The Problems with Cheap Websites

There are digital agencies that offer cheap, or more politically correctly, affordable web designs that cost as little as just under $1,000. It may seem like a bargain, but just like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. A website is a company’s online storefront, it shouldn’t look cheap, bland or dated. I was looking for self-storage businesses in Kelowna. Out of the three I found, one had a cheap looking website. My exact thought was, if a self-storage business cheaped out on its website, what are the chances it also cheaped out on its storage facilities and services? Naturally, I chose one of its competitors. In this article, we discuss the differences between a cheap website and a properly designed one, as well as why quality websites cost more to build.


What separates a business from the rest are called differentiators, that’s marketing 101. In order to make enough money doing affordable web designs, a company must achieve fast turnaround using pre-built templates, and simply just fill in the blanks. As a result, little to no thoughts ever go in to the design of these websites. Every one of them looks identical with horrible layouts and formatting. That’s just bad branding and marketing in general. You can usually spot a cheap website just by looking at it:

  • Does it look cheap?
  • Does it show the brand identity?
  • Are the layout and formatting carefully thought out and easy to consume?
  • Are there uneven white spaces between contents?
  • Is the copywriting convincing?
  • Do the images used tell a story and engage users?

Attention to Details

How much you pay for a website ultimately determines how qualified your web designer is, and how much time will be spent on building your website. Anyone can build a website using a drag and drop site builder, but web design is all about details, details that amateur web designers are unable to see or deal with. Even professional web designers need time to perfect a website. A website is not just a cluster of text blurbs and buttons, it requires images and sometimes other types of media. If you are unable to provide usable images, they need to be purchased. Not only do quality stock photos cost money, it is not uncommon for web designers to spend hours sifting through thousands of images just to find the perfect ones to use.


Building a website is not the same as it used to be anymore. With consumers spending approximately 70% of their Internet time on mobile devices of different screen sizes and orientations, it takes at least 3 times longer to properly design and test websites than it used to. This is why cheap websites look cheap, because there is not enough money and time spent on design and testing.

Beyond Web Design

There is so much more that professional web designers do than just web designs. There are overheads associated with project management, communications, copywriting, search engine optimization, and the list goes on. All of these things, affect how smoothly your web project would, and ultimately determines how much financial return your website will provide post-launch.


The bottom line is that good websites just don’t come cheap, because they are built with time, resources and most importantly, craftsmanship. Cheap websites are cheap looking, they turn away customers and end up costing businesses money. At Project Pi, we don’t build cheap websites. We design quality websites, and we make them affordable by offering payment options. So if you’re in the market for a new website, contact us to see how we can help you grow your business. We are local to Kelowna, British Columbia and Regina, Saskatchewan, but we also serve other areas.