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Why is Website Design So Expensive?

by | Blog, Business, Web Design

Yesterday I came across a hilarious post inside of a mentoring community I am in.

Mind you, the community is also a place for intramural dialogue—which includes the occasional war story.

So a colleague of mine shared an anonymous interaction he’d had with a client a long time ago. Admittedly, I found it funny, but also so true.

Most people don’t understand what all is involved when it comes to creating a new website. Companies like Wix and Squarespace have not made it any easier on us web designers.

While most businesses need a website that is more advanced than what those platforms allow, they have set the bar of understanding low for the costs associated with a project—especially if the customer has no prior experience having a website professionally designed and developed.

I could give you 5 bullet points right now and, I think, argue convincingly for why website design can be really expensive. Instead, I am just going to share the highlights from the interaction I mentioned above and let you decide for yourself.

In short, a customer wanted a 10-page simple WordPress website for his business. My colleague quoted the price ($$$$), but his customer was shocked! “Why is it SO expensive?” he asked.

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Come to find out, this customer was under the impression that the 10-page WordPress website would cost UNDER $100!!!

So my colleague adapted and agreed to teach the client what he needed to know using YouTube videos, etc., for the $100. The client agreed—until he found out the additional expenses needed just to get started:

  • A Premium Theme ($$$)
  • Some Premium Plugins ($$$)
  • Some Automation Plugins etc ($$$)
  • Hire Someone for Hosting Management ($$$)

These are all things that most website designers build into their pricing—indeed, with the exception of some premium plugins, each of these are included in The Website Membership we offer for no extra charge.

Of course, the customer did not have these things! He quickly found out that for his needs, he required more than he realized, because he didn’t have the background knowledge necessary.

As my colleague pointed out, when you pay for a website designer, you are actually paying for:

  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Study
  • Tools
  • Services
  • Time away from family
  • Time away from other paying clients
  • Punctuality
  • Accountability
  • Accuracy
  • Guaranteed
  • Sacrifices
  • Safety and security
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That, my friends, is a laundry list.

Don’t get me wrong—both myself and my colleague love what we do. We are not disgruntled for one minute about the work we do or the clients we do it for! I know for a fact that we both make an effort to go above and beyond the call of duty.

But since we take an educational approach to website at NorthMac Services, I feel it is important to educate around expectations, and the above list is a great starting point of expectations a client should have for their website designer.

That level of professionalism comes at a cost, though. It isn’t cheap! So if you want to design a cheap website, those are available. Companies like Wix and Squarespace do a good job at that.

But if you want something backed by the experience of a professional, it may indeed be more expensive than you were prepared for.

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