Are professional websites worth it or not?

Many brands out there have beautiful, professional websites. You really can’t blame them – you can reap the benefits of proper SEO, moving graphics and even selling online by having a properly hosted site! Hold your horses though – this article may make you change your mind.

It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but bear in mind that there are a whole host of reasons as to why you might not need a professional, optimised website right away. It depends entirely on what you want out of your business, so if you’d like to save yourself some money, read this before making any rash decisions!

a website on a computer

Is a professional website needed?

81% of customers do some kind of online research into companies before buying, so you do need some form of online presence. Top Design Firms’ 2021 survey found that 71% of small businesses have a website, and the ones that don’t could be missing out on attracting customers.

Websites provide your customer with 24/7 access to your business, and with extras like chatbots or online support, having a website can really improve your customer-to-business relationship. When we talk about holding fire, we mean the highest quality, all-inclusive websites with all the bells and whistles – these might not be necessary for your business just yet!

coding a website

Why you might be better off without a professional website?

You might want to rush out and get started right away, but you should make sure you’re really ready first. Make all the adjustments you need, and make sure you’re ready before showing yourself off to the world. Check and double-check your company’s branding materials, goals and any other public information again before you even consider a website!

Some brands will purchase the domain in advance and spend their time in the shadows perfecting their website, before debuting when they’re ready. But that’s only if they have designers and coders in-house; crafting an amazing website takes money, experience and time when using professionals. 

It’s best to ask yourself whether you need a professional website right now; it might be best to spend your time and money on other areas first, like hiring staff, organising your departments or establishing your brand so you actually have something to depict on your site. There are many alternatives to a website you could focus on first instead, such as active social media profiles or an informational LinkedIn page.

Building a website that works for you

If you do decide that you absolutely need a website, there are some ways to keep the costs down. Focus on the absolute essentials, with the mindset of evolving as and when you need. Start with the bare bones, like contact information and your logo, to leave a memorable impression.

A brand-new company doesn’t necessarily need an expensive website (if you did have the money for it, anyway…) with all of the associated running costs of hosting, registering a domain, security and maintenance. Beginning slow and small isn’t a bad thing – you’ll be able to scale up in due time.

Although the results can pay for themselves, hiring a website designer can be costly. At first, you may want to consider doing it yourself, using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace. As long as you have the time, effort, knowledge (or capacity to learn) to build a website, this is a good way of making sure your vision is realised. But beware; making your own website can still be hard, even using helpful plugins or how-tos (trust us on this one!). On second thought…

a person looking at a website

Should I get a professional website?

If you’re dead set on it, just know that a professionally-made website can cost you somewhere between £4,000 to £60,000+ upfront (A ‘standard’ price is going to be somewhere between £6,000 and £20,000 with us, for instance – depending on the website’s size and complexity). Be sure you want to make this sacrifice! Will a standard website do, or will the benefits to your company and better customer experience make it worthwhile?

Remember, with such a high price tag, you’re paying for the expertise of a professional, and the resulting product will be bespoke. Your reach will increase, and you may not need a rebrand for a while. One more thing – an eCommerce site will always cost more than a conventional website, so keep that in mind!

A site for sore eyes!

Well, there you have it – everything you need to know about professional versus cheaper websites. Hopefully, we influenced you to make the right decision for your brand, but if you’re still in the market for website design, you should chat to us!