Web Design: How to Lose 3.5 Years and $100,000

Your web design could be costing you time and money.

Three and half years is a long time. $100,000 is a lot of money. And you’re still not happy with your web design.

Unfortunately, it happens all too often. Small business owners create their own websites in order to save some money. Then they get a friend of a friend to redo it. Eventually, hiring a third party company to create a better site. Hey, the price was great.

Eventually though, fed up with the time and money they’ve lost, the business owner turns to a strategic marketing firm for a website design that goes to work for them.

Let’s break this process down:

Step 1: You create your own website.

You’ve heard the commercials. There are plenty of platforms out there that let you make a website for only $99.

But, after six months of playing around with the template, color schemes, layouts, content, and images, something dawns on you…you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to web design.

Step 2: A guy you kind of know creates a new website.

After asking around some, you find out that your brother’s cousin’s sister’s boyfriend’s stepson took a web design class at camp last summer.

Apparently, he can fix your web design for about $800.

That’s a steal in your book, plus you won’t have to deal with it anymore. He says it’ll take about 3 months. But, at the end of the three months, you still don’t have a site.

When you contact him, he explains that he’s doing some custom work for the site, so it’s gonna take a little longer. He can’t give you a definite timeframe.

You’re patient with him, but the site takes another 6 months before it’s done. The web design is better than your DIY version, but the site still isn’t quite right and no one is calling you to discuss your services or products. You haven’t heard from hardly anyone since the site went live.

Step 3: Hire an overseas company to do the web design.

You start doing a little bit of research to find a better solution. That’s when you find a company that will make you a new site for only two grand. You’re excited about this because they’re an established company known for providing solutions like this.

But, after a couple of months of waiting, you reach out for an update. It takes another week for your rep to get back with you. He says the site is almost done.

You just keep thinking about how they promised to get you to page one on search results.

When your site is done, you’re content with the work. Nothing stellar, but still way ahead of where it was. But, then the company starts charging you a monthly fee. When you call to ask about it, they explain your contract means they own everything including the url to your website.

You’re on the hook for the website build, the monthly service fees, and any updates you need.

You decide to go along with this monthly system for a while. And after about 18 months, you’re just fed up.

They didn’t deliver on any of their promises. You aren’t on the first page of Google for any meaningful keywords and your website is starting to look out of date. Your inbox is still sitting pretty at zero. The leads they were suppose to help you generate, simply don’t exist.

Step 4: Reach out to a strategic marketing firm.

Not sure what to do now, you start searching the internet for solutions and answers to your questions.

Eventually, you find a strategic marketing firm that can help you out. You’re impressed with their work and after talking to them, you decide it’s time to talk.

Where’d all of the time and money go?

Building your own website took you six months and you spent about a hundred bucks on the site.

Having that kid build you a website took about nine months and you spent $800.

Hiring that third party company took twenty one months between website design and monthly services. It was $2,000 upfront, but then you also paid all of those monthly fees.

Now you’re up to 36 months. And at least $2,900.

If you’re wondering where the other 6 months and $97,100 come into play it’s lost opportunity. Your website is your most powerful marketing tool. But, it hasn’t worked for 3.5 years…see the problem?

Your potential clients don’t view you as a serious competitor. They aren’t willing to take a chance. They call someone else with a higher perceived value.

The Familiar Story

That story may be all too familiar for you. Maybe you just know someone who went through something similar. Either way, when you start out with web design and digital marketing, you need to be realistic.

Define your business goals. What do you want to accomplish with your website?

Your website should be a virtual salesperson that generates leads for you. And, in no time at all, your site will pay for itself.

Still tempted to DIY your web design and digital strategy? You can learn more about optimizing your site, building an effective campaign, and getting the ROI you need from your site with our Internet Marketing 101 e-book.

Effective web design and digital strategy aren’t easy (even when you know what an effective website should look like). You need a strategic digital marketing team that knows how to create a web design and strategy that will go to work for you bringing in lead after lead.

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Carolyn Byard

Carolyn is Iconic's art director and office dog handler. She strives to build unicorns, and she is completely obsessed with the fusion of beautiful design with strong strategy for unforgettable user interfaces.