Cheap website? What are the risks?
If you are reading these lines, it is very likely that they have already been offered to build your website for $200 or $300.
And no, we will not try to convince you not to resort to such cheap or “free” services. This is entirely your decision.
On this page, we will only share what is most often hidden behind such “offers”. The decision of whether to take advantage of them will always remain yours.
Where is the problem with the cheap website?
Of course, there is nothing wrong with getting a low-cost or even a free website, especially if it fulfills its main task – to sell your goods or services. The real problem, however, is that this happens quite rarely. Well, to be honest, almost never.
Let us, first of all, share the following:
An average of 380 new sites are created every minute around the world!
That makes over 500 thousand new sites, every day!
Let me then ask you: do you really think that with a website made in a couple of hours, for which you paid one or two hundred dollars, you will cope with this fierce competition?
The pitfalls when ordering a cheap site are really many, but in the end, you will most likely lose not only your money, but your time, and you can even harm your business.
What are the most common red flags (danger signals)?
As we already wrote above, there are many hidden traps with “cheap” or “free” sites (and they are increasing every day), but here we will try to describe at least the most typical traps and red flags to watch out for.
We hope we will help …
We also make websites … in passing …
Recently, we come across corner shops, on the show windows of which you can read messages such as “Computer repairs, websites development”. Very often computer repair companies offer their services, along with web design …
Here, it makes sense for the ordinary citizen, since he may say “Well, the guys are obviously keen on computers, and the sites were also connected to computers, right?” …
Well … wrong! The truth is, that there is no overlap between the knowledge and skills needed to repair computers and the ones needed to build websites. It is also unlikely (rather impossible) for a person to be a good professional in both fields.
It’s great if the person who tiles your bathroom can also play the piano, but if you need a pianist, you better get a pianist.
The absolute minimum
If you got an offer for a website in a $200 to $500 price range, you can be sure that the person who built a site for such an amount will have invested in your site the absolute minimum … and nothing more.
What does that mean?
It means that most likely the most basic rules of professional web design will not be observed in what looks like a site, the site will probably not be even basically optimized, and even the minimum measures for its security will most probably not be taken.
In this way, your site will become a part of the hundreds of thousands of sites that just sit on the Internet and no one visits, or the visitors who happen to come across it just click away and forget about it.
Lack of portfolio…
As we have written in other places on our site, on the Internet it is very easy to lie. It is easy to write that you are an “experienced web designer with hundreds of built sites” on the very first site you make in your life.
There are many tens, and probably hundreds, of young people who have just finished their education and decided to make a living in web design. This sounds as tempting as it is easily achievable. And in general, there is nothing wrong with that!
Such people put in a few days of work to make something resembling a website and start offering their “highly qualified web design services”.
Of course, most of them soon realize that things are not so simple, so they give up, but if you come across them in the meanwhile, it is very likely that they will be learning on your own website.
A typical “red signal” for such “professionals” is the lack of a portfolio. Always pay close attention to the portfolio on the web designer sites you visit.
Even when there is a portfolio, check that the sites described in it actually exist, work, and are linked to. Some put in their “portfolio” just any websites with which they actually have nothing to do, or simply pictures of sites that do not even exist.
Free Domain / Hosting…
This is also a fairly common “cheap trick”.
Low-cost “web design packages” are available, in which, in addition to building the site, a “free domain” is also included. A lot of people get caught up in the word “free” (who doesn’t like free stuff?) and think they’re winning.
However, they’re usually wrong. The “free” domain often turns out to be owned by the person or company who registered it and paid for it! And that’s usually not you.
At some point, you may find out that the domain that is supposedly “free” for you, after all, is simply not yours, and therefore the site in that domain you just got “for free” does not really belong to you …
Most of the “offers” for free hosting are similar. Although it has long been known that there is no such thing as a “free lunch”, some people take the bait and get a site over which they have no control, and in order to get that control, they have to … pay.
The consequences of such situations can be different, but in any case – unpleasant.
So, in general, avoid the word “free”…
We don’t need to remind you that there is no such thing as a free lunch, do we?
So, let’s remind you that if you come across the word “free” in any offer, this is a clear signal of danger.
Of course, I’m not talking about the “free consultations” whose goal, quite naturally, is to get you on board as customers.
We’re talking about “free” services here, which quite obviously can’t be free if they really have any value.
For example, the “free maintenance” or even “free optimization” of the site that is common in many of our offers, which requires a lot of time and experience, and quite naturally cannot be free. You will have to pay one way or another.
And although in most cases it is clearly about services simply included in the basic price, the very fact of insisting that the service is “free” speaks of a form of manipulation, behind which there are often not very sane intentions.
Therefore, always be careful when you read that you are offered something “for free”. Such an obvious lie may seem harmless to you, but when you have been lied to once, the second and third time it becomes easier …
Own, “unique” or proprietary CMS …
Let’s first explain that CMS stands for Content Management System and represents the software platform on which most sites are built.
Some of the most common such systems (such as WordPress and Joomla!) are proven, well-known, and well-documented, and a site built with them can be maintained and developed by any competent web professional on the planet.
However, some companies will offer to build your site on their own, proprietary, and “unique” system that (usually) offers much more than the common platforms.
Here we will not consider the probability of whether one person or even a team, could make in a year or two a better system than one that has built its authority over decades (like WordPress, for example).
We will only share the fact that if you allow your site to be built with such a “unique” and “proprietary” CMS system, you are most likely committing yourself “for life” to rely solely on the services of the people who built this system. Whether this is in your interest, you will decide for yourself.