or laptop device. But it loads substantially slower than it does on a properly built website.

How much slower? We’ve seen website upload speeds up to 14 times slower than a properly built website. In fact, we’ve looked up some industry trends that report on average, low quality websites load between 11-14 times slower than high performance sites.

Why does website speed matter?

Custom websites

Now, why does that matter? Because when Google determines where to rank your website in the search results, one of the primary factors that it looks at is the speed with which your website loads on mobile devices.

If your website is slow, the chances of your website ranking highly in search is slim to none.

The other issue with inexpensive websites is typically they are built for the wrong kind of speed. In other words, they are built speedily, but don’t upload speedily!

Often, because they are getting paid so little, the person or agency building an inexpensive website wants to get it done as fast as possible. Often, it is built in a way that, well, it is not user-centric, it just might look decent.

Do you want a website like that? Probably not. 

You want a high-performance website that actually delivers results. To do that, you actually need an intelligently designed website. And what that means is a high-performance agency like ours will start by examining your objectives. You can also look through the list of top web development companies to choose the one that fits your needs best.

For example, let’s say your objective is to double your current leads from 70 to 140 per month. We execute a plan, using hard data and analytics, to deliver that specific result. 

Then we look at how to build a website that attracts a lot more visitors and converts a lot more visitors. So, it’s actually very strategic.

We think about search engine optimization from the start: how to attract people to the website. We think about conversion rate optimization from the start: how to convert more people that come to the website.

All of those things go into the thinking process behind high performance websites and it is why ours take a bit longer to build. They take a lot more expert resources, but at the end of the day, they perform so much better. 

So the bottom line is to invest in your most valuable business tool because these high-performance websites are, actually,  free.

If you need a high-performance website for your business, contact us and we’ll schedule a consultation to discuss all your business needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an average website cost?

The going rate in 2021 for creating a professional small business website is usually between $4,000-$10,000. Still, it may be as much as $20,000 (or more) based on the number of pages on the site and the amount of customization needed.

What does it take to maintain a website?

Website maintenance is known as the process of constantly reviewing your website for issues and errors and keeping it updated and relevant. Do this regularly to keep your website stable, continually increase traffic, and boost your SEO and Google rankings.

Is it worth having a website?

A widespread misconception nowadays is that a social media business profile would suffice. Though social media is beneficial to companies in terms of visibility and promotion, a website is also a must.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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