What is your opinion about cheap web services?
There are many individuals and companies that offer the development and design of sites and services at extremely low prices like 20-50$ for turnkey project. What do you think about it? Do you consider such offers reasonable and expect high quality of them?
P.S. For me it's like trying to buy a sportcar for $100. Usually you'll get a standard open-source CMS without any customization and support. Perhaps you can also have some free public modules installed :). That project will be low quality and ill-conceived.
For example, when 7Version develops a custom e-commerce solution, there are many professionals involved: a project manager, a number of developers, a team leader, an art director, designers, testers, copywriters, etc. You pay for their ideas and experience. We create a project plan, a requirements specification, project prototypes. We support all projects we've created, provide consultation on promotion and optimization. That is what I call 'professional service'. Our customers always get more than they expect and become our friends. I'm really interested the growth of their business and they always return to us with new projects and recommend us to their friends.
It depends on your needs. Many new companies that require a complicated web design will have their own in house people to keep tight control on content and changes. Like a driver with a $1 Million sports car will hire his own mechanic.
Many of those standard open source CMS systems are very effective. I have used Joomla to support a website that had 1 Million plus hits per hour.
So hiring a firm is based on your need, comfort and budget. But never assume that the most expensive is the best. Web Design in like PR and other communications. It is very personal and unique to your new company.
Now hosting Verizon, Amazon and others provide excellent high traffic hosting but you pay for this ability. There are many hosting companies that provide affordable hosting and services. But again depends on your needs. I used Godaddy for years for all my companies internet services mixed with Google Apps. Godaddy got impersonal and made many bad decisions regarding my account, like giving a domain I had registered to another company and then told me I had to pay for the arbitration. So I moved everything to Google Apps for years. But as my company grew I needed better webhosting. We choose to use Wordpress. And decided on a little hosting company called Arvixe. We have not looked back. Arvixe provides personalized service to a higher level than we require. As always been there when we had problems and helped immediately, and now we use a service called CloudFlare to distribue our website globally, and because we are still small, we still can live with the parameters of their Free Service.
I have looked at many services and this is the one that is best for us. Wordpress, Arvixe $4.00 per month personal hosting, with CloudFlare Free. It may change in years to come. Do not know when.
But do not sell any software or company short. Honestly look at your needs and budget. You will find a match.
There is an old saying "I'm not too rich to afford cheap stuff".
Meaning that once you spend money on a cheap product or service, you'll end up spending more to update, upgrade, and fix the cheap product.
Andrey, you have a valid point and I think I’ve seen those commercials along with the “shake weight” on late night TV. There is however, a vast canyon between ‘I got a website for $99!’ and the $20,000 to $infinity large team web providers justify as a reasonable price.
“Cheap” web services are very often the result of the consumer enlisting a friend/relative/partner to provide them. The bigger issue here – and the bigger threat to all web providers – is that almost always the products/services become compromised due to the existing relationship between the parties.
Disappointingly, I have also heard too many stories of business owners being taken advantage of by web designers, either by intent or arrogance, who hold their sites, and thereby their businesses hostage and are careless with deadlines and requests, no matter the price point. I formed Fix Your Website Now to provide quality web design and development and ancillary services to small and medium sized businesses at an affordable/fair cost with superior customer service so they can again feel “safe” spending money on a website.
The friend/relative/partner provider was also a point covered in my recent interview on the “Mind Your Own Business” radio show with Rick Brutti on the UR Business Network, as well as a resource I posted here on mosaicHUB: http://bit.ly/O0wvqp
All too often the two parties end up on worse terms, if they even associate with each other at all. This, in turn leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the consumer, and however inaccurate, a general distrust of all providers.
The bottom line: the PRICE of web services from a known person can be great, but the COST of such a relationship can be devastating. And, more importantly, purchasing on price, at either end, does not guarantee competence, service or value. It is up to each provider to educate and demonstrate to the customer their own long term value.
As with everything in life, you get what you pay for, but if your budget is low then you have no option.
Far too many people spend vast amounts on a website and then have no money to ensure potential customers look at it.
I myself have found most people do not really understand the web or the costs involved so a web developer is far better off starting firms with other people, and being a co-founder/employee in that situation and hammering away at web advantages.
If you have an ecommerce team and you have problem getting good clients, start selling goods via ecommerce yourself.
Lots of bankrupt stock out there needs selling.
There could be different point of views, need, budget etc, but personally I don't recommend it. The time has gone when website use to be matter of just web presence. Cheap design always give a overhead of redesign, rework.
For any business if a website serves the objective of business and its audience in best way ensuring usability, accessibility, desired results is cheap than so called websites who are just for the sake of web presence.
I have tried to summarize some import features of website and their checking tools together at http://goo.gl/Et6iY try to ensure them irrespective of cost.
look into the technology used and have a keen study about their portfolios
Sometimes you get exactly what you pay for.
As a webdesigner I have had my most problems with cheap hosting services. Their admin panels are terrible and tech support is in reality - no support.
I have also worked with various CMS sites that only allow a client to basic edits via their visual editor. No access to the bakend which causes a problem when a client want's some unique addition tot he website.
For those you want cheap services, you will get cheap services which include poor quality products and little to know tech support.
I think low cost web hosting and VPS services are the way things are going to go in hosting because the technology is cheaper and faster than it;s even been but when it comes to design you get what you pay for so if the project means anything to you it's worth the investment to get it done by a professional to asure the best quality and ongoing support.
Cheap design can often be false economy. You are often not comparing apples with apples with quotes - and what is offered is often not what is delivered. I think building a strong relatonship with your web designer is extremely important and one of the top three business relationships you must have in business today. Find a web designer who understands your business and can work win/win with you - even if your web site is completed in stages as more funds become available.
I have read some good feedback on this post. However, from my experience I believe it is necessary to define what cheap is in relation to the service provided. If for example you get a template based website at say $100, that may be good enough depending on the quality of template.
On the other hand, if you need a custom product which is usually a better option, you will have to scale up. It takes creativity and various specialized skill sets to come up with such a product. You wouldn't expect cheap at this level. True, you can not buy a Rolls Royce at $200.
As you said, there are those who give more then the client would expects - giving professional service and product.
but these are not the "cheap solutions" you refer to. those solutions are cheap for this exact reason, you pay little money, you get "little" product: no support, no design, no quality. but more importantly, you get just the product, no consultation, no copywriters, no planning, no fine tuning.
these kind of services are not bad nor good. they exist as a quick and cheap solution for those who need them. and can (should) be used as a spring-board.
for example: to get your business up and running quickly or for a specific promotion or event.
Depends on the business and service, they can be cheap and provide a good service.
Google provide a mostly free service and i would not say they are bad.