The Same Saying Still Holds True: You Can Only Choose Two

Quality, speed, and cost. 

When looking at your eCommerce website, it makes sense to want all three at once. Having a high-quality website that is built quickly, and is cost-effective is every business owner’s goal, right? The age-old saying, “you can either have it fast, cheap or good, but you can’t have it all” remains true and applies to building or updating your eCommerce website. 

In this post, we’ll break down each of the three parts of the golden rule, and what to consider when choosing which two are the most-important for your business. 


When it comes to quality, you have to ask yourself, “do I want my website to launch quicker, and for a lower cost,” or “do I want my website to take a little bit of extra time, and cost more?” If lower costs and a quicker build time are for you, great! This means the quality of your website will likely not be as good, or to the web’s best standards. While launching quickly and for a lower cost may make sense when starting your eCommerce business, it is also important to make considerations for the future. 

Where do you see your business in six months? What about six years? 

When experiencing rapid growth, a low-quality website with poor usability can cause your cart abandonment rates to skyrocket, which is a significant driver or lost/missed revenue. Over $18 billion dollars is lost annually due to carts being abandoned by users. Another important consideration is working with developers that are not from the same location as you. If there are updates to the site needing to be made, products added, or any other enhancements, working with a developer who may not be local to you causes frustration and headaches for you and your staff. Not to mention, your requests may not be resolved promptly due to time zone differences, or simply due to the Agency you are working with having a high volume of work. On the flip side, if you don’t have the budget for a comprehensive website design right now, it’s perfectly OK! Typically, you should be considering a redesign of your website every 2-3 years.    


The timeliness of your web build is another key factor in choosing which of the two golden rules are most important to you. Are you launching a new business, and need your site online a few weeks before opening? Or, are you established, and have the time (and budget) to wait a few extra weeks to make sure everything is done to the highest quality possible? No matter where you fall on the spectrum, a good, high-quality website takes time. Be wary of agencies that over-promise and under-deliver. What we mean is that if they promise to have a fully functional website for you in two weeks, it most likely means that it will be low quality, templated, rushed, and not user-friendly. Granted, if you have only a few products to sell online, a two-week window may be realistic to launch an eCommerce store, but is by no means one-size-fits-all. 

There are several out-of-the-box, templated, solutions that can decrease the build time of your website, but it is also important to consider if it fits the look and feel of your brand. Below are a few samples from Theme Forest for context:  


The last of the three golden principles to consider is cost, and it ties together the speed and quality portions mentioned above. If budget isn’t an issue, this typically means that your eCommerce site will be of higher quality, but will take longer to go live. On the flip side, if budget is an issue, a lower cost typically means that the quality will not be as high, and your site may get done more quickly.

When considering how much you should allocate to the build of your eCommerce site, the build isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. Things such as your eCommerce platform, domain name, hosting, SSL, and your payment processing costs are all important to factor into your budget. 

Typically, most businesses spend anywhere between 6-20% of their gross revenue on Marketing. Further expanding on the above, BigCommerce put together a helpful guide, How to Calculate Total Cost of Ownership for an Online Store, which goes into more detail on how to calculate the costs associated with building and maintaining an eCommerce site. At the end of the day, it also doesn’t hurt to calculate your current ROI for your website. Our helpful ROI Calculator can help you do just that.    

Which will you choose?

No matter if your business is starting, or established, having a user-friendly eCommerce site is an absolute must. Ultimately determining if speed, quality, or cost is the most important depends on a litany of factors and is what fits your business model the best.