What Is Wrong With Using a Design Template?
If you have a tight budget, it can be tempting to use a template or a website service that is based on templates that allow you to customize some of the template components. It can feel very empowering to sign up, click a few things, copy a few paragraphs into a form, and hit that “publish” button. Specially when it has just saved you the expense of employing a professional web designer. So what is wrong with taking this approach? In fact, there are times it may be perfectly convenient. If you are a small or relatively new business, it is almost never the best choice. And here is why.
Impressions matter. You don’t want to cut sheets of paper into rectangles and write your business cards up by hand, for the obvious reason that it would leave a bad impression of you as a business person. It would also reflect directly on the quality of your product or services. The same applies for envelopes, letterhead, your logo, your office or storefront, and so on. Whatever else your website is doing for you, keep in mind that it’s always creating an impression. Not just the first impression, but a good website will continue to cement your business relationship with your customers over time when they it easy to use and helpful.
There are a lot of templates out there, but it is almost always directly easy to tell when a website was built on a template. They tend to look cheap, generic, and in all honesty very unprofessional. Even if they are 100% functional, it doesn’t put your best foot forward or make your business look good. It’s like using a Hotmail or Yahoo email address for your business – it ends up looking less professional and advertises for someone else instead of yourself or your business.
Your business is unique, and has unique needs and goals. It can be challenging to squeeze those goals and needs into a template that wasn’t built with you or your business in mind. What usually ends up happening is that you build your site to fit the template, rather than in the shape of what will do you the most good.
The majority of websites need to change over a period of time. After two to three years, a lot of things can change with your business, and your website will need to adapt. Web technology itself is always changing, and can end up requiring changes and updates to your website in order to remain competitive and on top. If you’ve built your website on someone’s proprietary system, you may find yourself locked into their options, or end up with the headache of having to start from the absolute beginning. Or worse, they might go out of business leaving you up the creek without a paddle.
Hiring a professional web designer doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, but it will let you build the website you need. Also you will get a completely customised website to suit you and your business!
So, to end with a cliché, remember that you just about always get what you pay for.