Pre-built Themes and Site Builders:
Pre-built website templates such as Wix, Squarespace or pre-built WordPress templates, are great for smaller businesses that need to get their website online fast. They’re usually pretty affordable… but with that affordability comes drawbacks. Some cheaper web themes often have limitations and don’t include complex features your company could benefit from. On the other hand, there are also themes which are clunky and carry a lot of functionality your site doesn’t need. This can cause slow loading times and a very heavy back-end that can be difficult to understand. With this in mind, it’s apparent that choosing a theme, while easy to set up, can actually be a pretty daunting task. If you choose poorly you may not get your money’s worth from your website.
These days, pre-built websites are more robust and modern. This is great for start-ups because they can easily present a website that looks professional and clean. There are many beautiful designs to choose from, but they can typically have a “cookie-cutter” feel in that they’re usually quite simplistic and, at times, bland. In some ways I think this is done purposefully, because it’s a lot easier to integrate your unique brand into a site that isn’t too design-heavy. But the most obvious reason to avoid a “cookie-cutter” pre-built theme would be that there are many other sites using the same exact theme. You’re not really standing out in a way that benefits your business if your website looks the same as another website, or even a competitor’s site.
A professional web designer and developer can provide several advantages in comparison to a pre-built theme you’ve set up yourself.
Web designers give you one-on-one attention that is customized to your business’ specific needs and desires. Good designers spend time educating themselves about your business, and take the time to meet with you about what you are looking for in a website. Because of this, professionals can offer site functionality and designs that are specifically tailored to your business.
Not only can a professional build a custom-made site, but they can also provide terrific support once your site is live. There’s typically no need to sit on hold for minutes at a time… If you need to make a change or have any issues, your web designer will be able to troubleshoot your problem much faster than the average “theme-building” company. This is because your web designer built your website, themselves! They know the ins-and-outs of your site and how every little piece is working.
Lastly, hiring a professional designer will also lead to better conversion rates for your business. At Melinda McCaw Media, each website we build is strategically planned from header to footer. We ensure that your web experience is not only serving your visitors information about you, but also providing them with opportunities to hire you, call you, or submit an online form. When you deliver a website that strategically appeals to your target audience, you are more likely to notice that your website is working FOR you, rather than simply sitting in cyberspace.
Would you rather spend your time figuring out how to make your website behave the way you want it to? Or would you prefer to leave it to the experts so you can focus on running your business? While pre-built websites can be beneficial for small start-ups that need an online presence, more complex businesses will tend to suffer from the limitations. If you treat your web build as more of an investment instead of a digital business card, your business will reap the benefits.