Custom Website Design Vs Templates – When to hire a website designer / web developer
- Articles, Blog

Custom Website Design Vs Templates – When to hire a website designer / web developer

– Hi there, Cathy Olson
here of Love Inspired,, and today we’re going
to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart but I promise I’m not stuck up about. That is custom websites versus templates, which is the best fit for you, which is the best fit
for you for right now in your business, for the future. We’re going to go over the pros and cons of custom websites versus templates. There’s four areas I’m
going to cover today. The first area is design. The second area is future growth. The third area is
professionalism and support, and the final area is ROI
or return on investment. In the very end, I’m
going to cover some cons or some ways that you would know for sure that you want to go with a
template and not a custom site. Let’s start out with design. What’s so amazing about custom sites is the design is totally
custom built for you. What that means is that the designer can take your business objectives, your goals for walking
people through the site, they can speak to your ideal clients and who you’re actually trying to sell to, and they can make that a custom experience built only on your goals and only what you’re trying to do, both
visually and functionally. Whereas with templates, of course, you are having to fit your
business into their mold and kind of fit what you’re doing into a template that’s already there. The downsides to this is that you don’t
necessarily know strategy, you don’t necessarily
know user experience, and you don’t know how
people go through a website, so a lot of times you’re kind of guessing, is,”I think that this is how
a website should be done,” but not totally clear. Of course, with custom design, you can get really fun and do
something kind of different and really visually stand out. That is a huge plus. The second thing I want
to cover is future growth. With a custom website, the
designer can take into account how you’re going to grow in the future, how you plan to grow in the future, what types of services you plan on adding, and really, what your future goals will be so that they can build the site to grow with you and for you. You’re really building a
foundation for the future. For example, if you were wanting to add in a shop later on, you would want to pick a platform that will allow you to do e-commerce, and maybe they would even
design it that way initially even if you’re not ready
to start selling yet, but design it with e-commerce in mind so that when you are ready, you are basically… There is a huge lizard
outside my window right now. It’s like, I’m freaked out,
it looks like a dinosaur. OK, anyways, they can design it so that it’s literally ready to go when you are. But whether you’re using
a template or a custom, I would definitely suggest planning for the future if you can. But the professionals
just know how to do it a little bit better. That leads me to my third area, and that’s professionalism and support. When you’re going with a template, whether it’s a template from a company like Shopify or Squarespace, you do have some built
in support through them. But it is a bit limited. It’s usually based on functionality
and not really design. They’re not going to help
you design your site. You really are on your own
when it comes to that stuff, and especially if you purchase
a template for WordPress or something like that and
you’re self installing, you really don’t have any support. You’re doing it all on
your own, so guess what? You Tube is going to be your best friend, tutorials are going to
be your best friend, and that’s totally fine
if you are the DIY type that likes to get scrappy
and figure things out on their own, and aren’t
afraid of a little code. I would definitely suggest
if you are doing DIY, to learn a little bit of code
so you know what’s happening. It’s just like knowing
what’s under the hood in case something breaks. Whereas, on the other
hand, with a custom site, you’re going to have
either built in support or ongoing support that you can purchase either from your web designer
or from another professional. Professionals do a good job. They’ve done hundreds, if
not thousands of websites just like yours, and they know what they’re doing, they know what works and
they know what doesn’t work. You can really lean on their expertise for any questions you have regarding what should go on a page, how should it go on a page, how do people go and use a website, all of those things go into it and make it really, really
great and really, really pro. The fourth area is ROI,
or return on investment. Obviously, the investment is much higher when you’re looking to do a custom site versus a template site. But sometimes you have to ask yourself, “Is it really cheaper?” Because when you use a template site, the shelf life is a lot shorter. The average use of a template
site is one and half years. Whereas, the average use of a custom site is anywhere from three to five years. When you think about how many templates and how many updates you’re paying for and how much extra support
you’re going to need, sometimes it’s actually more expensive to go with the cheaper option, kind of like when you
buy a cheap pair of socks and you have to keep replacing them versus buying an expensive pair and you have to replace them less often, sometimes it makes more sense
to invest in the beginning. The other thing about custom sites is that because they’re
built with you in mind and your goals and your
business objectives, they are able to probably
make you more money faster, but they are built to be
money making machines. Web designers know the strategy behind selling visually through a website, whereas you are probably
just copying other websites or you might be guessing, or with a template, they don’t
really know your business, they don’t really know your customers, and they’re sort of just throwing you in, you might get some sales, but they’re not going to
be highly targeted sales. With all of that said, I don’t always suggest
custom sites for people. There are definitely times when I think a template is just fine for
what you’re looking for. If you’re just starting out in business and you don’t have a lot of money, templates can be a great way to go to get you up and running
and somewhat professional while you’re trying to build
your business and make money. In those cases, I would suggest
a year or two down the road reinvesting and doing a custom site. Last thing I want to note, is that there’s a much quicker uptime to getting a template site up
versus doing a custom site. Obviously, it takes time
to build a custom site, and it takes time to build it well, so template sites can get up much faster, especially if you’re looking
for a temporary solution or something to work
for you in the interim while you’re building a business. You guys, I hope that was super helpful in making the decision. Like I said, it’s not a one
size fits all type of thing, well, templates kind of are. But (laughs). I hope this helps you make your decision, and if you have any questions,
please comment below. Make sure to like and subscribe and please share this if
this was helpful for you and/or if you know anyone that’s dealing with this issue right now, and I will see you guys soon. (happy music)

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

10 thoughts on “Custom Website Design Vs Templates – When to hire a website designer / web developer

  1. New templates using WordPress are more like a structure with all of the functions being added via plugins and add-ons. So you're not really "fitting" your business into a ready made build because everything in the template can be moved around. Of course if you're talking squarespace and wix then there are tons of limits but WordPress is super flexible and lots of designers now make completely unique sites using only WordPress and templates, such as Divi, to build sites that scale.

  2. Hello, wonder if you could help me with a question? What is the easiest way to build a website without using WordPress, wiz, weebly or squarespace? I need to use simple page where no gaps on top, title, subtitle, video, then text. Can I do this without editing codes, I am not a programmer. Thanks.

  3. So the huge cost differential between a squarespace (template) site vs a custom site is a lot, obviously.  But what's the range?  Most people are start-ups and the decision is based on this.  Can you cover that?

Leave a Reply

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