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Why You Want to Pay for Premium Design

by Paul J. Scott

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As a business owner or marketer who needs a new website, you can be faced with a tough decision: Do you pay an experienced web design team like mine to do a professional job, or save a bit of money and send the project to a lower-cost provider who might be overseas or still in school?

Or to put it another way, why would you pay for premium design when you can get something that looks good for a little less?

The best answer is that premium design costs more, but it also gives you a lot more in return. In other words, it has a much higher value. You could assume I would say that because I’m biased, but the reality is this principle has been proven again and again. In fact, you probably make dozens of buying decisions each and every week for exactly the same reasons.

If you doubt that, let’s take a look at a few relevant details…

Credibility and First Impressions Matter a Lot

Suppose for a moment you have just walked into your local supermarket in search of some pasta sauce. You are hungry and looking forward to dinner, so which are you going to choose: a can of red sauce with a generic label, or one with lots of beautiful tomatoes and elegant packaging?

Most people will gladly pay the extra dollar or so for the well-packaged tomato sauce. This is true even though they know it’s possible the two were produced in the same plant or kitchen. People are forced to make dozens of snap judgments each and every day about the credibility of one product or company over another. When in doubt, they’ll choose the option that appears to have quality, value, and trustworthiness.

If your design doesn’t convey these things, then differences in price or service no longer matter. Customers won’t buy from you because their first impression simply won’t be good enough.

Bad Design Will Cost You More Than You’ll Save

Even though we all recognize the value of good design and packaging, there’s something to be said for saving money, right? That’s true, but bad design – or more precisely, design work that isn’t as good as it could be – is likely to cost you several times more than you would ever save.

This is largely due to the fact that you won’t be able to win some sales and customers you probably could have if you had better branding and design. Even worse, you’ll probably never know how much that cheap design is costing you, because you won’t have the opportunity to split-test a piece of good work against the less credible website you got instead.

Good design persuades customers that your business is worth working with, and can be effective for a long time. Cheap designs don’t do anything to encourage conversions, and often lead you to hire yet another creative team before very long.

You Want Design Work That’s Unique and Relevant

One final reason to invest in great design work is that an experienced creative team that’s charging professional rates is going to start your project from scratch. They’re going to begin the process by thinking about what they can do to make your business successful, not the fastest or cheapest way to wrap your website up.

A lot of beginners and overseas web design providers rely on templates to produce pages rapidly. That speeds things up for them, but it also means your website is going to look like hundreds or thousands of other websites. How can you make a positive and unique impression on customers when there isn’t anything different or special about your visual identity?

At the end of the day, web design is only as valuable as the final product that’s generated. If your website doesn’t help you achieve the business results you need, it isn’t going to pay for itself. So, rather than focusing on what it will cost you to get the design work you need, put your focus on thinking about how you can ensure the money you spend ends up coming back to you again and again in the future.

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