Buying a website is like buying a car

5 features to look at when deciding who to use for designing your business website


Author: Jeremy Martin \ Head designer

I never forget the day I passed my drivers licence and my dad handed over the keys to a second hand Golf Mk1, 1981 model. It only had 4 gears and a max speed of 100km/h, but I loved that car. When it rained the car literally flooded ankle deep but it was ok because all the rusted holes let the water drain out.

I named her ‘Wit Blitz’ … she was the perfect car.

Until I moved to Joburg on my own, and my clutch cable snapped in peak traffic on Malibongwe Drive…. with almost no money and nobody to call. I was totally freaking out!

Would you run your business with this car?

That day, broken down on the side of the road, I realized the days my Mk1 Golf were coming to an end. I needed to shop around for a new car… but how do you choose? 


Choosing a website designer

The most common knee-jerk reaction is to get a bunch of quotes for a 5-page website and then choose the cheapest option. This is like choosing to buy a car because it has 4 wheels. 4 Wheels says nothing about how the car will look or perform.


So then how do you choose a website designer? Here are the 5 main factors to consider: 

1 – Track History

2 – Warranty & maintenance plan

3 – Price (you get what you pay for)

4 – Do they build the whole car?

5 – Sales Strategy

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each one: 


Track History

Have a look at at least 5-10 websites that the website designer has produced for businesses in your industry. Do they impress you? 

After that check, do they have good customer reviews and testimonials? Listen to what other business owners have had to say. 


Warranty & Maintenance plan

A website is not a logo or some other static document. A website runs on complex software and requires regular updates and solid hosting. 

I don’t want to bog you down in technical jargon so just think about it like a car service plan. We offer free updates and changes. So when you are buying a website are you getting a good maintenance & hosting plan included?



The problem with looking for the lowest price is that a website design is not a commodity. You are not comparing the price of bread. 

If you get a really low quote its worth considering how much effort the design company can possibly put into your website. 

The average cost of a website design in South Africa is around the R5000 mark. This excludes hosting and month maintenance.


Do they build the whole car?

A website design has many different parts that all have to work together.  Building the website is only one part of the picture.

Most website designers will expect you to provide every single word and picture. 

This leaves you to finish the most important parts of the car. The content writing of the headlines, the descriptions of your services and the pictures that will go on the site.

(Our philosophy is that this should not be left to the business owner. We help write content and even provide good quality stock photos for free)


Performance counts (Sales strategy for your business)

When you go buy a new Ford Ranger for your business you expect it to work. you don’t buy it because it looks pretty. 

A website should be designed around one goal – GET MORE CUSTOMERS

You should find out how much strategy is going into your design to get more sales. Are they positioning contact forms throughout the website? Is your phone number bold and at the top of each page? Do you have a click to call button for people viewing your website from mobile phones?


So which car should you buy then?

Heck I don’t know…

Ask the stig





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