- Quality of work
- Customer support
- Return on investment
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Interactive features
These are all important considerations, but something you should also be asking your web agency is:
"Do you use templates for the websites you design?"
Why is this question important? To understand why, let's define what a website template is: A website template is a pre-designed web page meant to simplify the website creation process. Since the design has already been created, a professional designer is not required.
Most agencies will admit that they do use templates for the websites they create (WordPress), and will give the following reasons why:
- Templates keep website development costs down
- Most business websites have the same requirements
While on the surface these answers seem to make sense, a more in depth analysis points out some serious short and long term flaws with this approach.
Reason 1: Templates keep website development costs down
Templates absolutely keep website development costs down. That is why there is a market for designers to create and sell them to agencies. That's why your neighbor's kid in high school can create a website for free. It is also why agencies can reduce costs by not hiring professional designers.
But keep in mind, you get what you pay for. The reason templates keep costs down is because they have already been created. There is no design phase. Agencies simply browse through a directory of pre-designed templates and make a selection that seems like the right fit for you. Your branding, marketing and business requirements are squeezed into something that already exists.
Reason 2: Most business websites have the same requirements
It is true that many websites require similar pages and elements: Home, About Us, Services, Newsletter Signup, Contact Us, etc. But what about the specific and unique elements that differentiate you from your competitors? You're marketing campaigns are unique, right?
When dealing with a website built using templates, your marketing and branding creativity is naturally restricted. It is a challenge (if not an impossibility) to introduce new elements into a website built using templates.
Working with Templates Summary
When working with an agency that creates websites using templates, you are settling for short-cuts. You are dismissing one of the most important factors in brand loyalty: Trust. If your website looks common, why would anyone trust you over your competitor?
Custom Design is the Difference
Custom design is what differentiates your business website from your competitors. It allows your website to strategically scale as your business grows. It means you are not bound to a framework that was created without your consideration or input.
Ultimately, your web presence is yours and should be unique. Why share it with anyone else? No templates!
- Design closely follows branding requirements
- Mechanisms to achieve business and marketing goals are built directly into the website core
- Information is delivered strategically to your target audience(s)
- Total control over webpage Search Engine Optimization(SEO) strategies
Is custom design affordable?
One reason companies may not choose an agency is because they are under the impression that the services are too expensive. That may be the case for some, but not all. We at LyncServe strive to keep costs down. Our team of talented individuals have the ability to create and deliver unique and beautiful solutions within a reasonable timeframe.
Our process allows us to charge at competitive market rates. Our pricing is close to, if not better than bids from firms that use templates.
You have two options for the design of your business website: common or unique. Your answer will speak clearly to your audience.