Whilst it is well known that you pay for what you get, can you get a great website for less than $1000? Of course, you can get a website for less than $1000, however, what problems does it come with?
What problems come with budget agencies?
You risk losing customers. Whilst on face value two websites can look the same, there are some key differences. More expensive agencies have greater expertise in UX. In essence, they are experts in getting your customers from landing on your website to hitting that key "contact" or "checkout" button in as little time as possible.
Scalability and performance. To deliver a budget website any non-essential step for the goal is skipped. This includes steps that aid in the performance of the website and the ability to scale the website. Hence, you will have a website that exists, and it will probably continue to exist, however, there will likely be a low return on investment and an inability to update and create new content.
Just another. A budget company cannot afford to create a unique website for every customer. They need to streamline the process so they can provide you with the product you want whilst investing as little time as possible into your project. This means templates are their best friend. Your website will be a carbon copy of every other website they create.
Poor security. Continuing on from the cost-cutting methods security is something that at face value looks the same across all websites, however, this couldn't be any further from the truth. Deep down in the code of these budget websites lies thousands of vulnerabilities begging to be exploited. If you don't store sensitive information on your website this is fine, however, they have the ability to install viruses on your site and permanently taint your website ranking.
Long term costs
Maintaining a low-quality website costs a lot more than you can imagine. Many agencies including ours will refuse to work on these websites because we simply don't believe it is worth it. Around 50% of the time, we end up sitting down with these clients and explaining what we peeped at behind the curtains and more often than not they decide to start fresh after only a few months.
Budget websites exist and they are here to stay. Certain companies have found the perfect ways to cut costs whilst not compromising quality. When selecting a budget company there are however a few things you can do to protect yourself. Avoid those companies that have preset website design packages, go through their portfolio and check what types of businesses they work with, make sure they understand your industry, ask about customer support and stay well clear from agencies with shady business practices.