Worth It? $2,500 Website vs $25,000 Website

Should all businesses invest the bigger part of their start-up budget in building their company website or can they save money for other activities?

Nowadays, you can’t expect your business to be successful if you don’t have an official website. More importantly, your website needs to be created in a way it engages your target audience and encourages it to make a purchase.

Is it possible that start-up businesses can convert their visitors into customers with a cheap website design? Should all businesses invest the bigger part of their start-up budget in building their company website or can they save money for other activities?

When considering between a cheaper and more expensive option, there are also other factors that will determine the outcome of your website. After all, some of the most popular websites are actually created in WordPress, a simple CMS platform that is also being used by entry-level businesses.

Is the professionalism of your web developer and web designer more important that the amount of money you decide to spend on building your website? To help you make your decision and never regret it, we’ve decided to take a closer look into both of these options to understand the reasons why some businesses choose the cheaper option while the rest of them will insist on a more expensive website.

table of contents
  1. How to decide between these two options?
  2. Cheaper website: How to ensure quality for a lower price?
  3. Expensive website: Does a lot of money guarantee a high ROI to businesses?
  4. Cheaper websites or simple bad websites?

1. How to Decide Between These Two Options?

Whether you’ve just started running your business or you’re rebranding your existing business, your website will need to be up-to-date. Focusing on building or re-building your website is easy, but when it comes to determining your budget for it, you’re in a dilemma. How to ensure you’ve chosen the right option for your business?

First, you should consider how complex your website will be. If you plan on adding applications or software solutions onto your website, having the cheaper website is not the right option for you. Instead, you should have a custom-built website that will allow you to add or change elements or parts of the structure based on your requirements. 

If you’re thinking of keeping things simple and basic, a cheaper website will easily provide you with everything you need. Not to mention that a lot of these cheaper websites look very professional if they’ve been built and created by someone with the right set of skills and knowledge.

Also, the number of your visitors is also helpful when thinking between these two options. In other words, if your website will be visited by a lot of people, you will need to ensure it is working properly and prevent any potential technical issues.

Keep in mind that having a website means you will work on it constantly. It will need to be updated frequently, whether with blog articles, products and services or something completely else, but it’s never actually finished. Focusing only on the first phase of building a website might make you neglect all the work you will need to do in the future, including the upcoming expenses. 

2. Cheaper Website: How to Ensure Quality for a Lower Price?

A good website tremendously enhances your online visibility and also your reputation. When your potential customers hear about your business, they will research online by visiting your website first. As this moment is crucial for converting a person into your lead, your website truly needs to be representative and captivating.

The majority of start-up companies will start their business with a cheaper website. Luckily, with all these options on the market, it’s very simple to invest in your cheaper website later to make it look like an expensive, professional website. But, in terms of budget and characteristics, what is a cheaper website?

A cheaper website will require a little investment to build it. There are even websites that are created for $15, however, these websites are not business-oriented. To have all the elements a business website should have but not to overspend your money, you will need to invest anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on your business requirements.

When talking about hosting, there are different types of packages that vary in price. If you’re thinking of a cheaper option, you need to know there are some criteria which limit you in your website work. For instance, you won’t be able to use the unlimited disk space and the monthly bandwidth. When determining your budget, you should be aware that the more money you are ready to spend on creating your website, the more elements and other characteristics you will be able to enjoy.

Another thing you need to consider is security. Obviously, the more expensive websites are more secure but not all businesses need high-level security for their website. If your business is not managing any vulnerable or valuable data, you don’t need to invest in security measures. Of course, a certain level of security is desirable as it helps to protect your website from malware and viruses.

There is no doubt whether you can ensure quality for a little money or not. The more important question you need to focus is regarding your business objectives and the role of a website in your business strategy. But, if you’re thinking of saving the money while building a website, a good piece of advice would be to find a professional whose skills and creativity will provide additional value to your website.

3. Expensive Website: Does a lot of Money Guarantee a high ROI to Businesses?

Unlike cheaper websites, the expensive website will bring you more creativity when building and creating your website. Hosting providers usually don’t have any limitations when it comes to their services so you can enjoy unlimited disk space, domain setup and bandwidth, and many other services.

If you’re thinking of building an expensive website, its price is usually around $25,000. The final price will depend on many factors but getting an expensive website also implies you will probably spend a significant amount of money on various implementations. On the other hand, by ensuring you have a high-quality website, it will be much easier to add elements or applications.

Also, it allows you to customize your website to provide your target audience with the experience that will convert them into your loyal customers. Customized websites enable you to manage your content the way you want to. If your users have certain expectations for your website that help them make their decisions, you will need to invest in a proper website solution.

We can’t forget to talk about traffic. Your website needs the traffic to convert people and lead them through your sales funnel. With a more expensive website, you can gain more traffic and convert these visitors more easily as they’re enjoying your interactive website.

If you’re working with sensitive, vulnerable data, you will need a higher level of security such as SSL system. An SSL system is a standard security technology that establishes an encrypted link between the client and the server. When building a website that’s more expensive, you can ensure the security of all of your data, including your customer’s.

If your website is built in a way it corresponds with the needs of your target audience, it can lead to a very high ROI (return-on-investment). Money helps you ensure your website has all the elements that will encourage your visitors to stay longer on your website, become interested in what you have to offer and finally, return to your website to make a purchase decision.

Of course, there are plenty of businesses who have spent thousands of dollars on building their website but were unable to make the most of it. Your website is your tool. That means you can’t expect it to do all the work for you. It’s up to you to use its full potential and achieve successful results with it.

4. Cheaper Websites or Simple Bad Websites?

Sometimes, we’ll wrongly assume that a bad website means it’s created with not a lot of money and vice versa. There are actually numerous differences between these two terms. With little money, you can do wonders with your website. On the other hand, you can have all the money in the world and not be able to build a high-quality website due to the lack of strategy and professional skills.

Regardless of the money you invest in your website, make sure you’re not building a bad one. In other words, avoid building or re-building a website that:

  • takes too long to load as this will increase your bouncing rate and significantly reduce your traffic numbers,
  • is hard to navigate because your visitors will not be able to find the information they need,
  • uses an unclear communication without strong, key messages which convert visitors into customers,
  • is written in a vague way so it’s hard to understand the nature of the business,
  • doesn’t work on mobile devices or different browsers,
  • can’t be found on search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

There are many factors that will determine the quality of your website, but these are the ones you need to focus on while creating your website. Don’t treat your website as a short-term project that only needs your attention in the beginning. Instead, create a strong foundation for what you will add in the future to ensure your target audience is always enjoying the best quality.


Once you’re done with your research and you’re ready to begin creating your website, make sure you don’t forget about the end goals of your website. Whether it is increasing sales, gathering email addresses or enhancing your reputation, your goals need to be incorporated in your strategy. Without a clear strategy, you will spend money on your website and won’t be certain if it will deliver you the results your business needs.

So, in order to turn your website into a profitable tool for your business, think beyond cheap or expensive options. What these options provide you with is far more important than the final cost. After all, your website is an investment that can bring you more profit than you can imagine, but you need to do it right.

Joel Koh

Joel leads software development at One X Tech's Technology Management & Digital Solutions practice. He leads the firm's Asia Pacific office efforts in continually evolving and growing new capabilities to serve clients in technology-led transformations.

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