If you’re thinking of getting a website built, you might be tempted to save money and buy a cheap website for several hundred dollars. But once you have that website for a while, you’ll probably see the flaw in that plan.

Companies that build cheap websites take some serious shortcuts that you should be aware of first. What costs you a few hundred dollars in the short term could cost you a lot more later.

They’re built from a template

Almost every cheap website is pre-built from a template. Some templates have bad code, slow speeds and outdated plugins, all of which Google deprioritises in search results.

Even good quality templates may not be right for your business or customers. If you do request extra functionality, it has to be tacked on somehow and will never really work correctly.

Cheap websites built overseas

Cheap websites are often built overseas because Australian companies outsource the work to inexpensive and lower-skilled companies. This often creates problems during development, including language barriers, miscommunication and time zone issues. These all result in delays, frustration and too much back and forth.

They have security issues

Many cheap websites use plugins and themes that developers have obtained from questionable sources. As well as not working correctly, they can create security issues. When these elements aren’t updated, hackers can more easily hack your website.

Overall, cheap website builders tend to do the bare minimum with security. As security features like firewalls take time to create, developers focus on the obvious problems – leaving you to deal with other issues when they arise later.

They’re not optimised for search engines

Just because you create a website, doesn’t mean anyone will find it. A website must be developed with organic search in mind from the start. Unfortunately, cheap websites aren’t effective when it comes to organic searching because the behind-the-scenes work hasn’t been done. And you won’t know that until it’s too late.

They don’t meet accessibility standards

Most cheap website builders either don’t know about international web standards or don’t bring it up because it takes time to build a website to these standards. But making your website accessible to everyone regardless of disability is becoming an expectation.

Government agencies and big brands like Coles have been sued for discriminating against people with a disability who have been unable to use the site. This will probably become a bigger issue in the next decade.

What you really need

A website must be built for your brand, your needs and your customer’s needs. It needs a clean and logical internal structure, flexibility to grow with your business, and secure plugins and elements.

It also needs a talented team to pull it together – developers, designer, content writers, photographers, and videographers. You need that team to be there for your website over time. Cheap, inexperienced developers often fail in business and will be long gone in the future
when you need them.

A cheap website could be the most expensive purchase you make in your business. When you factor in the potential loss of sales and opportunities, cheap is a false economy.

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