Are you wondering if custom website development is just hype? After all, it’s easy to create a free website without any experience. DIY sites offer professionally designed themes and many people say they’re happy with their sites. With so many people satisfied with free and cheap DIY websites, is there any reason to hire a professional developer?
The answer is yes – there are plenty of reasons to hire a professional website developer. Here are the top 4 reasons a boilerplate website design isn’t a good fit for your website.
1. Custom design is the way website development was intended
The proliferation of DIY website platforms has turned true website development on its head. Today, people search for an aesthetically pleasing theme and then try to make all of their content fit inside the pre-made boxes. That’s not how website development is supposed to work.
All website development projects should begin by identifying goals for the site, creating content that supports those goals, and then designing a layout that displays the content in a way that will achieve the end goals. This is precisely the process professional development companies like dev.co go through with their clients.
For example, say you sell the world’s most indestructible socks and your goal is to sell as many socks as possible. You’ll want to sit down with your marketing team and start developing content for your site before attempting to work on your website’s design. Once you have content, then it’s time to think about a design.
When planning your website’s design, you have to think about two things at once: design and functionality. These two are intertwined and overlap in many areas. For instance, your web form should be created as part of your site’s design rather than being a “widget” that gets stuffed in a box on a sidebar somewhere.
Another example of how design and functionality are connected is your menu. If you use a boilerplate template theme, you’re stuck with the navigation that the designer created. You can’t easily change the position or style. If you don’t like the navigation style, you’ll have to spend time and money changing it to meet your preferences.
2. Happy DIY customers don’t necessarily have the right website
Customer satisfaction is important, but shouldn’t be the driving factor in assessing the DIY website world. Many people are happy with websites that don’t work. In fact, most people prioritize aesthetics over results without realizing that’s what they’re doing.
Using a DIY website platform with a boilerplate template puts you in the position of making decisions that are best made by a professional designer. One problem is that you won’t know which elements will support your site or reduce the efficacy of your site. For example, not all websites need a sidebar, and when it comes to websites the presence of unnecessary elements can hurt conversions.
There might be hundreds or even thousands of people who swear they are completely satisfied with their boilerplate website theme they got from a DIY platform, but how are their sales doing? They may not realize that a lack of sales and leads is directly tied to their website’s design.
When you hire a professional developer, you won’t have to worry about that because your site will be designed to maximize conversions. Of course, there’s more to conversion than design. However, starting with the right design means you can spend more time split testing your content.
3. Pre-made designs don’t always come with functionality
The best looking pre-made website themes don’t necessarily come with all the functionality you need. For example, if you buy a pre-made WordPress theme, chances are, you’ll need to install several plugins just to make your theme complete. It’s rare that a pre-made theme will come with all the functionality you require.
There’s nothing wrong with using a few plugins to fill in the gaps, but It’s more efficient to create a design from scratch rather than add to an existing theme. Not only will you avoid programming incompatibilities that will lead to forced compromise, but you’ll get exactly what you want within the capabilities of your design team.
4. Custom designs omit spaces for critical business information
Many pre-made website designs lack designated areas to display critical business information like a phone number, address, and hours of operation. If you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, this information needs to be on the top of every page of your site. You can toss it into the header of any theme, but it will always look out of place.
A professional designer will create a custom area to display your contact information that blends into the design. This small addition has been proven to increase sales.
Prioritize custom website design to get the results you deserve
If you want results, you need a custom website design. Other people might be happy with their DIY-style themes, but if you want an advantage in your industry, you need a custom design.