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In this day and age, when everything out there is “affordable”, how can web design be an exception? It is not – in fact, “affordability” is something that unites the companies that are into website design – they all claim to offer services that don’t burn a hole in your pocket. Interesting, isn’t it? Well, guess what, if anything, it’s ironical. Why, you may ask. Come on, how can every company offer services that don’t cost you much? Okay, they may, but can they maintain the same level of quality? More importantly, can they conform to the standards and still ask for low prices? Not always!

Let’s find out what price you might have to pay for an “affordable web design”, and if it’s a heavy one; fingers crossed:

A Design that’s (Not) For Everyone

There are companies that know it all. And then there are companies that don’t even know mobile phones have already made their way into the (end) users’ lives. Let’s call them “naïve” for now.

2 1 Well, these naïve companies do give you what they call a sophisticated design, but minus the optimal viewing experience that you virtually crave for. On a serious note, they seldom offer a responsive web design. How convenient. If you have a visitor base that comprises several smartphone or tablet users, you may have to invest in another site – one that’s for them.

 

A Design That’s Biased

A site’s home page is probably the first thing that a web designer conceives, agreed and accepted. And for that matter, it’s obvious for them to be a little, umm, let’s say fond of it. But (be ready for a million dollar question) can they be biased towards it? You know the answer, but they don’t – as soon as the word “affordability” comes into the picture, they take the “first impression is the last impression” thing way too seriously and assume that the users won’t look beyond the home page.

2 2 You know what’s the worst part of it all? They don’t do it out of their love for the first page, but to save time, money and effort.  Call them smart, if you may, but smartness comes for a price, and in this case, you pay it – yes, you, whose design is at stake!

 

A Design that’s (Just) Okay

2 Quiz Time

Wait, did you just say quality? Isn’t it funny that you know it but many of the website design companies don’t? Or maybe they do; maybe they don’t give two hoots. Whatever it is, they often let quality go for a toss in the name of affordability. Meaning,

  • ·         The design may not have the correct page layout
  • ·         The standards may not be adhered to
  • ·         User-friendliness may be missing from the scene

Come to think of it, any such design is virtually unusable. Talk of affordability, huh?

A Design that’s From the Stone Age

Some companies just don’t let go of the past. They are still in the 80’s, or 90’s may be, who knows. Interestingly, so are their prices and not to mention, their way of designing a site. Tell them there’s something called social media and they are like, “What? Now what’s that?”

2 3 Simply put, they charge you reasonably, yes (for argument’s sake), but allow you to benefit from the social media boom, no. You get what can be easily referred to as an anti-social (now don’t read between the lines) site, with no social media integration. You save money, but you lose a golden opportunity – the opportunity of reaching out to a far wider audience.

 

A Design that’s (Just) For Chrome

To be honest, it’s all about Google – after all, no matter how good your site is, it can always fall short of the search engine major’s expectations. That being said, there are designers that are so much in awe of Google that they consider Chrome to be the only browser in use.

2 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever happened to Firefox and Internet Explorer! Well, the latter’s hardly used these days, but then, that’s another story. In short, they design a site that’s perfect, when browsed in Chrome, but goes haywire, the moment some other browser comes into the picture. Why, you may wonder. Here’s your answer:

  • Some additional resources may be needed for cross-browser compatibility
  • A site, when designed for a single browser, may take less time to complete
  • Cross-browser scripts may call for a periodic maintenance

Long live affordability!

A Design That’s Ready within 2 Days Flat

Here’s a quick recipe:

2 5

Sounds weird? To you perhaps, but not to companies that design 10 different sites a day. For them, it’s an easy way out, of saving time and money that is. And then they happily pass on the benefit to you – you get an affordable web design. What a rosy picture! Well, here are the thorns:

  • Haste makes waste, remember?
    • Not that a company that takes 2-3 months to design a site would do a good job, not really, but 2 days?
    • Identifying classes and IDs alone may take half a day, just saying.
  • A good design calls for iterative testing – and that, truth be told, may call for a day’s time in total, at least.
    • Companies that promise to deliver the design in 2 or 3 days often miss out on testing, saving valuable resources
    • Lack of proper testing increases the possibility of you having to deal with a bug-laden design
      • You are unlikely to get any kind of bug-fix warranty
      • Even worse, you may be on your own

A Design that’s Incomplete

Frankly, they don’t give you a site that’s half done, but there’s more to website design that meets the eye.

2 6

Take for example SEO; how many web design companies cover the basic techniques of search engine optimisation at no extra cost? Leave alone SEO, do they even work towards Google Analytics integration, making it possible for you to measure the results?
See, it’s simple – you ask for an affordable web design, you get one. Where did SEO and Analytics come from?

2 7

A Design that’s theirs (Not Yours)

Has it ever happened to you that you paid a plumber, were happy that he didn’t charge you much, but had to call him again after, say, 10-15 days?  Let’s take that for a yes. Well, web design companies (yes, the ones with the “affordable” tag) are no different. You may pay less at first, but make no mistake – you are dependent on them – and may have no option but to avail their services again. What if they do not train you; without proper training (usually imparted during the handover process), you can have a hard time updating the site.

As a result, it may seem that the design is yours, but you might not be at the helm of affairs. You pay for losing control over what is rightfully yours.

A Design That Breaks No Rules

2 8

Affordable solutions are seldom tailored to your needs. No one has the time to treat your case differently. That’s how it works. The designers pick up some rulebook and follow it blindly, even if doing so makes your site unusable. For instance, if there are too many links, you have the perfect recipe for disaster. Likewise, if too much information is included, who’s going to read it?

2 9

Ideally, your site should be suitably rewarded for following the rules, but being too fussy about them only ensures one thing – you don’t have a design that stands out or attracts the users.

A Design that’s Truly Affordable

Not every company takes you for a ride. There are some that have reasonably-priced website design services and still don’t get it wrong, if you know what that means. These are the same companies that know what all rules they must stick to, the 10-second rule included, and where they can choose to go a different way in order to meet your individual needs.

To sum up, you can call a design affordable when:

  • You need not pay for SEO and Analytics; at least the basics
  • The design is modern in its approach (hint: social media is taken care of)
  • You get value for money
  • You don’t (necessarily) need a mobile version of your site

Hopefully, when you next see an advertisement that reads “affordable website design in Sydney” or something similar, you’d know if it’s worthwhile.

Affordable Web Design – Is It For Real Or Are The Companies Being Economical With The Truth? is a post from:

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