Having options is supposed to be a good thing. It’s empowering. It enables us to decide what fits best. With that empowerment also comes the responsibility to understand what compromises and enhancements are at stake. This is often where a good thing goes bad, when decisions are made with an inadequate basis of knowledge.
Choosing between a custom web design and a template based design presents its own unique options. It is essential to know what your uses are when trying to figure out which route you want to go, as both options are valuable in their own way.
Just like most business decisions, building a website needs to be a strategic and thoughtful process, and we want to provide you with the right information to help make the process a bit smoother. The following three topics will help us determine which web design pathway is best for your business including; cost, customization, and ease.
Undoubtedly, template based designs are the cheaper route, up front. These are great if you want a quick and easy option to use for a portfolio. Quick and easy, that is if you know how to use the Content Management Systems (CMS). But, we’ll focus more on that later.
While the price for a template is initially cheaper than hiring a web design team, there are risks you need to consider. Before purchasing a template, you have very little control over how that template will interact with your content. You are purchasing a product based primarily on its appearance, reviews, and a brief summary of its functionality.
In real-life terms, this is similar to a college football scout recruiting a player because he looks good on the cover of ESPN Magazine. But, his appearance has a limited gauge on his ability to deliver on the field. Now, when it comes to your template design, what if technical problems are encountered with the site implementation? Chances are a specialist is required. The template is great to get started, but if you want something customized, or if the content isn’t flowing the right way, you’re going to need some outside help. (Unless you’re a secret developer). This has a high cost risk and causes unwanted strain in the long run.
You want a website that delivers on your business goals. The right website template might help accomplish them. A design team, though, is able to walk with you through the customization process in order to build the site entirely with your goals in mind. For many businesses this is well worth the investment. It keeps the design expertise where it should be; with the experts, and can better align business goals by driving higher conversion rates, and ultimately improving ROI.
Overall, it makes sense to use a template based site to create something with simple functionality, like a portfolio for a photography business, or a site with limited menus. It’s affordable and typically requires minimal work on the back end. For beefier sites that include customized graphics, advanced user interface, and a variety of products, let a trustworthy design team help you with that. You’ll be glad you did.
Here’s a quick look at a few sites that CM has created, take a look and see if you can spot the benefits of working with a design team.
This is where a CMS template comes into play. A content management system is the interface which houses a design template and allows you to add whatever content you want (as long as it’s agreeable with the template’s structure). Such offerings include Shopify, Big Commerce, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These CMS can be a breeze for tech-savvy people, often providing them with drag-and-drop widgets to publish the necessary content.
Should you chose a CMS, know that it’s essential to understand the system, whether you or your marketing team manage the site. Additionally, when errors come knocking, how do you expect to resolve the problem? Technical support is often necessary, and if all you have at your disposal is the CMS vendor communication could be a potential setback.
Hiring a team includes its own challenges. With the design and development of a site, the process requires collaboration and communication. Depending on your own preferences, this could be a good or bad thing.
- Good: because it opens the doors to greater creativity and customization, all the while relieving you of the demands of designing the website.
- Bad: because if you like having absolute control, you might derail the creative train that the design team was directing.
Letting the project breathe, and trusting the process is a crucial factor in having a team work on your site. While the process may take patience until completion, if approached properly, the end result will yield significant results.
Full customization control over what your team decides to implement on the site can create a unique experience for the user. In a digital world teeming with interactivity and information, how a user engages with your site is crucial in the success of your business. Your site needs to be rich. Oh and responsive. It needs to be responsive.
There’s no question here, that a design team has the greater ability to develop an effective, engaging, and goal-driven website. The appearance of a website is important. As we addressed above, there are plenty of available templates that look appealing. But can they help your business stand out from the crowd? A good design team has complete access to making your website look and feel exactly the way your brand should. This is what makes them experts.
It’s common for a popular template designer to sell hundreds of copies, and for one of those copies itself to sell many times over. This benefits the template designer, but doesn’t benefit the template user in terms of originality.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still customize a template a fair amount. Yet by the time you reach contentment over the look, feel, and function of the website, a design team may have been the better option.
Maybe you just want to share information and aren’t as concerned with competing, and selling a product? A template would be perfect, and will allow you to present your information in good fashion though it may still take a time commitment and know-how. On the other hand, if you are a part of a brand or business looking to stake your claim with an original, strategic, and customized website, you’re going to want to hire the experts for that!
Essentially, working with a design team like the one here at CM will allow you to effectively communicate your business wants, needs, and goals and have our team visualize it. As you can see from above, we have plenty of experience doing it. So, let us know how we can bring your brand to life on the web.