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I need a new website! Should I use a template or custom design?

In a day and age when “Do-It-Yourself” is becoming the norm with the explosion of platforms like YouTube and DIY websites like Squarespace and Wix, it is important to not lose sight of the purpose and importance of having a standout website.  Some of our clients, before they were clients, asked, “Why can’t I just go and build my own website?” Well, of course you can build your own website! The 10-year old neighbor’s kid can build a website, but does that mean he should build the website for your business, your livelihood?  Absolutely not!

If you need to replace the tile in your kitchen, you could go to the local hardware store, pick up some supplies, watch a few quick videos and be laying down tile in no time.  But wouldn’t it just make more sense to have a professional do it? The time it would take to learn how to do everything, and then the frustration with some of the nuances that would occur is enough to make it worthwhile to pay someone.  Then there is the fact that it probably won’t turn out how you originally intended and, in the end, a professional will have to touch it up anyway.

A website is the face of your business.  It is the first thing people look for and it can either establish a level of security and credibility, or it can be the cause of a lost prospect.  You only get one chance at a first impression, so why risk it with something that is not professionally put together.  Sure, there are some things that any person can manage with their website, but the best thing a business can do for their online presence is to establish a strong foundation on which to build.

When looking at a website design, there are some instances where I would say that a template is a good option.  Templates are, in a sense, the “spare tires” of the online world: a temporary solution to make sure you can still get from point A to point B.  You won’t necessarily keep up with everyone else, but at least you won’t fall too far behind. For a business just starting out with a budget under $1000, a template may be the ONLY option.  Luckily, there are web design firms that can take your template and add a custom touch. This will allow the business to establish an initial presence with the opportunity to expand.

Building a custom website has many long-term benefits.  The biggest of which is flexibility.  A website is never complete.  That is just a simple fact.  There will always be things that need to be changed, deleted, or added.  With most templates, there are restrictions with the features and functionality that can be applied.   This can be a big problem when you want a certain feature or change.

However, when building something custom, you can leave room for areas of expansion. Think of building a custom house.  When starting from scratch, you can plan for additions like a pool, a second floor, an outward addition, decks, etc. This makes it easier than attempting to add these things to a pre-established house.

As the primary resource used by current and potential clients, your website needs to have a personal touch.  It is difficult to get this personal touch, especially from a branding perspective, with a template. The Block specializes in creating memorable and effective custom designs to target specific markets.

With our help, you will have more than just a website; you will have an online tool used to maintain loyalty with current customers, while building credibility with prospects. For a free consultation, call (732) 743-5410 or email [email protected]