The Cost of Good Web Design – Low cost, high contract firms

This is a series of articles about the web design options available and the cost of good web design.

Link to the first article.

Web site companies who will build your web site for a low cost up front and charge but require a contract term for monthly hosting and support at a considerably higher price monthly rate than normal.

Here’s a solution that sounds good, and it can be, for the right situation. If you are in need of a web site or a simple brochure site that you are not planning on changing or updating very much and you would rather put out as little as possible up front (usually $100 to $300 to get started) then make larger monthly payments for hosting and possibly some updates later as you need them but not often (usually $200 to $300 per month for up to 3 years), then this approach might be a solution for you.

Firms that offer this type of solution are operating at a volume and usually specialize in a particular industry such as chiropractors or plastic surgeons. Just remember that like most everything, you are going to get what you pay for. Don’t expect lots of attention during your project. Their goal will be to complete you website fast without asking for a lot of content (Images and text) from you. They will most likely use a template and then dress it out with stock images and content they have on file and alter slightly for each new site they build.

This is where you need to watch out. Ask this solution provider to show you examples of their work. And I don’t mean 1 or 2 examples. Ask for 15 to 20 sites. Assure they have many designs that they use so there is little chance there is another site out there that will look just like yours.

Also look through their examples for duplicate text content. In their rush to build out your site, these firms often reuse text content over and over. This is really bad but we’ve seen it first hand a number of times. In the end you can have a site built with a small investment up front. Just don’t expect it to be highly original or unique. And be prepared to keep it for a few years unless you pay the penalty to get out of your agreement.