27
Nov
2017

Why a Custom Website Works Better Than a Free Template

by Keith Hodges, Content Strategist
Design Topics News & Notes Search Engine Optimization SEO Small Business Marketing Web Design Website Design
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For every online tool you can pay for, there’s a handful of free alternatives. If you want to automate business functions, you can pay for Zapier or use IFTTT for free. You can buy a Microsoft Suite subscription or you can find word processors and spreadsheet programs that have many of the same functions. If you’re short on funds but have a bit of time, then the free options certainly do in a pinch, even if they’re not as pretty. The same is true for web development: you can use free tools if you have a lot of time to test and customize things, but they won’t work quite the same way and the finished product won’t be as polished.

What Does a Custom Designed Website Offer That Free Alternatives Don’t?

  • Someone besides you is responsible for making it work right. If you manage both your business and your website, the pressure is constantly high. A single crash or broken function can set back your growth goals or cost you several hours that you needed for another project. One of the most important parts of growing a small business is focusing on your expertise and delegating the rest, and this is especially true for your business: tweaking it to be just right can take a frustrating amount of time unless you know precisely how to fix it. Also, because you have someone else you can rely on to fix broken links, bugs, and formatting quirks, you don’t have to put them off as a lower-priority than other things. Just notify your professional, because it’s a priority for them.
  • People judge a new site based on its appearance. You’ve probably browsed through your competitors’ sites. There are a few that are new, crisp, and beautiful, and there are others that have held onto blocky, text-heavy formatting from fifteen years ago. Even worse, there are some in which the formatting is just a bit incohesive, the pictures look a bit too much like free stock photos, and the navigation is clunky, and these are usually free templates that have been unprofessionally modified. The first can easily turn a profit, the second can also grow based on reliability and name recognition, and the third warns away cautious shoppers from giving up contact information, let alone a credit card number. Hire a professional to design and manage your site so you remain distinctly in the first category.

Your website matters too much to use a free, almost-right alternative, and your time matters too much for you to spend hours getting it ready yourself. Hiring a professional web designer lets you customize a website that looks professional and can continue to grow as your business grows. We can help you keep your site optimized for search and improve your rankings as well.

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