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Is a cheap website worth the money?

Updated: Feb 24

No, not if you're trying to get more business!

Recently, I seem to be inundated with adverts from web design companies, one particular ad that caught my eye was from UENI, as they were offering a to build and host forever for £65! To host a website there is normally an annual fee and for your domain name there is another an annual fee, I wondered how on earth could they do this, so I thought I'd take a look.

I think I figured out how you avoid paying for your domain and hosting, it’s hosted by UENI and looks something like https://g-and-e-jewellery.ueniweb.com/ or https://kitchens-bedrooms-south-east.ueniweb.com/ no the best url in the world!

And then there’s the cost to produce the website, they all appear to be a single page, the menu simply takes you down the page to the appropriate point.

Surely the point of having a website is to get you more business? And although these customers were happy enough to give 5-star reviews the performance of their websites is pretty awful!

I used a tool called PageSpeed Insights to see how quickly they loaded, you can get scores for both mobile and desktop. It’s scored out of 100, 1 being awful 100 excellent. As most people use mobile devices, either their phone or tablet, it needs to be as good or better than the desktop.

I check five of their 5-star rated websites and they all ranked around 30 out of 100, classed as poor by PageSpeed Insights and around 50 on desktops, the lowest 40 the best 68, 50 to 89 is ok but obviously the higher the better. I recently checked one of the websites I manage and was disappointed when it was only ranked at 65! I spent maybe 30 minutes making some recommended changes and got it back up into the 80’s.

If you have ever read anything about search engine optimisation (SEO) you will know that having more pages helps you rank in Google searches, some recommend a page for every product or service, but that can lead to a very large very expensive website.

So, how did these single page websites rank in search results? Unless you typed in the business name, most of them were difficult to find! For one of them I used an obvious term, one that I would expect them to rank on the first page, or maybe second if there’s a lot of competition, I gave up looking after the 10th page!

I use SEO to get my customers websites, to rank on the first page or search results. It won’t happen the day your website goes live, it will start quite low but over a few months, by monitoring and making small changes it will get there.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for! Basic SEO is fairly straight forward and one way to keep your costs down would be for me to show you how to do it, but a pretty website that doesn’t drive you more business isn’t really worth having, is it?

#webdesign #seo #searchengineoptimisation

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