“You Get What You Pay For”

Every day, web technology gets better and better. It is now many orders of magnitude easier to develop for the web than it was 10 years ago. The barrier to entry is lower. The cost of hacking something together that works has drastically decreased.

With a lower barrier to entry, there’s a lot more people getting into the field, which means there’s a wide range of skill and experience, and thus a wide range in costs. This, I believe, is why we hear so many horror stories of failed projects from frustrated clients.

Today, we are conditioned to search for the best price. We do this for just about everything we spend our hard earned money on. But we generally know the old cliche “you get what you pay for” is true. Web development projects aren’t inexpensive by any standard. The temptation of having your project built for $5,000 instead of $20,000 is practically irresistible, but the risk is high when you choose cheap.

Here’s an analogy … My brother is working as an electrician, and so I’ve been learning a little about what electricians do. In short, its dangerous as hell. Like, you can die dangerous. Especially on commercial jobs where the voltage is much higher than residential. He told me that his boss prefers commercial jobs because the clients understand the importance of getting things done right the first time. Whereas in residential, his boss has to chase the bottom line or lose the job. And the risk of choosing cheap is extremely high. A careless mistake, like not twisting your wires correctly is like setting a time bomb. Your lights might work for awhile, but the risk is a serious electrical fire. When you hire an electrician, you need a professional that meticulously does the job right.

While you’re not risking literal death on a web development project, certainly you are risking the success of your project. The true cost of a web development project is not the initial build, but in the long term. I’m talking about bug fixes, scaling as traffic grows, adding features and improving existing ones. In the long term, time and money should be spent evolving the system to its true potential as you learn more about it from real world usage, not fixing things that should have been done right the first time. When things are done right, change is easy. In fact, easy to change is the very definition of well-designed software. Achieving that takes experience, and experience is what you pay for.

So when you’re shopping for a team to build your next web project, remember, you certainly get what you pay for. Don’t just send out a bunch of emails asking for quotes and pick the cheapest. Ask a friend or colleague for a recommendation. If you can’t get a glowing recommendation, then look at other sites you like and find out who was behind them. Choose a team that’s in it for the long haul, who has successful long-term projects under their belt, and ultimately who you feel the most comfortable partnering with to grow your project together. And hey, give us a call too. Good luck!

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