I actually do offer two different kinds of websites. Primarily, what I do is custom website design and development. What this means is that I:
- Work with the business to figure out their goals.
- Learn about what the business does.
- Study their competitors,
- Determine their target audience is and how to best appeal to them,
- And only then, do I custom design a website for their business.
When done correctly, custom website design is a collaborative effort. I work closely with my client to understand everything about the business, then I design a custom website with a goal of appealing to their demographic, and turning site visitors into customers. Clients have a lot of feedback in the process since they know their business better than I do. Then together, we make several rounds of revisions, mainge changes along the way to ensure we’re achieving the goals we’ve set out for ourselves.
Obviously, a website produced through a design process will take longer because research is required:
- I take the time to learn about the client’s industry,
- their competitors, and their business, and that’s before we even start designing.
Now, if you’re wondering how long it takes me to build a website once I actually start building the website and the design is approved, the content is written and proofread, and all the images have been provided, then yes, I can actually build the website in a matter of hours depending on how many pages and how much content it has. But, truthfully, there’s so much more to getting a complete custom website designed and developed.
Of course, a custom website isn’t always affordable for everyone, so I offer a simpler, less-expensive package that doesn’t come with a custom design. When my clients lack either the time or the money, I offer semi-custom websites. if they already have a website, I go through it audit everything and ask my clients about their goal, features that they would like, and websites they like the look of. Then I require them to draft any content that doesn’t already exist for their new website. Then, I take everything and assemble it into a design based on modern web design best practices and the tastes they express. They still end up with a custom content management system that suits their business needs, and professionally designed pages that often are better than their competitors. However, the website isn’t uniquely crafted to their brand and designed. So while it’s a nice site, it doesn’t get built with a strategy for conversion. This is why it’s less expensive, and why it can get built so much faster.
Why custom websites are better overall
While these budget sites are great because they come together fast and are affordable, a custom website is almost always going to be better in the long run. Because I spend time learning about your industry, I’m able to better understand your target audience, and that helps me plan a better strategy for conversion.
For example, if I know your target audience is mostly on their phone instead of Desktop computers (think the 20-24 year old demographic) then we’ll want to make sure that your website is super optimized for mobile phones. And of course, all my websites are mobile-friendly, but if your demographic is mostly visiting the website on their phones, then you have to make some decisions to really optimize the website for phone use, which is a little different than just being mobile-friendly.
A custom website also ensures that I’ve looked at your competitors to make sure that your site can compete with what they are offering. If your competitors are offering online bookings for services, and you aren’t, then that’s a problem. If I never looked at your competitors’ websites, I wouldn’t know what your site is missing that it should have.
When you get a custom design, you are also setting yourself apart from the pack. It shows you care about how you’re presented to your customers, that your business brings value to its customers.
Want to see some examples of some of my custom sites? Check out my portfolio.