Building a new website is not a trivial undertaking. There are 1,000 things to do but, at the end of the day, only a few things you actually need to get right. Thus, many of those 1,000 items can easily distract you and cost you time and money you don’t need to spend. One of the biggest culprits is website design. Do you need a custom built website? Will a cheap template make your brand image seem “cheap”? Let’s take a look at a scenario with my favorite case study.
Wolfgang Career Coaching wants to expand! Currently, we focus on serving the central Texas market with career coaching services. Amy (the CEO) wants to expand nationally because the technologies exist to make one-on-one career coaching just as personal 1,000 miles away as in-person. So where do we begin?
Can’t speak for Amy but I think about how to get customers from across the country. Some day we’ll discuss local marketing but for now let’s talk about the big need I see: a new website.
Why a new website? We already have one!
Our current website has been optimized for different search terms. Every web page is like a lottery ticket – it’s another entry to try and attract a prospective customer from search engines. Thus, we need a whole new set of pages pitching our particular business to a broader geography.
So what should we budget for a new website? $5,000? $2,000? $1,000, $500? That’s quite a range. Let’s go over how I try to minimize the out-of-pocket expenses. The biggest factor: purchasing a website design.
WolfgangCareerCoaching.com is a template purchased from templatemonster.com. Our new site, WolfgangCareerCoach.com, however, uses a WordPress template. Regardless of which template you choose, here are my reasons for choosing one:
- A template costs substantially less than having someone design your website from scratch
- A template-based website can be up and running a lot quicker than you or someone else designing it
- In the case of WordPress, you can easily change designs
- A template is a sure-fire way to achieve a professional looking website
- A template delivers functionality that you wouldn’t otherwise build
Custom Website Design Isn’t Required
There are some reasonable arguments for going with custom website development but here is my strongest argument against it: a custom design is not a requirement for an effective demand generation website. There are more important demand generation aspects to focus on. Ebay.com, yahoo.com, and craigslist.com come to mind when I think of websites that don’t have a killer-design yet are extremely effective at what they do.
Disagree with some of my points? Have a relevant experience to share? This is a discussion topic so please post a comment below. This way, we can all get better at demand generation!