In the not-so-distant past, the typical company website simply functioned as an online brochure. For very small businesses still willing to settle for this limited functionality, a pre-designed template could possibly get the job done. However, it’s not really viable for a bit more complex needs.
Compared to custom website development, template-driven sites are simply less complex. They offer less impact and functionality out of the gate, and limited expandability down the road. As a result, they wind up costing more money and present more problems in the long run. Here are a few reasons why:
You only have seconds to engage a visitor.
With today’s short-on-patience prospects, you have about 3 to 4 seconds to convince a visitor to delve deeper into your site. This requires a level of arresting design that isn’t possible with an off-the-shelf template that looks like everyone else’s site.
Instant gratification can be costly down the road.
Top-notch web designers know that getting a site up and running is only the beginning. From the outset, they’re already thinking about what you may need to achieve your goals in both the near and distant future. Their informed decisions include choosing the most appropriate programming technologies, content management system (CMS), and web hosting platform/service to effectively empower your mission.
All coding is not created equal.
A website template can seem all well and good: until you need to customize it. Many templates have coding that isn’t up to current standards, and even downright bad coding. Chances are, you’ll need to hire an expert coder to deal with buggy code in order to make template customizations down the road. It’s better to hire a developer to write clean and efficient code to begin with, instead of fixing someone else’s mistakes.
Real SEO optimization is not part of the package.
It’s more crucial than ever for your site to be optimized for search engines. This effort needs to be driven by a solid strategy — based on customized research, selection and fine-tuning of keywords — in order to generate better page rankings while maximizing leads and conversions.
The old adage “time is money” is alive and well.
Once a website project Is underway begun, most companies have their hands full with the process of amassing content, agreeing on main messaging points, and working with a web development firm to translate their raw content into a polished site. Once this process is complete, the framework of your site needs to be as solid, expandable and future-proof as possible — in order to maximize its utility and amortize its cost.