The #1 Myth of Web Design

The common misconception about web design is that a quality web site is going to cost a fortune. This is simply not accurate. While it is true that there are many factors that can increase the cost of a web site, there are affordable options for businesses with a budget.

The driving factors in web site design are the complexity of the coding, copy writing and layout of the site. Its not uncommon for us to run into clients who really don’t know what they want or what they need but understand the need for a web presence.

There are intangibles that anyone wanting a web site must understand. First, you have to have a domain name. Domain names are rented on an annual basis. The cost for a domain name can range from under $10 to about $30 a year if no one else has the domain you want.

The second intangible is hosting. Every web site needs to be hosted. Some large companies host their own web sites, but most businesses will end up paying a hosting service an annual fee to do this for them. This fee can vary from about $100 a year to around $500 and up. The differences are in the services and stability the hosting provider supplies.

One of the first steps in creating the web site is designing the layout. Many companies have a vision of how they’d like to see their site laid out. Others don’t. The process of having the artist draw up the wireframe and graphical layout can be a time consuming process if the artist can’t recreate the vision of the company.

In today’s online world, many companies want to create their web sites partially or entirely in Flash. Flash animation can be an effective and appealing medium for web design, though if done by an amateur, can be a huge disappointment. There are many benefits and downfalls of using Flash on the web. Benefits include added functionality, appeal and potential, while the trade off is the lack of search engine marketability, lack of older browser support, load time on computers accessing the internet via phone line, and of course, cost.

Writing copy for the web is another essential element that so often gets overlooked. The wording of a web site can literally make or break the sale or your credibility. Many companies skimp on this area which should be a top focus. Copy writing, if done by a professional, can raise the effectiveness (and cost) of a web site.

Adding a shopping cart is another major factor. There are plenty of web sites based solely on providing information. Others are trying to sell something. To sell something on the internet, it is necessary to pay for a secure server license and third party credit card processor. It is not uncommon for e-commerce web sites to pay an additional $1500 or more just for these services.

So is it possible to get a web site for under $1,000? If you don’t need bells and whistles, only require a few pages, have your online copy already written and are going to be happy with an artist’s first or second layout representation, then yes, it is. Is this a common avenue, no.

Most businesses have a budget for their online presence.They understand the common cliche “You get what you pay for.” Still, many don’t want to spend over $10,000. Some don’t want to spend over $5,000. Can you still get a great web site without going over your budget? Absolutely.