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The Cost of A Cheap Website

The Cost of A Cheap Website

“The longer the sign on the door screams “struggling young attorney” – the longer the struggle is going to be” – Henry Beckwith – Marketing the Invisible

A long time ago, in the early days of website design, data showed that ANY website, even a bad looking website, was better than no website at all. Those days are over. 

Today, having a cheap website that looks unprofessional, or is obvious it was made from a stock template using stock photos, actually hurts your business. 

Cheap Websites Cost You: 

  • Trust
  • Credibility
  • New Customers
  • Referrals

So although you can sometimes save some money up front, that cheap website will never stop costing you money. Not now, and not in the future. 

People Are Judging You Based on Your Website

Judging Your Credibility 

A poorly designed website instantly reduces your credibility.  

75% of users indicated they judge a company’s credibility just by looking at their website.  

People judge books by their cover.  

If that wasn’t the case, every book would look the same at Barnes and Noble.  

People take one look at your website and instantly begin deciding whether or not they are going to take your seriously.  

Remember what Harry Beckwith said, “The longer the sign on the door indicates “struggling young attorney” – the longer the struggle is going to be.”  

People are deciding in MOMENTS whether you are credible or not, just off of your website.  

Not only that, but all of your competitors are right there on Google next to you.  

If someone can’t take your website seriously, they aren’t going to take you seriously.  

 The Bottom Line 

People make snap judgements about you and your business in less than a second.  

The way they make those judgements is deeply psychological and includes many factors.  

A great deal of Website Design is psychology and understanding human behavior, and making sure we present you in the best possible light, without setting off any psychological triggers.  

Anyone can get on Wix or Weebly and put words in text boxes and images in image blocks.  

But it is an incredible undertaking to make design a website that is modern, easy to navigate, and is current with trends and buyer behavior.  

We have spent our entire adult lives learning consumer psychology and applying it to digital marketing.  

You just can’t do that yourself.  

No Referalls

A Cheap Website Can Cost You Referrals

People won’t refer business to you if you have a bad website.  According to a recent study  57% said they won’t refer others to you if your website isn’t good.  

Why? Because they know that most people will visit a company’s website prior to making any kind of purchase decision, and when their referral sees your website, they are going to question the person who referred them. So you are basically making other people look bad, so they won’t refer customers to you. 

Small businesses in particular live and die by referrals. A professional website helps others feel good about referring people to you. A cheap website makes people not want to refer business to you because you are going to make them look bad. 



People Who View Your Website Negatively Never Come Back

The Cost of Cheap Website Design: Once They Leave – they Don’t Come Back 

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Never was this more true than with website design. A study showed that 88% of people who had a negative experience on a website, never returned. 

A professional website designer will fixate on User Experience UX/UI to ensure visitors enjoy their time on your site.  

They will make sure visitors can find what they are looking for easily.  

Did you know that one of the things people judge you most harshly over is making it hard to find your contact information?  Why do you want to hide your contact information? 

When it comes to websites (and hey, it doesn’t hurt to practice this in person), it is critical that you make a great first impression. Remember, people are going to be judging your website, and judging YOU and YOUR COMPANY based on their first impression. And it their first impression is negative, they won’t come back. 


So what is the cost of a cheap website? In truth, it never stops costing you. 

It will cost you referrals. It will cost you new customers because they will have a negative experience and never come back. It costs you trust. It costs you credibility. 

So when you are thinking about building a cheap website, consider the cost. Professional website design matters – a lot!

And lastly, a bit of wisdom from my father who was a very successful business man. He said to me once, “Tim, when you are cheap, everybody knows it. You can’t hide cheap. It’s important to get value for your money, but whatever you are going to be, don’t be cheap.” 

Those words have stuck with me my entire life. 

Another friend said to me when I was looking at choosing between two triathlon bikes that had very different price tags. My friend said, “Tim, when you get what you want, it only hurts once. Right when you write the check. But when you “almost” get what you want, it never stops hurting. It hurts every time you look at it, and every time you use it. Get the good one. It’ll only hurt once, and you’ll never regret it.” 

Since that time, I have bought a lot of equipment for everything from Mountain Biking to Rock Climbing, and every time I am tempted to get the less expensive thing, I remember my friend’s words, and I go ahead and get the good equipment. 

An expensive website might cost you a little more money up front, or even a lot more money up front, but a cheap website, well, it will NEVER stop costing you money. 

About the Author – Tim VanDerKamp is Co-Owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency in Salt Lake City specializing in Website Design and SEO. 

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