Web Design, Value & Loss

  • May. 23, 2013

“How much does a website cost?”

It’s a question I hear all the time, the answer is their is no one-size-fits-all price as each client presents a unique set of challenges to be solved. Be it programatically, creative, or both, a blanket price that covers every scenario usually means you’re overpaying, or your settling for the less-than-you-deserve option to save money.

Rather than dive into how I generate proposals, I though it would be interesting to look at this from a different perspective. Instead, let’s focus for a minute on what it might cost your business in loss if you did not have a website at all, or worse yet settled for the less-than-you-deserve option.

The principal is the same for a restaurant as it is for a construction company. As small business owners we all rely on our customers and new business to operate. How we get new business really depends on many circumstances and a single source is rarely effective. But, these days the internet plays a vital role in peoples lives, and even if your business relies mostly on word-of-mouth or referrals, potential customers will likely do their due diligence on the web before they contact you. It’s here we need to put our focus, because what people discover on the web will likely result in their decision process. If you fail to put your best foot forward online, you better believe there is a competitor who has takes steps to do so and will gladly take the business.

168 hour work week

Let’s assume you’re on the cusp of making a decision to either develop a new website, or update an older web site. For whatever reason you decide against it, maybe you have enough word-of-mouth business, or you feel the cost is to much. But while your current work load might be sufficient, attracting future customers is vital, this is where a website shines representing your company day and night, 24/7. What would you have to pay a sales person to work 168 hours every week? I think we can safely say keeping your website current would cost far less!

How to lose $1M a year

In this example let’s imagine you design-build custom homes, the average home you build runs in the 500K range. You have an older website and have opted out of updating it for a few years due to a shift in the economy and frankly you’re just to busy to think about it. Meanwhile, potential new customers are surfing the web from out of state looking for a home builder in your area as their job is moving them. Because you’re website has dropped out of search results and newer websites have replaced it, you’re not reaching these new customers resulting in big loss. Reaching a diverse customer base, far and wide, is the beauty of the internet. In this example missing only two leads could potentially result is a loss of $1M a year, whereas updating you’re website would have cost pennies in comparison.

Less than you deserve

Earlier I mentioned that it can sometimes be a worse decision to opt for the less-that-you-deserve website than to have no website at all. It’s smart business to be conscious of your expenses, but it’s also important to weigh the value with cost. In this example let’s imagine you recently started local chain of restaurants, after getting several proposals for your web presence you opt to go with the lowest estimate based solely on cost. Only what’s really at stake is your long-term reputation, not your short-term finances. Even if the less-that-you-deserve result ranks high in search engines, a poorly designed website can be a turn off to potential customers causing them to look elsewhere.

The less-that-you-deserve website commonly ends up costing businesses more money in the long run as they’d likely redesign sooner realizing their mistake. Only by then it may be to late to make a great first impression.


Skimping, or ignoring the web can only result in loss of potential business. Whereas investing appropriately into a well thought out, professionally designed website and internet strategy has unlimited possibilities and can help your small business reach an entirely new generation of clientele.

Like it or not, your small business needs to have an internet presence, personally I choose to love it and that’s exactly why you should reach out to me when you’re ready to put your best foot forward, I look forward to the challenge!

MWH Design is a small design studio in upstate NY lead by owner / designer, Mike Hosier. Mike works with local and national small businesses, and organizations developing effective web media solutions.


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