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Why Custom Web Design Isn’t Cheap

As a custom web designer, I know that sometimes even the most professional businesses will turn to a family member or neighbour who can build their website for under £50. This is done under the mistaken belief that they are getting a good value! Unfortunately, web design is still very misunderstood and undervalued by many businesses owners.

Look at it this way: a custom web design is the “face” of your business online, and how you are presented to your customers. Are you getting a good value by hiring someone who will do a poor job and put so little thought and effort into how you are represented to potential customers?

This same issue applies to logo design, as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been approached to design a logo for 2000 INR or 5000 INR. It’s something every designer deals with, and it’s the inspiration for this post.

So, why isn’t a professional, custom web design cheap?

To answer this, I’ll walk you through the usual design process.

Consultation and Concept Phase

As a top web designer in Kerala, we always start the design process with a discussion with the client on the project’s scope. This gives us an excellent foundation to get to work. We will ask you questions to clearly define the concept and put together goals and requirements for the entire project before starting the next phase.

Discovery Phase

With this defined concept in place, the project moves into research and discovery. I will learn more about your project’s precise needs and research the needs, goals, demographics, and target audience of your brand, putting together an outline. This will help me create just the right style and personality for your new website.

If the project is very large or complex, I will also begin creating a visual sitemap for your project, a step necessary for the organisation.

Wireframes Phase

This phase involves creating sketches of the design layout, which are transformed into wireframes that will be reviewed and approved before the actual design phase starts.

Think of a wireframe as a mock-up of the page free of any design elements. The purpose of this is to give a strategic view of the best positioning for elements within the layout and to see exactly how content will flow. This phase’s importance cannot be overlooked, as it’s vital for determining proper placement of content, navigation, and function. It also works as a blueprint for the later phases to correct any problems.

Design Phase

After a client approves the wireframes, the design phase is next. Wireframes are updated with the design and then polished up and presented to the client for feedback.

Build Phase

The custom web design must then be built into a working prototype with XHTML and CSS, which is once more presented to the client for feedback. During this stage, I will also incorporate a content management system (CMS) if required, and the entire build will be tweaked and polished before it’s finished.

Testing and Launch Phase

Projects are always tested during every stage, but this design phase requires a complete usability test across all browsers and platforms. I’ll check for cross-platform appearance and functionality to make sure your web design looks and works great, regardless of whether your visitor uses a Mac or PC, a laptop or a desktop computer or Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox. Once testing is complete, it’s time to launch the new design.

Monitoring and Maintenance Phase

After your website launches, I will perform link checks and monitor the site for a week to address any potential issues that may arise. After this point, I can also set up a regular maintenance plan if the client wishes.

While creativity doesn’t always follow a plan, this process is essential because it helps us to:

  • Get a clear picture of the goals of the website
  • Know what visitors are looking for
  • Get insight into users’ goals and behaviour on the website
  • Put together a style and personality for the web design

Without a process in place, I’d be merely delivering something that looks great but does not have any awareness of your audience and your goals. It’s hard to succeed with that type of approach.

You’ve probably already realised that this process doesn’t come cheap. While someone you know may offer to design your website for 4000 INR, they aren’t going to follow such an exacting process, nor will they have the knowledge and expertise you need to succeed.

What are you Paying For?

To understand the real value of custom web design, consider this: you aren’t paying just for the finished product, and the amount of time that went into it, you’re also paying for the designer’s knowledge and skill. You are paying for the untold weeks and years of research, experience, talent, and knowledge necessary to create the finished product.

Freelance web designers spend thousands of hours over their career refining their skill and knowledge at any possible opportunity, learning and challenging themselves to be better in every aspect. This is all done to provide a higher quality service to their clients.

Despite what you may think, freelance designers also have operating costs that must be incorporated into pricing. This is just the nature of the business and the same thing you’d expect if you were hiring a photographer for your wedding, or buying clothing from a store.

The expenses a professional website designer incurs include:

  • Stock photography
  • Web hosting
  • Email marketing
  • Hardware
  • External hard drives
  • Broadband
  • Software
  • Office equipment
  • Fonts
  • Stationary
  • Marketing
  • Insurance
  • Taxes

While that list looks pretty long, it’s because most freelance designers like myself care about running a serious, credible business. To this, there are many costs involved that must be taken into account when pricing a project. It’s also why the neighbour can do the job for so little money; he has no overhead; he has a project that earns him a little on the side. I am fortunate to operate with very little overhead, which is only one reason to consider working with me for your project.

How much should you pay for a website?

The cost of professional, clean and custom web design isn’t cheap, and the price will depend on your project specifications and the designer. There are also many variables to consider so that a great designer will create a custom quote for each client.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line here is you get what you pay for. This is true with all things in life, and it certainly rings right with web design. Don’t forget to consider the impression your design will leave on your potential customers and remember that you are trusting someone to put forth a professional image to represent your brand online. If you are looking for a creative and professional website designing company in Kerala, please let us drop a mail at our contact page.

Amal is the co-founder and CEO of the ZeroBulb company having an experience of about 13+ years in the web agency industry.

1 comment

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