Money doesn’t grow on trees. A penny saved is a penny earned. Do you think that I’m MADE of money? How much extra will that cost? And our all time favorite- That’s just too expensive. It’s not worth it.

Excuse me while I go bang my head up against the wall for a moment. Okay. I’m back. Now we can get down to the business of explaining why a custom web design is always worth it… and why you should think so too.

So first of all: We get it. Believe me. We are not deluded people who think that money can be thrown around like confetti. We promise. We have a budget too. But when it comes to your website, skimping on costs is simply not an option. Here’s why.

Why Your Website Has to be Awesome

Back before the internet, stores had windows. A flashy shopfront, a billboard, maybe handing out flyers or free samples was how you got people’s attention. But now, before people even walk out the door, they check your website. Your store is not your first impression anymore- your website is. And your mom was right when she said that you only have once chance to make a first impression.

Here’s the thing: we as a species have an incredibly short attention span. You have a very short window to catch people’s attention and make them want to stay. On average, 55% of visitors to your site will spend 15 seconds or less on your site. Think about what your site looks like to initial visitors. What do they see? What impression does your business leave? Okay, no need to hyperventilate. Deep breaths. There, you see? When we say you need an updated, customized website, we aren’t being the sleazy car salesmen trying to sell you a Ferrari when you came in for a minivan. We’re just telling it like it is.

What’s A Customized Website Worth

Okay, so, fair warning: Custom web design jobs are worth a lot. So you may want to brace yourself.

On average, a small site is worth between $30,000- $40,000. Larger sites can cost up to $80,000 and sometimes even more. Still breathing? Please don’t pass out on me, I’m about to make you feel better.

So yes, custom sites are worth a lot. There’s no denying that. But the way to think about it is not like you just waltzed into a store and dropped $30,000 on a designer suit so you can look like James Bond or a purse that might speak to you but is really just a purse. This website is an investment into your business. And believe it or not, what you get is worth the price.

When you make an investment, the first thing you do is pay a chunk up front. It hurts, and you might have to close your eyes as you write the check, but you know that eventually, you will see a return. It will eventually make you more money, even if right now you feel like your bank account is empty. Investing in a customized site works the same way, because the return you get through your business will more than cover the initial investment. And here’s why.

What You Get for Your Money

A customized site requires four steps, each of them important to making sure that you actually see a return.

  1. Needs Analysis– Custom means custom. We can’t waltz up to four different clients with the same strategy. We need to have several meetings, discussing a marketing strategy and honing our design plan and workflow to accommodate their needs.
  • Is the client having trouble generating leads?
  • Is conversion of leads to customers the problem?
  • Is there a lack of information on the site that leads people to look elsewhere?
  • Is the site simply outdated and ugly to look at, and people aren’t sticking around to maneuver through it?

We also discuss long term and short term goals, numbers you want to hit, and address any other concerns you might have. You’re making an investment and just as much as you want to be informed, we want you informed.

  1. Design Decisions– This is where we figure out what information to put where. How can we streamline your visitor’s journey and make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for? We look at the information that has value to your customer base and highlight that, while creating a straightforward and aesthetic site that conveys the message and personality of your business. Then, we work with a designer to bring it to life.
  1. Content Development

There’s no point in redoing your website if your content is outdated. Content that doesn’t comply with Google’s search engine optimization (SEO) standards is not going to boost your online traffic at all, no matter how pretty your site is. It’s sort of like having a really good looking house, but you have no furniture, rugs, or anything else inside. Looks great, but practically it’s useless. So we have our writers look over everything you want to include in your site and write optimized content that Google will be able to find when people do a search for your business or industry, but that people will love to read too.

  1. Analytics

And finally, we do analytics. If you don’t know how your investment is paying off, you’re never going to be happy about the money you put towards it. We use a variety of programs to give you a clear sense of exactly how much additional traffic your site is getting and how many more customers are coming in because of your site.


The end goal of a custom website design is to have your website pay for itself. It may take time but the increase in traffic is well worth the initial investment.

Is a Custom Website Design Really Worth It?

  1. Are you an established company with a clear aesthetic, logo, and branding?
  2. Do you need an extensive and complex Informational Architecture (the structure of your site) to house and organize your copious amount of content?
  3. Do you have a big ol’ budget and no deadline?

Did you answer yes? Then call a web designer and get cracking on your custom website.

Need your website to look a specific, unique way?  Don’t think any website template out there will fit your vibe (although I’d beg to differ)?

Then you’ll probably need a web designer. Perfectionists who don’t want to compromise any of their requirements will definitely benefit from coding a site from scratch. A web designer can, within reason, make all of your website dreams come true.

A custom website could also be necessary if you already have a lot of content and your site is going to be BIG. And if you anticipate needing to change your site’s features continuously or frequently, having a designer on retainer will help a lot.

But (and it’s a big BUT!) custom websites are $$$expensive$$$.

Working with a web designer could cost you anywhere from $30 to $300 an hour! The more complex and customized your site, the more hours it’ll take to complete.

Everything, from color to font to graphics to layout has to be created from scratch. Even small changes can break the bank, let alone building out the entire site.

Yikes.

You also have to consider the struggles that come with bringing a 3rd-party person into your vision. It takes time and effort to adequately share your vision with a designer and ensure you’re both on the same page.

And trust me, getting on that same page isn’t all that easy, and that could spell trouble for your finished product.

 

Is it worth using a website template instead of creating a custom website?

Website templates are free or inexpensive pre-designed layouts for websites. Sites like Themeforest have thousands of them, and most templates have different versions, within the template. Once you purchase a template, you can change certain elements, like color and graphics to make it fit in with your company’s aesthetic.

There are even some templates – Divi by Elegant Themes comes to mind – that are unbelievably adaptable.

They’re pretty inexpensive. Even if you hire a web designer to code some of your WordPress pages, it’s still less expensive than building a custom site. Small and new businesses typically don’t have the money to invest in a custom website. But – and you should know this by now – you can’t afford not to have a website. Templates are a great option for a cash-strapped start-up!

If you’re reading this blog, I probably don’t have to tell you how important it is to have a marketing presence online. Websites (along with such things as email and social media) are vital toward finding new leads and turning those leads into customers. In other words, if you currently don’t have a website for your business, you need to get one, stat.

That’s another reason why templates are great. Because you’re not building every line of code yourself, template websites are so much faster to get off the ground! And as soon as your site is live, you can start ranking on search engines and getting found by leads near you!

Tip from the trenches: save your dinero for your website design

Unless you need your business’s website to fit your exact vision, be capable of handling all of your extensive content, and you have a big budget and no time restriction, you should probably stick with a template website.

It’s important to have a website that users like and want to spend time on, but it’s also really important to invest time and money in SEO best practices and create high-quality content that will get your site ranking and put your business on the digital map.

Take it from us: we get paid to create websites for companies of all sizes. Trust us, we love to custom-build a site from scratch.

But that doesn’t mean that’s the right solution for you. Chances are you’ll be more than happy with the outcome of a far less expensive website template.