Hi, I'm Ashlie. Owner and lead designer at Wolf & Willow Design! I'm a 12 year corporate accountant turned full-time designer helping other small-business entrepreneurs chase their dreams. I'm also a wife, #girlmom, and Air Force veteran.
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Today we’re cracking open our DMs to share a frequently asked question we get: should you purchase a template or invest in a custom web design? While this is going to look different for everyone, we’re sharing 5 things to consider so you can make a well-informed decision on whether a template or a custom web design may be right for you and your business right now.
It’s the #1 objection we get when it comes to investing in a new website. Thankfully, there are plenty of options.
When deciding whether to invest in a custom design or a website template, the most obvious thing to consider is your budget. How much are you willing to invest in a new website? It’s important to evaluate which option will best suit your needs and objectives. A custom design can provide a unique look that reflects your brand, as well as more flexibility and functionality. Website templates may be a more cost-effective solution, but they can be more limited in terms of design and features. Ultimately, it’s about finding the option that will give you the best value for your money, so it’s important to weigh both the cost and the benefits. Consider how well the design or template complements your overall message, how user friendly it is, and how easily it can be updated and maintained over time. These factors should all be taken into account when determining which option is best for your business.
What is your budget sensitivity? This means knowing how much up and down flexibility exists with the budget. Remember, the goal here is to not go for broke, but go for what works for you right now. And if a custom design is outside of your current budget, a template is a great place to start!
For entrepreneurs who are just getting their feet wet in the online space and starting out their business, we always recommend starting with a template.
Budget constraints aside, we know from experience that new businesses and their owners are likely to evolve significantly in the first couple of years as they nail down their brand messaging, services and target audience, and these are all important factors that go into a custom design. Starting with a template is an economical way to get a professional web presences without breaking the bank while you’re still trying to get your business going.
Our custom design experience is a great fit for those that have been in business for at least 2-3 years and have a firm understanding of what they are offering and to who.
Since templates are built to try to accommodate a diverse range of industries and businesses, they’re great at conveying simple, and straight-forward services and processes.
If you have a more diverse set of offerings, a custom design might be a better fit for you. As a general rule, if you have 2-3 different services or offerings, a template could serve you well.
But if you’re looking to have services + products, a blog, podcast and membership…we would probably recommend something more custom.
While a template is nowhere near as intensive of a DIY as trying to start from scratch yourself, there is still a certain level of jumpin in there and getting your hands dirty.
And while we love Showit because it’s super user-friendly even for non-designers, for some people the DIY is just not their thing. And that’s ok! A custom design can be just the solution.
But if you’re comfortable with taking some time to make a template your own to save some money, then a template is a great option.
We always tell clients to expect at least 10-12 weeks to go through our Signature Experience. This can vary from designer to designer depending on their process and offerings.
At W&W, we have three phases: Brand Strategy + Design, personalized copywriting, and then a custom Showit website design.
We want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck and ensure you get the most return on your investment. And the best way we can do that is by taking our time and honoring the process.
If you’re needing to launch on a timeline that looks a bit more like ‘pronto’, then a template is going to be a better option for you.
I hope this helps you gain some insight as to whether or not a website template or a custom web design might be a better fit for you at this point in your business. As always, slide into my DMs with any questions!
Till next time,
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let's do this!