More Affordable Isn't Always Better: Here's Why

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Time to read: 6 min, 30 sec

The Internet has allowed businesses to break through geographical barriers and become accessible to virtually any country in the world. Making sure a company’s website is top-notch is a priority for many businesses that care about growth and relevancy. Furthermore, it's a direct reflection of your brand. Bluntly put, a website that is behind on the times makes it's company look behind on the times, almost like they don't care. On the flipside, a new website not only separates a company from it's competition, it directly increases brand clout.

Getting a new website can be exciting. But, should it be a process of gathering bids and working with the lowest one? Not necessarily. It's not a cut and dry situation of "lowest offer wins".

The thing is, you’d never know the difference if you didn’t have a top-flight website to compare to. What do I mean when I say this? I'll answer that with another question. How do you know the best solution to go with when you can only choose one? Well, I'm here to help you look into the crystal ball and see the outcomes of both scenarios. For this, I’ll explain with a couple of examples. 

Scenario 1: Hiring a more affordable option

Your company hires a freelancer or small web shop. The freelancer or small shop stumbles along the project and after a quite a few hiccups has a tangible website. It met the specs, technically, and the company approves and launches. The company is excited because they saved tens of thousands of dollars by using a freelancer.

The company’s sales increase by 1.5 percent and they’ve gained two new clients, which is great since each client is worth $10,000 over two years of service. The company has also had to take some of that profit and pay their developer to make lots of edits and fix a few errors, but in the end, this seems like a good choice. Right? I mean, business increased, here's proof of positive ROI and the barrier of entry was less expensive than using the more expensive option. It's a slam dunk. Right?

Wrong.

Scenario 2: Hiring a more expensive, experienced agency

The company pays an extra $30,000 to hire a firm that is reputable and has a proven track record. Wow, that’s like 3 clients just to make up that difference. Seems like a risk to jump into, but really it’s not. Here’s why:

The reputable web firm performs a well polished, near flawless service (with minimal headaches). During the discovery phase of the project, the web firm uses industry trends and psychology to find out how to get users to convert into sales from the website. They discover users currently convert at a 0.15 percent rate, which is 3 out of every 2,000 users. The company just accepted that as the normal way websites behave. The web firm goes out of it’s way and designs and develops a site that not only drives more business, but it creates that great first impression. By the time to launch comes around, the company can’t wait. The web firm built the site with Google and users in mind, and after launch, it shows.

500-increaseAfter launch, the conversion rate went from 0.15% to 0.75%. For every 2,000 people that visit the site in the next year, 15 of them convert. That’s an improvement of 12 new clients or $120,000 in business. Comparing the two at this point, it is clear, the initial investment for the reputable web firm paid off. But, that’s just the beginning.

Since working with the web firm, there were no “oops” moments as there were with the freelancer. There was no bad code pushed to the live site because the web firm went to great lengths to make sure their code was above standard and error free. Basically, the initial investment brought great peace of mind to the company and allowed them to focus on what they do best. No hassles here.

On top of that, the website was designed much better. Since the website company used psychology, conversion idealism, and industry trends when developing the user experience, instead of the company feeling mediocre after launch, they are excited. The fact that the agency considered load times in the design process. Most importantly, the company's clients now see their brand as something with value and something that has been invested in. This makes them even more likely to make a purchase. Slam dunk!

why is it such a big deal?

A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you are about and why you deserve their trust and confidence. The website in the second example is going to give those results. It will help you tell your company story and show your product or service is the best. This makes your investment completely worthwhile.

So, who really wins?

“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

― John Ruskin (1819-1900) John Ruskin CDV by Elliott  Fry 1867

What is the point of this very long explanation? The new website was needed. That was a given. At first, it seemed okay to go with the cheaper solution. It was a relatively safe bet, even though most of the time they aren’t a safe bet whatsoever. But after peeking into the crystal ball, you can see what the company missed out on by not going with the better agency. The end question isn’t “What does this cost up front,” but rather ”What will it cost me if I don’t go with the best solution”. In this case, it was tens of thousands of dollars, more headaches, and the brand suffering in the long run. 

That is the true value proposition. Looking at "What will it cost to not go with the best solution" is by and far the best way to tackle multiple bids. Don't get me wrong, budgets and pricing matter, but only to a point. At some point, you must think "What is the best solution here? What could we potentially miss out on if we don't go with it?". Once you grasp that, you will be able to select the web agency you need with confidence.

Do you have a project you'd like to talk about? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tell us about your project and I'll connect with you. Otherwise, I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.

Written by Ryan Boog

Ryan Boog

I am the CEO of Happy Dog Web Productions. I look forward to taking web, mobile design and digital marketing to the next level with Happy Dog. Follow Happy Dog at @hdwebpros or me personally at @ryanboog. Are you a fellow Google nut? Add me to your circle.

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