Professionally designed, custom websites are beautiful, but hiring a designer to build one from scratch is a time consuming and costly process and typically only makes sense for businesses that are in the 5-10 year mark and can validate making such a hefty investment.
So what option is available for newer businesses who aren’t in the beginning stages of their offering, but still have room for growth? These businesses should invest in hiring a designer to customize a pre-designed website template. A semi-custom website still provides that designer stamp of approval, while allowing you to achieve it in a much shorter period of time at about half the cost of a fully custom site.
The truth is, most websites (yep, even custom ones!) start from a base, templated format. Why? Because it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel with every design. When it comes to user experience, there’s a standard best practice and design flow that most websites should follow. The customization comes into play when implementing a business’s brand strategy, visual identity, and target audience needs.
So if you can purchase a website template on your own, why should you consider hiring a designer to help you customize and launch your website?
While templates are a great starting point, they’re created to fit a broad target audience, not your specific business. When designing a website, you should have no more than three primary goals in mind that you want the website to achieve. That’s where I come in as a designer with the necessary expertise and experience to make it strategic and stand out. I can offer an understanding of design principles, color theory, typography, and user experience. I know what works and what doesn’t, and can guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
I’ll help you choose the right template to start with and then make intentional layout and design adjustments to ensure that it attracts more visitors and keeps them engaged for longer periods of time. Your audience needs to know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them – all within just a few seconds of landing on your home page. Achieving these specific goals is possible by working through a strategic process of building on what the template already provides and then optimizing it to create something that’s both functional and unique.
Time and Cost
While it may seem like a good idea to customize a website template yourself, it can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. My goal is to help you save time and money by completing the project quickly and efficiently. This allows you to avoid costly mistakes that inevitably come up from inexperience. Of course you want it to be visually appealing and include your brand aesthetic, but it also has to make sense. With a semi-custom design you’re getting a website that’s tailored to where your business is at now, while still allowing room for growth in the future.
From the design and development side, it saves a lot of time because the initial work has already been completed. There’s no longer a need to develop every aspect of the site. From creating a wireframe to designing a layout, and finally the actual site build. Meaning templates have already been tested against browser compatibility and screen responsiveness. This allows us to focus on implementing strategic changes, adding your unique brand style and customizing the template to fit your needs.
Search Engine Optimization
By now, you’re probably familiar with SEO or Search Engine Optimization, which is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). And while most website templates should be designed with SEO in mind that’s not always the case OR it’s easy to derail the SEO potential a template provides if you don’t know how to properly install and customize your template for the website design platform that you’re using.
As a Showit designer, I take the design process one step further and optimize the website structure, content, and metadata so that you can increase the visibility of your website. This can help to drive more organic traffic to your website and increase your online visibility. Beyond that, having professional guidance guarantees that you’re not doing more harm than good to the SEO process by slowing down the site or arranging the content in a way that Google can’t process and analyze.
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a designer is that you have access to ongoing support. While I want clients to have the confidence to make small updates on their own, I’m available for major overhauls or technical issues that might come up. And the best part is that I’m familiar with your brand style, your ideal client and your business goals. Launching a website is the first step, but maintaining, improving, and updating it can be an ongoing process. It never hurts to have a helping hand in your corner that can provide professional insight as your brand and business grows!
Overall, customizing a website template can provide many benefits for your business. By improving the user experience, maintaining brand consistency, creating a unique design, and optimizing for SEO, you can create a website that is both functional and visually appealing. So whether you’re an established small business owner, blogger, or just starting out with a new site, hiring a designer to create a semi-custom website design can help you create a polished and professional website without the cost (and stress!) of starting from scratch.
[…] for any business. Whether you’re going about it from a DIY approach or investing in a semi-custom design, finding the right website template will save your business a lot of time and money. A quick google […]