Cheap Website Design Questions to Ask

When you are looking for an affordable or “cheap” website design remember the old saying, you get what you pay for. Sure you can get a cheap website design, but is the quality going to be what you are looking for?  Your website is your entrance point for many customers you may NEVER meet if they don’t like your website.  If one guy quotes you $20 per hour, another $50 per hour and yet another quotes you $100 per hour would you even know what questions to ask to figure out if you getting more value for the higher quote?  Here are a few questions you should consider asking to avoid making the mistakes we see on a daily basis.

 

1) How long did it take you to build a similar website?

Have a look at the web designer’s portfolio and find some website designs that have similar features and functions and ask them how long it took to build those websites. This should give you an idea of how fast they work. Oh – and if they don’t have a portfolio – RUN.  Seriously.  The average html page usually averages out to around an hour once the design or framework is built. That is, unless there are a lot of intricate graphic design or animated elements flying around or it is an eCommerce site.  But – you are looking for a “cheap” website so those features are pretty much out of play anyway.    Asking this will give you an idea of what ballpark your website quote should be in and it will help you compare the skills of different designers. It also helps you make sure they are honest:  if you ask for a website pretty close to one in their portfolio that took 10 hours and the quote comes back 50 hours then you know something is up.

 

2) Why does this feature take XX hours?

This subject confuses me and I really don’t understand why so many Web designers hate to be questioned on how long it takes to build a particular feature on a website.  Maybe because we quote so much repair work and we regularly break down functions and features so that customers can make informed decisions on what they want.  But, in reality we see most web designers avoiding this question and that’s exactly why you need to ask.  If they can’t explain to you why they quoted you xx hours for a particular service or why a certain item in their portfolio took yy hours, then don’t hire them. They are either trying to rip you off or they don’t really know what they are doing. You will get many different answers and that is ok, because some web designers are just flat out faster and better than others.  You may run into one guy who charges $100 per hour but will have your website done in three hours where the $50 per hour guy may need 10 hours to do the exact same thing. Is that bad? No, but should should be able to make an informed decision.  Don’t make your choice based purely on hourly rates when looking for a cheap website design. Take speed into consideration too. Fast web designers are usually more experienced and charge a little more but the money is usually better spent.  When you get a quote from Tampa PC Web Design, we are almost never the cheapest and we are almost never the most expensive.  But ask any of the customers who we have done repair work for and they will all tell you that we are the best value AND they would have spent less, if they went with us from the start.

 

3) Have you ever built a website like this before?

This is HUGE, with a capital H. Too many clients have called us half built websites, after going with the cheaper guy, and now they need us to finish or fix them because their old web guy got in over his head. This is especially important when shopping for ecommerce website design or a CMS site (Joomla or WordPress).  Side note:All CMS sites and ecommerce websites are subject to being hacked.  Does the quote involve security best practices, does your web design have experience with solving hacks and does he have a firewall solution on his server?  Make sure the web designer you hire has built the type of website you are looking at before. Many web designers like to learn “on your clock”.

They will accept a job that is over their head and try to figure out how to do it while charging you. You can easily avoid this by asking this question.  They should be able to give you a detailed answer.  Sure, we do jobs all the time that we have not done before, but with 17 years of experience, we can give some honest feedback and ideas on how we will go about solving it.  And we research it off the clock.  We learn on OUR time, not yours.  If they can’t give you a confident response then you may want to look elsewhere.

 

4) How long in business and can you meet them at their office?

Ok, so this is somewhat loaded.  We have an unfair advantage because we have an office you can come to.  But we also work out of our homes – because it is convenient and we work VERY strange hours.  It is very common to find me on skype at 3 am because we are moving customers to a different server or replacing part of their ecommerce site.  But, the point here is are you going to be meeting someone who is working in their bedroom or kitchen table, or do they have an actual professional office in their home or in a building to meet.  If their business is not important enough to have a professional work environment, is your website important enough to them?  Are they just starting out?  Hey, we all started somewhere, but you should at least feel that they have some skin the game so that they will be around to service you.  Every year we see more new web designers start off with a bang, and be out of business the next.  Many times with the customers source code, domain name, and hosting credentials.  Pick someone you can trust.  Check references.  Check reviews.  We can provide you with customers we have had for almost 20 years.  Ask for to see their recommendation on linkedin or check out the BBB for complaints.  Getting a website and domain name back can be very costly.

The Long Story Short:

Experience = Speed
Speed = Less Production Time
Less Production Time = Less Billable Hours = Cost Saving

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