In the era of WordPress templates and Squarespace sites, it’s tempting to choose a service that lets you build a website for only a few quid and an hour of your time. But should you consider creating a custom site instead?
Hiring a design professional is the more expensive option and if your needs are simple this may be an unnecessary expense. But there are definite benefits to working with a professional. Here are some of the advantages you’ll get from a high-quality, custom website:
A well-designed template may use good SEO tactics to improve search results, but a web designer can build a site that complements your brand and brings you the highest quality traffic. A large part of an effective website is creating a business strategy and defining the message you are trying to convey. A good designer can tweak the tone of the site to reinforce your message and appeal to your target demographic in a way that an out-of-the-box product can’t.
A designer can help you clarify your call to action and create a superior user experience for customers who visit your site. Pages that are slow to load or difficult to use have a higher abandonment rate, but a site with a clean layout and a clear message is more likely to hold a user’s attention.
Ease of use
While a template-based site might be easy to set up, it can actually be difficult to make layout changes that would differentiate your site from everyone else using the same template. With a designer, you get a site that is customised and created specifically to make your content shine.
A good developer will create a site that’s easy to update and make changes to. You may still have to call in the experts if you want to make major changes, but for the near future you’ll be able to make regular updates without any hassle. This is important, as a website is not meant to be a static platform. You should regularly be adding blog posts, highlighting promotions and updating pages to keep things fresh and relevant.
The biggest advantage a professional designer brings is that they offer a level of expertise that the average businessperson can’t match. You can teach yourself SEO strategies and find tools that help you do A/B testing and track analytics, but that takes time and energy away from what you do best – running your business! If you hire a pro, you’ll get someone who creates hundreds or thousands of websites per year and knows all the latest tricks and tools to make your site the best it can be.
Is a web designer right for you? If your budget is less than £500 or you are just testing an idea and aren’t ready to commit to a product, then a template site is a good place to start. You’ll at least get something out there and the cost will be just a few pounds per month. But when you are ready to take your business to the next level, a high-quality website can help you attract the right customers and reach your long-term business goals.