2019/10/08 10:18:06

Every Web Designer’s Dilemma: Good, Cheap, or Fast

Alexander Hoogewijs

Web designers are always in a dilemma. You might want to build you the highest-quality design and functionality website, and therefore require more time and resources. Or, you might want to focus on cost-effectiveness, and inevitably lose on quality. Perhaps you prioritize the speed at which you design and build your websites. As a result, it’ll become more challenging to offer this and an affordable price. And you may have to take some points off for quality. It comes down to this: good, cheap, or fast. You can either prioritize quality, speed or prize, but never all three.

When it comes time for your company's marketing plan, consider this dilemma. When something goes wrong (and let’s face it: things will) everything can be put into perspective by knowing whether they were worth spending money on from start…to finish.

Choosing is Loosing

There are three goals you can strive for: being good, being cheap, or being fast. You can never deliver all three. If you take on a new project, you’ll have to make a choice. A simple model you can use to think about your web design or development business is the Good-Cheap-Fast model, based on the Project Management Triangle.

The web designer's dilemma: you can't be good, fast and cheap.
“You can either prioritize quality, speed or cost-effectiveness, but never all three” | Source:


If you want to deliver a high-quality project, you’ll have to compromise on being either fast, or cheap. For a good project, you need sufficient time to finish every little details of the project. You also need to bring people on board with better skill or experience, thus being less cost-effective.


If you would like to deliver your websites fast, it means you’ll have to cut corners somewhere else. That’s either going to be on quality or costs. You can’t deliver a detailed design when you have less time, and you’ll need to bring extra help or resources to the project to achieve faster results.


If you want to deliver affordable websites, you’ll have to choose between speed because you work on the project during off-hours, or quality, because you have to keep the website simple and less detailed.

Good, cheap, or fast. Many beginning web design and development agencies make the mistake of aiming to be all three. Unfortunately, that’s simply not possible. There’s always going to be a trade-off between the three variables. Unless, you’re willing to compromise your profitability - which is probably something you don’t want.

Beating The Dilemma of Good, Cheap, or Fast

The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck in the web designer’s dilemma forever. As it turns out, each viable combination - good and fast, good and cheap, cheap and fast - comes with a specific segment of websites and clients. Choosing which variation of good, cheap, or fast works best for you will help you determine what kind of projects you want to implement. As a result, it’ll become more clear which target audiences matches your web design business’ projects.

Good and fast, for example, applies to high-end projects with large budgets. Consequently, in this case you’ll need to target clients who want top-quality work delivered quickly, but for whom budget is not their main concern.

Moreover, the Web Designer’s Dilemma doesn’t mean you are destined to be awful at that one feature you didn’t select. Eventually, you optimize all features With experience, new tools, and automation, you’ll be able to get better, faster and cheaper in time.

With SiteManager, perhaps that time to grow is now. We are happy to help you get the most out of our platform to meet your business needs. Let’s talk, we’ll listen.

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