I get asked this question all the time either on Instagram or on potential client and calls and I wanted to give you my 100% complete honest and unbiased feedback. There is a need for both Showit website templates and for custom design and I want to take some of the stress away and give you some clarity on which options is best for you right now.
A website template is a pre-designed website that’s been developed by a third party (like myself) to help build your new Showit website on your own. Showit templates vary by each provider, but can come with editable layout and step by step tutorials and resources to show you how to set up your website from scratch.
Showit templates can range from $0 to $1,100. Our templates are $678 and can be broken into a monthly payment plan to fit all budgets!
I would strongly recommend using Showit templates if you have been in business for one year or less. In the first year of business you are still figuring out a lot of new things about your business. You will do a lot of trial and error, figure out what works, and have lots of change and growth within your business. If you are working with a template you are able to tweak your website yourself and change things as your process, deliverables, or messaging changes.
In the beginning you are also still figuring out who your audience is and what they need most from you. Use this first year to get to know them, ask lots of questions and use this to craft your website. It would be a shame to invest in custom design only to have to change it shortly after.
Which brings me to my next point, custom design is a big investment. Most businesses starting out don’t have a lot of extra funds to put towards custom design so a showit template becomes a great option for them. If you have invested thousands of dollars into custom design and your business does some serious shape-shifting, you may end up wasting lots of money (that you may not have lots of in the beginning stages).
Also, many times when you choose to go with custom work you don’t know the ins and outs of your website and editing it on your own can be a challenge. When you use a template you get familiar with your website’s backend and feel confident making changes on your own, thus not having to hire a designer to edit, update, or maintain your website (saving you lots of $$$).
Of course, you can use Showit website templates at any stage of your business, even if you are well past the one year mark. I just urge you to be 100% confident in your business model and know that your custom website will be able to last you several years.
If you are worried that your Showit website template won’t have all of the features you will need, just send a message to the provider and ask! I love getting messages from people and helping them pick which template would be best for their specific needs. (If the provider isn’t okay with answering your questions, take this as a red flag and go with someone else!). There are also lots of options out there to buy a template and have a designer customize it for you. This can save you a lot of time in your business focusing on what you love to do and what actually make you money and is still much more affordable than having a completely custom website.
Product based business that rely on packaging and design to sell their goods may want to invest in custom branding and web design earlier on than the one year mark. If your website requires lots of additional functionality and backend set up it may be best to start off on a good foot and invest in custom design from the beginning.
Custom web design is where you work 1:1 with a web designer to create a website that is built from scratch specifically for your brand.
Pricing for custom web design can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more. This price will vary greatly depending on your web designer, their skillset, and the needs of your website. It’s important to keep in mind that with design, you often get what you pay for.
Custom website design can quickly elevate your business but keep in mind they are a big investment. I typically recommend that you have been in business for at least one year before you decide to take the plunge and invest in custom web design. A lot can change in the first year and you will want to make sure that you know your audience, your process, and messaging.
You website is usually people’s first interaction with your business so it’s important that it makes a good first impression. A custom website provides a unique identity for your business that makes it stand out and creates a lasting impression. A custom website can create a larger sense of professionalism and care that is put into your business.
You may want to invest in custom design if you have more time than money. A lot of business owners come to me because they know they need a brand refresh and new website up ASAP but they are swamped in work and would rather focus their energy on working on what actually makes them money in their business.
Hiring me as your web designer is like bringing in a partner into your business. Through this process we work together to identify your unique value proposition and learn about your users and the goals that your website should achieve. Many businesses find this part of the process really enlightening and gives them a sense of clarity and confidence within their business.
Another time to invest in custom design is if you need unique or additional functionality. This is especially true for e-commerce or website with complicated back-ends.
When you work with a website designer they should be planning and building your website to incorporate everything necessary to create solid SEO. This could end up saving you time and money in the long run and help you get ahead of your competition.
In the world of online business anyone can be a website designer. So if you are considering going the custom design route, please pick your designer carefully. Just because someone can create a website doesn’t mean that it’s high quality or worth what they are charging. If you are investing please do your research, get on a phone or video call with them, ask them lots of questions, and always make sure to sign a contract. Once you do find the right designer, they will make some amazing stuff for you that will make you see serious growth within your business.
Still now sure which way to go? Follow the flow chart to decide which option is the best for you or if you have any questions send me an email!
Whichever route you decide to go, remember that your website is a big part of your business’s success. It’s like your business’s online home. You need to give it a strong foundation so it can bring in new clients and support growth within your business. If you have any questions about templates or custom design please don’t hesitate to reach out here or shop my showit website templates here. I’m also always in the chat on the shop page of my website.