Often we see commercials promising free or low cost websites, easy to set up and configure. Are you really getting a great deal? In most cases, these websites are templates and are not really set up to help your business succeed.
Owing your content is by far the largest concern. Once you stop paying the monthly fee, you lose all the content you worked hard to create. Since you do not actually own the content, you typically have no rights to the content.
We went with a low cost website builder and within months we saw the problems. Our page would not rank in search engines and we even got sued for images on our site that the web design company used without permission.
Most of these sites are generated using a program written for the masses, not your company. You may feel that you are saving money but in reality, in the long haul, you will pay more in lost revenue as well as lost time.
Who do you call when there is a problem or you are just not a technical person? With these low cost and free sites, you may actually never get to a "real" person. Is your site designed and developed in the US? The answer to this is no. When you are paying $300 to $500 for a website, the company is almost always outsourcing the work.
Is outsourcing really bad? This is a tough question. The reality is that if the company is legitimate, then no it should be fine. No company can give you a website for free or exceedingly low cost without cutting somewhere. They may use images that they have no right to use and also typically will not use the best programming methods. Security is also a MAJOR concern.
So, what IS the cost of a new website.
Although this is dependent on the clients needs, generally you should pay approximately $1000 for a single page website and then add approximately $100 per page thereafter. This may seem outrageous to pay when the internet and TV constantly tell you that websites are free or cheap. The problem is that these companies do not have your best interests in mind and there are TONS of reasons to not use cheap and free website builders. Keep in mind that these costs are fluid as some clients needs are easier or more complicated .
When selecting a company to create your company website, you must remember that they are creating your BRAND. If you short change your website, your customers will get the impression that you cut corners in other areas.