Web design businesses like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly have made a pretty penny shelling out cookie-cutter templates for Millennials and Baby Boomers, alike. Millennials with their coming of age in an uncertain economic environment and entrepreneurial spirits, and Boomers trying to adapt to the ever-advancing technological landscape…on a budget. But, as every good businessperson knows, it’s not what you pay, but the value of a product or service. The return on investment – that matters in the long-run. And on this, web design template “solutions” will not move the needle for your business.
You need more than a pretty face
DIY web design companies would have you believe that looks are everything. Sure, their templates are aesthetically appealing…and they better be, because that’s all their web designs have going for them.
Development > Design…Development Is Design
What the layman fails to realize when hanging out his virtual shingle is that what the customer sees is only the tip of the iceberg of web design and web development. For one, people often use “web design” as a misnomer for “user experience” on their website. Even before your homepage loads, the quality of web development comes into play. Despite the fact that users on templates sites sees a nicely laid out web page. How quickly it loads, and whether each button the user clicks has its intended effect is determined not by web design, but rather web development. In other words, how nice your product looks sitting in a customer’s cart means little if the functionality to get it in the cart, much less purchase the item, hasn’t been well-developed in the website’s coding.
Bogged down with blogs
The largest demographic of templates website design users are bloggers. If you are a blogger who would love to see your online community evolve into a full-time gig. You must begin to think of yourself as a businessperson. If you don’t already, which means positioning yourself a cut above your competition. Starting with a professionally designed and developed site. Laying the proper foundation for scaling, a la a custom-designed website, will make scaling your business a painless process. More than that, a shop section can be seamlessly integrated when your brand becomes marketable enough that your fans want to own a piece of it.
Google hates cookie-cutter sites
Are you familiar with search engine optimization, or SEO? There are entire companies built around providing SEO services to clients. And for good reason: Google and other search engines have highly-evolved algorithms to deliver the most satisfactory, highly-relevant results in regards to the millions of keywords users type in their search boxes every day.
Think of all the blustery bloggers out there. The ones who abandon blogs created with a web design template after a short stint. They are unlikely to expend the energy to take down their blog pages. This means search engines are already inundated with thousands of outdated, low-quality hits for keywords ranging from “apple” to “zookeeper”. Having nearly identical coding to these dead-end results as the base of your site will be actively detrimental to the quality of your site in Google’s eyes.
There’s a reason you rarely – if ever – see a site “powered by” Squarespace or Wix web design on that coveted first page of search results (unless you’re looking for blogs, see above).
Customizing is a nightmare
Two words for you: hidden fees. Sure, you start creating your own site for free. But if you want it to do more than display a couple hundred words of text – i.e. be at all an interactive experience for your user – let the up-charges begin. This is not so with a web design & development company – companies like KitelyTech quote you for both the time and cost of the project in its entirety before beginning.
Each change, alone, is a chink in the armor of convenience DIY web building companies tout; in aggregate. The money you save will not likely be outweighed by the time and frustration you’ll expend tinkering to make their blanket services work for your specific business.
Even something as small as changing your host from a shared server to a dedicated one – to speed up the page load and response time of your site. And allow more users to simultaneously peruse it without it crashing – is likely to require assistance from someone in tech support, which brings us to our next point…
What customer service?
“Web design help” should mean more than a platform that shows you how the text will look on your site when you publish it. “Web Design Tips” need to come from a seasoned professional responding to your individual needs, rather than a generic popup tutorial teaching you how to build a generic site.
Even in the language, the world uses to discuss web design templates vs. web design & development companies. The different is instantaneous. In fact, web design template companies are selling a product, while web design & development companies are selling a service (…that eventually results in the finished product…and then includes maintenance service acting as a product warranty).
We don’t live in a static world
Think about all the ways you and your customers interact with the digital world around you; it’s virtually inescapable. Which makes it all the more crucial you are capitalizing on every opportunity to make your customers’ experiences with your brand positive. It is imperative that web design and web development – frontend and backend coding. Work seamlessly in concert whether your site or app is accessed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone; on Google Chrome, Safari, Android, or iOS. Furthermore, the site you start with shouldn’t be your entire vision for what it can become. If it wasn’t custom-built for your business, how can your site and company grow in tandem?
Data is king
Customers will always tell you what they think if you know where to look for their feedback. No survey required. Admin panels customized behind the scenes of professionally designed & developed sites allow you to see how your customers came to be on your site (social media? Search engine? Directly-entered URL?). How long they spent on each page, and where they existed. What they put in their cart and bought (or left stranded at the checkout page). Reacting to feedback with enough data points allows you to improve your site and product offerings more quickly and accurately than with surveys. You’ll often be able to tell your target customer what they want before they know.
You are a novice
Which will inevitably result in an amateur website, even with a template. If you opt to go it alone when designing a website. Web designers & web developers are professionals. Those are their titles. An entrepreneur or brand manager (title) dabbling in web design & web development (activity) just can’t compete against the quality of output produced by web designers & developers (title), who are fully engrossed in web design and development (activity) at least 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year.
With this expertise comes overlooked value when hiring professionals to build your businesses site or app. Pivoting is at the heart of many a successful startup. As information becomes disseminated ever more quickly. It is imperative to be not only a quick reactionary, but a proactive strategist; qualities hard to embody with a template site.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.