Cheap Website Design Will Cost You More Than You Think!

by | Sep 27, 2021

Why should you spend time and money on a quality website design?

A cheap website design company may sound like the perfect solution to all your business needs, but there is more than one reason why it could actually do more harm than good for you.

In this article, we will cover reasons why cheap website design companies may be ‘too good to be true’ when looking to get a website built.

What is cheap website design?

Let’s focus quickly on what cheap actually means!

The cost and affordability of anything are relative to what you can afford or are willing to spend.

On one end you have way overpriced, then the middle ground, which is reasonable, then at the other end super cheap.

The point I’m trying to make is it is difficult to understand what cheap actually is as depending on your project, what you can afford and what you need.

A good rule would be like any investment you make is to do your homework, get a few quotes and compare them and then decide.

Example of how to spot a cheap website design company

You create a web design brief of what you want and you ask five agencies to quote you.

Three come back with a website design quote of around £3000

One comes back at £8000

One comes back at £600

From this, you would be able to see that roughly you would expect to pay around the £3500 price range which seems fair based on a rough average.

Why is the £600 quote so low?

Either something is amiss or that company doesn’t understand what you need.

Before we look at why the cheapest web companies may not be the best idea, we’ll look at why you may be considering hiring one.

3 Main reasons to choose a cheap website design agency

1 – You have never had a website and don’t consider it important

Some small business owners don’t consider websites to be an effective conversion tool.

So, they are reluctant to spend much money on it and often select a cheap website design for their company without considering the benefits that come with having such a site.

In reality though – even if your entire sales are done through footfall in your shop or through ordering by telephone or at events, you’re missing a trick!

A website today, regardless of how you’ve always done business is not something you should sideline.

If your goal is maintaining or increasing sales then a website is an absolute must, as your old customers drop off (which they will over time), younger consumers will take their place.

These people have grown up with the internet, they grab their smartphones at the drop of a hat to find businesses and services online.

Without a website, you will struggle to be found.

2 – You don’t want to invest much in your website

You might be looking for cheap website design, but it may lack the quality you need and one that your customers will respond to.

You could feel that cheap is better than nothing.

So instead of considering how much quality really matters when searching for an affordable web design company you opt for the cheapest, as “that will do”.

Remember that a website is there to help promote products and services online.

Many people in this situation go with something cheaper and more generic just so they don’t lose any sleep, they now have a website, whether what they have will benefit them long term is another matter.

3 – You spoke to a cheap website design company and they sound ‘alright’

Have you found a web design company that promises to deliver a quality website at an affordable price?

These agencies are everywhere, and many may believe they’re the best in their field.

However, there may be one problem: these low-cost services often provide customers with websites of lower quality than what was promised or expected–in some cases even worse than competitors’ offerings!

Remember there are a few things to consider when building a site and they are

  • Research of market, audience and competitors
  • Planning
  • Experience of the web design company
  • Creating the content
  • Design and build
  • Coding
  • Testing

Why does this matter?

We’ll in essence most of the above takes time and work.

If you find a company that can turn you a ten-page website around for next to nothing as an example, ask yourself “how is this possible with what they are charging?”.

The answer probably is, they will knock it out fast and cheap, probably copying another website, without much thought going into your website.

The time to invest in your company’s website is now.

We know that getting a new site at an affordable price is always a must, but before you decide anything read this article so we can help guide you through how important it really is for choosing the right web design companies based on results and not just how cheap they are!

How can a web design company do it so cheap?

Web design like any other industry is competitive, a customer has lots of choices of who to choose and that’s a great thing!

But like other industries, web agencies will have to compete with other businesses in their sector to win work.

They have to be competitive in terms of the quotes they produce and the prices they charge.

So how come, you have a quote that is way below other agencies, what could be the reasons? 

1 – Your site maybe template driven

There are a lot of cheap websites out there that look exactly the same.

Templates can be good for beginners, but if you want your website to stand out from other sites in your niche – like an organic food store or maybe even one related specifically to health products- then using prebuilt templates isn’t going cut it!

The bland designs and lack of creativity may make people think twice after visiting yours.  

This goes back to what we mentioned earlier, a template can speed up the work a web designer does as most of it comes ‘out of the box’ – swapping text and a few images here and there.

Remember though, this approach screams that minimal effort is going into your website, which is what you would probably expect if you pay next to nothing! 

2 – The people building your site may not be the people you think

Some cheap agencies that are based in your country may outsource the work abroad where web design services can cost much less.

Which on the surface isn’t a problem.

However, there are a few issues that may complicate this such as language barriers, timeframes, response times and what they design.

Now, this isn’t true in all cases but some overseas web design companies and their staff obviously live in a different environment to you.

They are exposed to different things such as TV, music, culture and media which can impact how your website looks and feels.

3 – The future of your business or site hasn’t been considered                   

A quality website isn’t just for now, it’s for tomorrow and years to come.

You need a site that can grow with your business, not get in its way!

Some cheaply designed sites can be limited and don’t offer the customisation options necessary to support future growth.

The internet has made our lives easier – but one thing we didn’t account for was how quickly things change online too. New technology advances, customer buying habits change and everything evolves.

All these factors mean maintaining an effective digital presence requires your website to be ready to adapt to these changes.

Cutting corners, in the beginning, can hurt later on. 

4 – ‘Stack it high, sell it cheap’ mentality                                 

What we mean by this is, the cheap website design company will have a business model to get your website done and dusted as quickly as possible. In and out.

This may mean that support after the website launch isn’t that great.

They don’t have time to deal with you a lot as they will be working on their next project.

After a website is built and handed over to you, there will still be many issues to deal with, so you need to ensure you have the support that is quick and easy to access.

I don’t know about anyone else -but personally, I’m not keen on having this sort of short term relationship where my needs aren’t taken care of immediately.

5 – Web design best practices aren’t stuck too

In the world of web design, many things can happen behind the scenes that could make a huge difference in how your website operates.

Low-cost companies often neglect these small yet crucial details and best practices so you get a cheaply made product without proper care or attention paid to its functionality. 

6 – It may not be as cheap as you think, read the small print

Over many years we have seen a growing trend with many web designers.

They will start with an initial low-cost quote which includes additional monthly fees once the site is online.

Many customers will look at the initial design cost and assume that because it’s low, the monthly/yearly costs may be the same and offer real value for money.

You may even be tied into an ongoing minimum term contract.

Let’s use an example!

You are offered a website with all the bells and whistles for £500, with a £60 a month maintenance cost, which is fair.

It includes one-year free hosting, domain name and SSL certificate. Sounds great!

The website launches and you have paid £500!

By the end of that year, you will have paid an extra £720 for maintenance.

The following year depending on what they charge you will probably have to cough up for hosting which will be monthly, domain renewal and SSL. Let’s say this works out at £200 in total per year.

So that £500 original website, at the end of two years will actually cost you:

  • £500 original build
  • £1440 maintenance (£720 yearly)
  • £200 extras (hosting, domain and SSL) yearly

Total cost over two years £2140

Ask yourself a few questions and look at the small print:

  • Who owns the domain name?
  • If you want to move the website elsewhere, can you?
  • What happens if you cancel, can you take the website?
  • Are you tied in?
  • Are there any release fees?

The above is the typical case of ‘all that glitters, may not be gold’.

Many web design companies base their costs on this methodology, create interest by low initial costs and charge monthly which over 5 years will be a tidy sum.

The last thing to mention is you will have ongoing costs with a website, which is inevitable but do your homework before signing on the bottom line.

So, what’re the real issues of cheap website design?

There are a lot of cheap web design services out there, but not all of them will be right for your business.

Here are some things that you should consider before choosing one:

1 – Badly designed websites will cost you customers

A website is more than just a pretty face, it must be well designed and user-friendly.

Potential customers won’t convert unless the experience they have with your site feels personalised or as if you’re trying really hard on behalf of them

So make sure that both UX (user experience) & SEO work together for optimal success!

2 – Your website may be bland and not unique

So, you want to build a site, but all the templates look too similar.

Websites should be unique and tailored for your company’s brand image instead of being just another generic web page with no individual flair.

Cheap designers can lack creativity because they’re not invested in their work enough and they need to work on quantity not quality.

3 – Performance and future-proofing is neglected  

Cheaper websites may not be optimised for performance and as a result, suffer from poor code structure.

As time progresses, you’ll find it difficult to add new features or improve on existing ones because of this bloaty coding that’s been included in your site with patched up codes.

Ultimately leading to expensive costs down the line!

4 – On going support

The cheap web design companies may not feel any responsibility to help you with the problems that could arise from your website.

This is because their service was so low-cost, they didn’t have much invested in it themselves!

You may be left on your own when something goes wrong and all of these “cheapies” provide such poor after-sales care.

What is the true cost of cheap website design?

Websites are the new storefronts for your business.

It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true: maintaining a bad quality website that was built cheap can really cause more trouble than you might imagine.

It often leads to frustration when visitors encounter problems on their devices or if pages don’t load as quickly in different browsers (which is also bad news since this will make them leave!).

You’ve probably come across these sites before.

Ones with images broken of text being off the screens when viewed via mobile phones; worse yet they might be using substandard codes making everything look broken no matter what type of browser someone tries viewing through!

You might not think it costs a lot more in the long run to fix these flaws, but without quality customer support you’ll never be able to get it sorted.

You will end up going to a new developer to sort issues again which will cost you.

It may be more than what you originally paid as they will have to learn the system and unpick and fix issues.

Do affordable and quality website design companies exist?

Of course, they do!

A web design company that understands your business can tell you exactly what type of website you will need and how much money is required.

Investing in the right kind of site should always be a no-brainer for any entrepreneur or small business owner with ambitions on the internet.

If they’re smart enough to invest time into building their brand then surely these people know better than anyone else just how important having an online presence truly is nowadays!

Finding the right web design company for you can be hard.

You need one that will work within your budget and provide what’s necessary without compromising on quality or service!

A reputable agency won’t keep charging for extras that aren’t needed on your website, nor promise they’ll have a low price regardless of requirements.

How to know you’re picking the right company?

1 – If it sounds too cheap, then it probably is.

Make sure they provide you with an itemised quote. If they are too quick to give you a quote over the phone after you have supplied hardly any details, run for the hills.

2 – Talk to the agency.

If they listen and understand what you’re trying to achieve and offer insightful and great ideas that may challenge you then that’s a good thing. They have probably been doing it for years and know a lot. If you speak to an agency and all they keep saying is “yes” to every request, they aren’t focused on the project and goal and just making you happy.

3 – Check out their online portfolio and reviews.

I would even be as bold as to say pick up the phone and call some of their customers. They would have dealt with the web company before and should give honest feedback.

4 – Stay away from companies that give an exact fixed cost.

E.g a 10-page eCommerce site for £399. How can they give this figure as they know nothing about the project, customers or ultimately what you’re looking to achieve?

5 – Avoid companies that focus totally on low cost as part of their marketing.

Offering free things like hosting, logo design, content creation or SEO. All these take time, time is money and if that’s what they are offering they are going to complete super quick or use regurgitated elements from other peoples websites.


A cheap web design company may cost you less at the start, but a poorly designed website will eventually end up being more expensive.

There’s also a chance that your conversion rates won’t be as high due to users having bad experiences with these products and this can devalue any brand associated with them even further!

Great agencies are out there, waiting to help you.

They don’t cost the earth and will look more realistically at your project and the time it would take to produce.

Get estimates from a few, talk to them, we aren’t a scary bunch, most of us have a passion for all things web and would be willing to help even if it’s just free advice.


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