The Age of the Website Template
We’ve all seen advertisements for do-it-yourself website services. They promise a low monthly cost or even FREE. There are 100’s of templates to chose from, and easy drag n’ drop styling. Your brand new website can be just a few clicks away. So, how do these online design services offer all of this for virtually nothing?
Are you prepared to spend more to upgrade?
These online website services are very similar to free phone apps. Yes, they may be offered for free but there are “in-app purchases” or add-ons. As you begin to use the easy drag n’ drop function you’ll start asking yourself, “How do I change this?” or “How do I do that?” Templates can be easy but also very limiting. You may become frustrated trying to work within these limitations and end up spending money to bail yourself out.
What’s your time worth?
As a business professional and entrepreneur you’re used to being creative and resourceful. You may not have a big marketing budget, if any at all, so anything that you can feasibly accomplish on your own certainly stands to be considered. What may not be initially obvious with a website template service is that while some things are easy to figure out, other basic functions are not. After hours of pouring content into your template and making basic customizations, you may find that you’re not happy with the resulting look or your website lacks function that you can’t live without. If you’re still determined, you could end up down a rabbit hole of research and scouring tech forums for answers. If that still doesn’t work, you pay for tech support.
Templates are usually easy but limiting and you’re probably going to want more.
Even small businesses need an array of options for a successful website. You’ll want things like social media integration, search engine optimization and original, creative content. I have always said that your website and social media platforms are hungry animals that need to be fed. Without care and cultivation you’ll only ever get out of it what you’re willing to put into it. Having a website that screams, “Cheap” or “I have no idea what I’m doing” will hinder your business, not help it. Like a lot of things in life, trying to cut corners to save money usually isn’t worth it in the long run.
An alternative if you don’t have a big up front budget
Consider hiring a professional to build your website but negotiate a monthly payment plan. Larger design firms probably won’t do this but smaller firms or independent contractors may consider it if the project is a good fit!
Contact Stafford Studios at 503-663-6565 for a free consultation.
Designer & Creative Media Producer