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Choose a Website Template or Custom Design?

A Bad Example

I saw a website today of a company that was advertising on the radio. I checked it out and it was clear to me that what they did was take an existing website template (or "theme" it's sometimes called) and had someone slap their logo and content in it. It didn't look professional. I mean, it looked alright - it's much better than other websites but it had some issues. The logo didn't quite fit in right. There were some large gaps of space. It just wasn't "tight" and professionally done any really anyone could tell this.

You kind of wonder what that company was thinking. Did they just think, "ok, that's good enough" because they didn't have much money to spend on their website? You'd think that if they're going to advertise on the radio and spend money on getting people to their website (which was mentioned a few times in the radio spot) that they would have their website looking as good as it could.

Besides the radio ad (and I have my own opinion on local radio ads here in Madison... I think the majority of them sound really amateurish... especially the ones where you hear the owner of the business talking - someone who should not be doing a radio ad - and I especially hate the ones where it's a guy and he's talking in his high voice- maybe it's just me thinking that, but...) their website is basically people's first visual impression of their company. If that's not looking right, they're completely blowing their first impression.

First impressions really matter. This company that I'm talking about is a service company. They do work in people's houses. Their website - even if they didn't personally make it - is a reflection of their work. If their website isn't perfect / looking good, then people (their potential customers) will think that the company's work is the same. People certainly won't think it's better.

Create or Update Your Website Yourself

We sell a lot of websites that allow people to update them by themselves. It works well in most cases. I'd say we go the extra mile to help make it as foolproof as possible. Even then, sometimes, some people just might not have the training or the eye to layout pictures and copy (text) very well. We're all wired differently and some people just don't have that "design eye" that's often needed. That's fine. In those cases, we're here to help of course.

The big problem is that there are a lot of these "build your website yourself' services out there and as much as they are hyped, one size does not fit all. Sure, you might be able to get something that's "good enough" but why settle?

Just like not everyone should do their own radio ads, not everyone should build their websites themselves or even update them.

Hey, I really like cars but when something goes wrong, I'm taking my car to the mechanic. I'm not about to take the time to learn to do it or take the chance on messing something up. My transportation is too important to me.

Pre-Made Website Template Problems

Going with a template website might not be a good idea. Here are the main issues:

  • Your logo might not fit.
  • The colors might not exactly match.
  • There might not be enough room for content.
  • It might load too slowly.
  • Fonts might get "off."
  • Images might not look good and need some formatting.
  • You could end up with excessive space.
  • Things might not line up.

Luckily, we have a solution! Well, two actually.

How to Build a Website the Right Way

The absolute best way to get a website designed is with custom design.

Webstix Custom Website Design

Our custom design process works really well. We find out what you need, we do wireframes (basically a "black and white" version of the website without design that shows where things will go - to help separate design from layout) and then go into the design process. We work on design until you're happy. We, of course, consult with you so that it's done right. For example, if someone wants to fill in every white (blank) space with something, we tell them that doing that will make things look too cluttered.

You end up with an excellent website design for your business or organization that is totally your own, one that's modern, one that's made for you and one that works well. You eliminate ALL the problems associated that go with a pre-made website design or template.

Webstix Semi-Custom Website Design

With our Webstix X-Press system, you start with a pre-made website design but we work on it until it basically looks like it's custom. That means we make sure your logo fits right, that the colors are right and so on. It's a custom looking website design on a budget. A mobile version is even included! You can't go wrong with this.

It's Not All About Traffic

You might think that your website just isn't getting enough traffic - and maybe that's why you're not getting business. That might not be true... your website might not be doing its job.

Think about it - if you get (let's use some arbitrary numbers) say 10,000 website visitors a month and your current website converts 2% of them (low), then that's 200 leads a month. What if your website instead converted 5% of them (more average)? With the same traffic, you'd get 500 leads a month by not increasing traffic at all - by using the same traffic.

You can increase conversions a few ways. One way might be with the design. Another would be having multiple calls to action - and so on.


Don't let another year go by using the same design - the same one that's not professional and one that's not helping you. Upgrade your design and your company's image this year. Contact Webstix and we'll talk to you and let you know how we can help you.


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