|Three Reasons Not to Share the Same Dress|
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
—E. E. Cummings
Ok, this discussion is a very difficult mine field to cross, especially since my over arching desire as an entrepreneur is to give the best advice to both my clients and friends. As I continue to create website designs and work with companies to find the right solution for their company I began asking myself a question:
Should I Buy a Website Template? or Why not just use a website template?
It might seem easy for many web designers to type in Website Templates in Google and see what's out there and buy them and re-sell to their clients. I don't know if the design industry still uses this term, "hack", but it applies to many website designers who are taking website templates and calling it their own.
So, Should I Buy a Website Template or Custom Website Design?
When you are serious about developing your Brand, you have to go with Custom Website Design and not a website template. It's not just because I am in the business of web design. It is my philosophy that if you are going to be able to compete in business, you need to stand out. I recently read, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, by Hugh MacLeod. 40 pieces of advice for the up and coming entrepreneur. One of his tips is,
"Don't stand out from the crowd, avoid crowds altogether."
That has always been my belief. Standing out isn't the only solution, you have to be so different that there aren't any crowds around you. Can you look at your web site and say, "This is uniquely mine." Can your business say that? If not, then it's time to evaluate whether your web site design is doing the job it's suppose to. And that is:
to promote your business, resulting in more business, leads and continued business.
Just Say No to Website Templates.
Be different! Website design should be uniquely yours. It should represent the power of your brand and leverage, usability, information and interactivity to the fullest. Purchasing a pre-made web template only limits you because you are starting at the end and trying to fit your business into it. Your brand/business should be the starting point to any website design project.
Now Comes the Hard Part: Budget.
What about Budget? If all I can afford is $100, isn't it better to get a really nice website template for $100 than languish without one because I can't afford the super high prices of a website designer?
If your budget only allows you to buy a website template then start out trying to find a low cost website design solution that involves a custom website design. What I mean by this is, get quotes from website designers, detail what you want and your willingness to be flexible.
Many website designers will trade flexibility for money. For instance, if I have a client that wants many drafts, then I have to charge more. If they constantly want changes, then I have to charge more. But if I can get a reasonable amount of money for my time, then I will charge accordingly.
Of course, for me our prices are already low, to lower my prices I would have to interact with that client and make a case-by-case decision. If you want an e-commerce website with 100 products and 25 additional pages, then it is unreasonable to ask someone to commit to that much work for $100.
But if you want a one page informational website design, it is far better to negotiate a better price and get custom website design than purchase a website template.
People Know its a Website Template.
There is no fooling some people. When they see something, they know automatically that it's a repeat. "I've seen that some place before," they say. Or maybe, "that reminds me of..." and then they give you a list web sites they've seen with your design.
This hurts your business and reputation. Avoid it at all costs!
If you have any questions about web site design or if you are looking for a website solution, drop us an email with your website design idea and budget at: email@example.com.