Are cheap websites cheap?

Cheap Websites – Canned vs Quality

Craigslist if full of dirt cheap websites, websites anywhere from $99-$299, and they all promise a great turnaround time. These type of websites are termed “Canned” websites, as in ready right out of the can. But are they worthwhile and will they work for you? After all, getting the best deal on a website can help with other costs when starting or running a business.

Let me give you a little more information about canned websites and then we can draw some conclusions. Canned websites or template themes are available at places like Elegant Themes or Themeforest. Some times the person advertising them with ask for the basics like your logo, images, and text; and put it all together for you into the template theme. Other times, they simply sell the theme by itself.

If you know how to install WordPress hosting on your server, then installing a theme is a pretty simple process. Most WordPress themes have fairly basic options, such as the ability to upload a logo, and choose your theme color. Other advanced options might include setting up menus and maybe an image slider. From there, all you need to do is write your content and publish the pages to your site. And if everything goes according to plan, you can have a canned website up and running in a few days.

All good right? Well there are several other considerations to take into account.

  • How important is a unique website to you?
  • Are you technically minded or do issues with your computer make you have to get a new one, because the last “technical issue” you had resulted in it being thrown the stairs?
  • Is the lowest priced website your main motivation?
  • Do you need additional functionality like a shopping cart?
If you answered, No, Yes/No, Yes, and No – Then I suggest getting an el cheapo canned theme website. But I want you to consider the following train of thought first.  To succeed in business, you have to invest in your business. You have to invest in your image, in your products and services, and your public relations. We call that your Brand. Your brand represents everything good and bad about your business’s reputation.
 The flip side is a cautious balance. You dont spend money and time where you dont have to. Its not important that you buy name brand everything for your business, and some things dont have to be the highest quality. Its your call to invest in your business where it can make the most influence.
Now lets talk about the bad side of canned websites. Canned websites are built like modular homes; every piece fits together with everything else, and that means limitations. Just a few of the limitations are:
  • Learning how to use the Canned theme so that your theme looks like their demo theme can take weeks.
  • Your new website may not do everything you want it to do, and there is no way to change that.
  • Your Website will look very similar to someone else’s.
  • Some WordPress plugins just wont work with your theme.
  • You may still get frustrated and throw your computer down the stairs.
Your brand is the most important thing about your business, its how potential clients perceive your honesty, stability, and quality. Is your website the place where you have decided to cut costs? Bad Idea. A competent web designer will actually save you money. In addition to having experience in designing websites, your web designer can make it search engine friendly, create a flowing and unique website that blends with your brand. In addition, Your web designer does it all from the site setup to transfer until the website goes live. Any issues with WordPress plugins or addons, are taken care of. Just the money you save from not having to replace the computer you threw down the stairs will make it worthwhile.
The result of hiring a professional web designer instead of the do it yourself canned websites, is simple. You get to focus at what you’re good at, and you get to let your web designer put your website together to work for you. It has always been my opinion that you get what you pay for. If you believe in paying for quality, trading value for value, hiring a professional web designer is the best move you can make for your business and your brand.




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