Ethics up in flames as big businesses exploit small businesses over WordPress websites

roasting-chilli Photo Steve DavisIf it were not bad enough that small businesses are subject to a torrent of lies and deception from SEO peddlars and other snake oil merchants, I’ve now come across large agencies preying on the little end of town.

I’m currently in Darwin and had to sit with a woman who needed help learning how to use her six thousand dollar WordPress website sold to her by a client.

That’s right. Six thousand dollars, twelve months old, and it has remained untouched all that time, withering on the Google vine.

It is just WRONG

Firstly, among the many reasons I promote WordPress is that it is free, open source, robust website software.

When you get a site built in it you are not paying for the software, you are paying for your developer’s time to:

  • install it correctly
  • add important elements
  • tighten security
  • give you some guidance in using it
  • teach you the importance of updating it

Secondly, although we run a lean operation to provide a WordPress Starter Package at $1,995 plus GST, it comes packed with goodness like:

  • a sound marketing approach regarding content, layout, audience, etc
  • two layers of security
  • prominent contact details
  • responsive design to make it mobile friendly
  • social media icons and share buttons
  • thoughtful information architecture
  • back up systems
  • SEO framework
  • Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
  • instructions for use

I cannot believe that a national advertising company would charge a small business $6,000 for a basic installation with NONE of the above features apart from a contact phone number and an SEO plugin installed.

It’s a jungle out there still

This is not meant to be a blowing-our-own-trumpet article, it is simply a public challenge to larger organisations to take a step back and stop the insidious trickery and deceit of the small business sector.

Also, this is not to say WordPress sites should not cost $6,000 or more – they can and do BUT they come with more bells and whistles (and vital basics), not just a bare bones job slung together in Perth.

If you have a website with us, breathe easy, you have the correct elements installed. You also would have had a sound marketing context informing decisions along the way.

If you are planning a website, or know somebody who is, please use the list above to make sure you get the core elements included for the price.






  1. Troy

    Great article Steve, even if a little self serving 🙂

    I agree that a simple WordPress website is not much value on it’s own. It needs to be part of a larger strategy that includes consistent content, clear objectives and measurable goals. However, I do take issue with your suggestion that a WordPress website is not worth $6K. Value is in the eye of the beholder and a website (WordPress or otherwise) is worth whatever the client believes it is worth. I have plenty of clients who have paid far-north of $6K for a WordPress website and their business is doing very well because they are using it as part of their online marketing strategy.

    Now I do agree with you that some smooth advertising types might be inflating their prices for the real value they offer, but it’s a buyer’s market and the buyer’s responsibility to educate themselves as much as possible before handing over $6K for anything. If your friend has parted with $6K for a website without clearly identifying her goals first then she needs to take a basic business course – and if she did identify her goals first then she should be working as hard as possible to make sure her strategy (including the WordPress website) is performing for the business.

    The truth is, most clients are just too lazy to do the hard work required to make their content easy to find by the right people. You and I both know it’s not hard to generate new leads and customers from your website, but it does require hard work.

    Much easier to blame the advertising agency for extorting $6K isn’t it?

    By the way, I grew up in Adelaide and I know plenty of good developers in over West, so I’m not sure what the Perth reference was about.

    Hope business is good.

    • Steve Davis

      Hi Troy, yes, clients should do due diligence but at the same time that does not take service providers off the hook for acting ethically.
      I do mention in the article that WordPress sites can be worth anything. This, however, was daylight robbery.
      The Perth reference was simply due to the fact this company was using a developer in the West to do their work.
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Troy

    Oh one thing I forgot to mention – your clients are not paying you for your time – they are paying you for the value you add to their business.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chat With Us On Messenger