Website Options - Vegas Style
May 15, 2019
Building a new website is a big decision that can mean a significant investment -- and for many businesses, a huge gamble on the upfront vs. long-term cost and functionality.
When you’re looking at options and agencies to help with a site, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for and what your business requires to make the most of your website budget so you’re not just rolling the dice and wasting valuable resources.
Don’t take a gamble when it comes to building your website. Read our guide to understanding your website development options so you can save time and money in the long run (maybe even enough to actually have some fun in Vegas!).
The options: DIY, template, or custom
Option 1: DIY Website Builder
There are a few options when it comes to building a website. The first is to build a site yourself using a website building platform like Squarespace or GoDaddy. This can be a great option for businesses that just need to get basic information online, and don’t have a specific experience in mind that they want customers to have on the site.
- If you have a limited budget, a DIY website builder is usually the cheapest option.
- You can get a website up and running quickly.
- It’s very easy to set up and add content.
- It can be hard to scale the site as your business grows.
- Support speed can be limited if something goes wrong.
- You own nothing but your content and images.
- Businesses trying to get basic information online
Option 2: Purchase a Template
Another option that many businesses choose is to purchase a website template, which is a step between a DIY website builder and a fully-custom site. This option is a little bit like buying a log cabin kit -- someone still has to build the site and add the images and copy.
- A template costs less upfront than a fully-custom site.
- You usually have more options and flexibility than a DIY site builder.
- Purchasing a template can mean that your website can look exactly some someone else’s -- even if the chances are slim.
- All websites use plugins that assist in building the site (like sliders or a Contact Us button). If a template is not updated often enough or compatible with certain plugins, your site can break.
- The site still has to be built, even though you purchased a template package.
- You’re limited to where the template has laid out space for content like images and buttons.
- Businesses that want a more robust website, but don’t have the resources to invest in a fully-custom site upfront.
Also as a word of caution, a lot of web developers or agencies will call buying a template building a custom site. Always ask about the development process before choosing a vendor.
Option 3: Custom Build
A third option for a website build is to hire an agency to do a totally-custom website. A custom site is a great option for businesses that anticipate significant growth and website expansion, or major changes down the road. You’ll usually pay more upfront for a custom site, but it offers more flexibility for scaling the site in the future. A custom site is also the right answer if you’re looking to do special functions like collect data.
- You can have total control over updates of plugins, so it’s much less likely that something will break.
- You can control your customer experience on the site, including putting videos and images where you want.
- Custom websites will grow with your business better than template. As you grow that site can grow with you.
- A custom site can allow for special functions like collecting data.
- You will have someone available to make updates when you want them if you choose an agency.
- There is more cost upfront than a DIY site or template
- Development time typically takes longer than a drag-and-drop or template site.
- Businesses that have specific idea of what they want and care about small details.
Evaluate your needs before you roll the dice
As a first step in the process of determining what kind of website you need, we recommend answering some key questions that will help determine if a custom website is right for you.
- What is your timeline for the website build?
- What functionality do you want your website to have?
- What are your cost considerations for your website?
- What changes/edits do you want regularly so they can build properly upfront?
- Where is company going/marketing strategy?