Should You Use a Web Designer or Go with a Template or Builder? Seattle Web Design Questions

Setting up a website for the first time can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to do it on your own. One of the biggest questions we get about Seattle web design is whether it’s okay to use a template or website builder or if you need a web designer. This question is difficult to answer, because the truth is it depends on the business in question. The following information should help you decide.

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Website Builders and Templates or Themes

Website builders, themes, and templates are usually free or low cost (a quality theme will cost as around $40-$65 or $500+ if you want to buy all of the rights), or cost a monthly fee, which may or may not include hosting. While this might seem like a cheap and easy way to get started, it often isn’t, because there’s a lot more involved. When you hire a Seattle web designer to create your site for you, they will handle everything, including setting up hosting. If you’re using a paid website builder, it is as easy as it sounds, but you’ll still have to drag and drop, and work with the layout to try to create something professional. Some of the tasks that a design and development company will handle included:

  • Purchasing your domain name (Costs money)
  • Setting up hosting (monthly fee)
  • Installing a CMS
  • Installing the theme, skin, template, etc.

If you’re doing it yourself, you’ll end up doing all of that yourself, some of which can be quite complex and time consuming. If you’re tech savvy, you can probably handle it okay, but many people end up paying for professional help just for setup, which can be almost as expensive as paying a designer to do it for you in the first place.

Website Design

Whether you’re using an existing CMS like Joomla or want your own CMS, a website designer can and will create a custom design for you based around your business needs. Costs usually run in the mid to high triple digits and can run into four digits but do include items like hosting, domain names, maintenance, installation, and setup. Many web designers set fees based on how many hours they take to complete the project, and setting up a website with an existing theme can run from 5-20 hours, and designing a new theme can run from 50 to over 150 hours depending on the complexity and style of the site.

You get:

  • Everything done for you
  • A unique website that performs well in search and exactly meets your needs
  • A branded website
  • Scalability, responsiveness, and local optimization

Which Option Should You Chose?

Choosing between web design and templates usually comes down to one thing. Money. If your business can afford to pay for a website designer to create a custom site for you, then do it. It’s well worth the money in terms of having a unique site that no one else has, having the branding, and saving time on installing and updating the website yourself. In some cases, you can pay a designer to set up a theme with custom graphics to save money if you don’t know how to set up a website yourself. If you don’t have any money or budget for digital marketing, then you can use a pre-built theme or skin while you save up, and plan to make something worthwhile.

Want to know more about how a custom website can help your business online? Contact Rory Martin for more information

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