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Ten years ago, I picked up a pair of white leather Converse shoes in a store on O’Connell Street in Dublin. They looked good, felt comfortable, and were relatively cheap. I say relatively cheap, not because of the sale price (I don’t even remember what they cost) but because of how long they’ve lasted me. Those cheap tennis shoes are still going strong ten years later. Contrasted with one of my most frustrating footwear fails, my white Cons are magical.

Cheap Shoes Vs. Expensive Boots

I was working as a wildland firefighter in California and needed a new pair of work boots. Boots are one of the firefighter’s most crucial pieces, and the ones I chose were expensive. Very expensive.

  • Steel-shank and steel-toe reinforced.
  • Heat-treated leather.
  • Fire-resistant laces.
  • Galvanized rubber soles.

These baby’s were sweet. Like black leather Michael Jordans for work! They had to be. I was counting on my boots to keep me safe, so when it came to buying them, the price tag wasn’t an issue.

I needed them to keep me alive in the harsh mountainous terrain and thousand-degree heat. I was prepared to pay whatever price because I needed them to do a very important job. Except…they didn’t. Once, during a grass fire, the galvanized rubber soles completely melted, leaving me scorched and furious.

I expected my tennis shoes, which cost relatively little to quickly wear out. I had the exact opposite reaction to my expensive, speciality boots. Why is that?

It turns out, the difference between cheap tennis shoes and expensive work boots is a great way to frame the question: What does a website really cost?

How Much Does A Website Cost?

We get this question a lot at Atomivox: “How much does a website cost?” I think the issue behind the question is more like: e.g., “How cheap and how fast can you build me a website?” (This is usually a follow-up to the first question, “Do I really need a website?” Read our answer.)

But the answer to the cost question is hardly apparent. It depends.

Here’s the thing. The expectations you place on your website and digital marketing will determine what you’re willing to spend.

How do you see your brand, website, and digital marketing? Are they a cost or an investment?

To most businesses, a website is an annoying business cost. It’s just sitting there, doing nothing. Not hurting, but not helping much either. If it works, great. If not, who cares.

For smart business owners, however, a website is an investment — one of the most productive assets in your organization.

All it takes is a shift in mindset and some strategy to go from “what will it cost me?” to “how much can an optimized, well-designed website bring me?” That is the more interesting question. A dynamic and compelling website works on your behalf to attract your target buyers and turn them into raving fans.

Melinda Livsey shared this awesome graphic to explain the importance of value in design. In it, she contrasts typical design without a strategy versus high-performance design with strategy. (We only care about the column on the right.)

Graphic design is better with strategy

Do You Want More From Your Website?

What about you? Do you want more from your website? Like a deadbeat roommate, are you’re tired of your site lazing around doing nothing for you? Ready to invest in something that will grow your business? Here are eight fantastic questions to help re-frame your perspective. The goal is to move you from seeing your site as a cost and rather as an investment:

Eight Questions To Ask:

  1. Does my website serve a mission-critical purpose in our sales and marketing approach?
  2. Have we allocated part of our marketing budget to maintaining, optimizing, and improving our site’s performance?
  3. Is our website producing net-positive results for our organization? If not, why not?
  4. Are we measuring website visits, activity, behavior, and conversion rates?
  5. Are visitors informed or confused after visiting our website?
  6. Have we made our organization’s main thing the main thing on our website, or are we complicating our message with irrelevant info?
  7. Is the goal of our site to look pretty or to offer a compelling user experience strategically aligned with our marketing goals?
  8. Is our website attracting the right people, at the right time, into our sales and marketing funnel?

At Atomivox, we don’t tolerate lazy websites. We design websites and landing pages that actually work. Let us know how we can help you. Get in touch.

What Does A Website Really Cost? (Eight Revealing Questions To Ask)
Kevin Mullins
November 07, 2019