This week, we did something a little different — and on Instagram @withgraceandgold we asked for your biggest questions about brand and web design. One recurring question we received was about how to make the choice between purchasing and customizing a website template — or pursuing a custom web design.
Now, as we always say: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to small business ownership, so in today’s episode, we want to simply share and explore 5 questions to ask yourself so you can make a well-informed decision about whether a website template or a custom web design will serve you and your small business best.
$500 or $5,000: DIY versus Custom Web Design
At With Grace and Gold, we offer both customizable website templates and custom design services. While we are sometimes asked to share our recommendations and guidance — over the years, customers and clients have often shared with us what led them to their decision.
So, today, we want to share and explore 5 questions to ask yourself — about your business, your goals, and your expectations — so you’re equipped to decide between a customizable website template and a custom web design on behalf of your small business.
- How much am I able or willing to invest in my web design? It may sound cliche, but a web design is an investment — it’s a way to pour into your small business and come away with a tool designed to help your small business succeed. As an example, one of our clients, Katie Schubert, had bookings valued at $20,000 within the first month of using her new custom web design. One of our customers, Brigitte Renee, booked quadrupled her inquiries after launching one of our customizable website templates. These experiences show that, when your web design is rooted in your vision and goals, it can truly equip your business for success. So, how much are you able or willing to invest in your web design? Customizable website templates are often hundreds of dollars, while custom web designs can be thousands of dollars. Many design businesses offer payment plans for custom web designs, which is a helpful way to pursue a custom design experience on a budget.
- How much do I (or my prospective clients) value my business having a one-of-a-kind web design? Depending upon the season of business you are in, having a one-of-a-kind web design for your small business could be a low priority — or a high priority. For new business owners who are building a foundation for their new business, a customizable website template can serve as an ideal launch pad. For experienced business owners who value being set apart visually — or standing out among fellow businesses in their field — having a one-of-a-kind, custom design would be most valuable. So, determine how much you, or your prospective clients, will value your business having a one-of-a-kind design.
- Are there a few unique layers or facets to my small business? When prospective customers or clients of With Grace and Gold share their vision for their web design with us, and they mention having several facets within their small business: services, products, education, a podcast — we often recommend a custom web design. Customizable website templates often serve as a ‘base’ for you to grow upon, so if your business has several layers or facets, there could be a lot of customizations needed to make the website template truly work for you. On the other hand, with a custom web design, you can ensure every page of your web design is strategically-designed with the unique areas of your business in mind. Of course, this leads to our next question:
- If I’m leaning toward a template, how much do I plan to customize my chosen template? At With Grace and Gold, we offer customizable Showit website templates — and within those templates, updating photos, galleries, and text areas can be done with just a double-click. But the customization process can be a really fun process — and because the sky is the limit with how much the templates can be customized — some customers make truly original creations from the templates. So, if you are leaning toward a template, it’s important to determine how much you plan to customize your chosen template — and how comfortable you feel with the customization process.
- What type of result(s) am I hoping to experience by having a new web design? Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s important to consider how you’d like your web design to work on behalf of your small business. We’re big believers in working backwards — determining what your end goal is, and plotting out the steps to achieve your goal. So, if you know you need your web design to be a one-of-a-kind online space to work on behalf of your small business and help you reach new heights, it’s likely a custom web design is for you. If you know you need a foundation for your web design, to launch your new business or simply to create a fresh start, a customizable website template can work wonderfully.
Again, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to deciding between a customizable website template or a custom web design — but we hope today’s questions and reflections help you to determine the best path for you and your business. Follow along with us on Instagram @withgraceandgold and @branditbuildit for more inspiration and education about brand and web design.