These days, millions of websites are template-based or come from content management systems (CMS) and WordPress alone makes up 33% of all sites. As these systems grow increasingly sophisticated and customisable, it’s no wonder people are questioning the need for a custom website design from a developer.
So, is it worth it to pay a freelance web designer to create your website?
There’s certainly some debate and the answer isn’t the same for everybody so you’ll most likely need to consider your situation and weigh the pros and cons of each route. The following should explain things a bit further.
Website Designers vs. Website Builders
Your two options are to use a website builder such as WordPress or Squarespace or hire a web developer to build your site from scratch. You could also hire somebody to build your site with WordPress, which has its advantages as well.
Website builders eliminate the need for design and coding expertise. Everything is pre-made and pre-set so you are mostly selecting from what the service offers. WordPress, for example, has thousands of different things to choose from. On the other hand, website design services and independent developers use their coding and design expertise to build your site from scratch; in this case, there are fewer limitations.
What Would You Pay for a Custom Website?
The cost of a custom website will vary but it’s very likely to be anywhere between a couple of hundred pounds to over thousands of pounds. Sophisticated, feature-rich sites could even cost £10,000 or more. This contrasts with a website builder, which would only cost you a couple hundred pounds or less. Depending on your situation, though, the custom route may actually be worth it.
Why Is a Custom Website Worth it?
Website builders won’t satisfy everybody’s needs and if you have the money, website design services are often worth it. You’ll be able to do exactly what you want without making sacrifices and the reasons to go this route include:
- Greater Control. Professional designers can go beyond the pre-made features that you’ll find with a site builder. Even though some site builders offer a great variety of templates and themes, you’re still limited to what’s available.
- Potentially Greater ROI. Even though you’ll pay more for a custom site, the ROI is potentially greater. You can avoid retroactive development by going with a developer from the beginning and you are potentially getting a more attractive site, unique functions, and greater SEO advantages that could increase sales.
- Accurate Brand Representation. Many would argue that using a developer allows you to create a site that better represents your brand. Website builders may offer a diverse selection but you may still be using a template that thousands of others are using.
- Better Support and Maintenance. Generally, independent developers and design companies can offer better support.
- Better User Experience. Custom designed websites have been built with your users’ experience in mind so you can incorporate unique functions and still make sure that the site is mobile friendly and responsive.
With a custom website, it’s still possible to get a CMS in place that allows you to make changes down the road.
When Is a Custom Website NOT Worth it?
Still, there are moments when pursuing a custom website design may not be the ideal choice. Many would recommend starting off with a site builder before moving on to hiring a freelance web designer to create a custom website.
Other reasons not to go the custom route include:
- The website that you are building is just a hobby.
- You don’t have any funding.
- You are working with an unproven concept.
Consider the Hidden Costs of Website Builders
In some cases, you may find that a custom website design is actually more affordable in the long run or that it has a greater ROI and either case would tell you that it’s probably worth it.
When you are using a website builder, a website still needs to be put together and organised and if the person doing this (you or one of your employees) has no experience, this could take many hours.
Those are hours that you will have to pay out when the time could have been spent doing other things. Depending on the website builder you use, you’ll also have to pay for hosting, security, and other essentials.
Also, consider the possibility of losing clients or sales because your website wasn’t as professional or as visually attractive as it could have been had you opted for a custom designer.
To find out more about our design services click on the link: Freelance Web Design