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The days of having a ‘basic’ business website are over for most businesses.  Having seen firsthand how website redesigns can double, triple, or quadruple lead counts as soon as they go live, as well as how poor UX/UI can decrease onsite conversion percentages in significant ways, investing in a proper website design is a worthwhile investment. Average custom coded websites can regularly cost from $8,000 to over $25,000, so we figured the least we could do is illuminate when a proper, custom website is appropriate, and pitfalls to avoid when moving forward.

Do I Need a Custom-Coded, Responsive Website?

While most businesses do need a mobile-responsive, custom website, there are a couple of situations where we can understand a business choosing to DIY their site on a free website building platform:

  1. If you have a nearly non-existent budget and need a stop-gap solution while you earn capital to reinvest
  2. In the rare situation that you only need a landing page or mini-site to prove your business exists and has legitimacy, but where you are not trying to attract new customers

In the majority of situations, however, especially if you are looking for leads or online e-commerce-style purchasing from your website, we believe you should be investing in a custom-coded site. So, assuming you do not fit the descriptions in #1 and #2 above, read on.

So I need a custom website, but what will I receive in return for the higher price point?

Although the templates on free or low-cost platforms (like Square Space, for example) make building an aesthetically pleasing site appear easy, it is nebulous if they really convert eyeballs into calls. Website building platforms are designed to create standard, templated, run-of-the-mill websites. With innumerable businesses using these templates, they cannot be customized to meet the specific demands of customers in different industries. For example, the layout of an online store selling vintage vinyl calls for a different layout, calls to action, content volume, SEO and link structure, header tags, etc., than an attorney looking to grow personal injury leads or a medspa seeking skincare clientele. Using a quality web team to build your website means you get the benefit of their expertise on what works to convert site visitors to leads, while also looking good. Read a few of our misdemeanors of website design to understand a bit more of the strategy involved in good website design.

What else can’t I see? Being aware of the construction and coding of your website

When you buy a house you have an inspector check the wiring and plumbing before making the investment, so why wouldn’t you treat your website the same way?  When Google crawls your site for rankings, it not only cares about the beauty of the design and ease of navigation, it also cares about the coding behind the scenes. Google likes to see companies invest in well-built sites that make it easier for their users to navigate and get the information they desire. They can distinguish between a templated platform and custom site and often gives it less weight accordingly, impacting rankings, visitors, and ultimately sales.  Selecting a superb team to code the website in a way that Google shines its proverbial light upon is as, or more, important than creating a site that converts with an excellent user experience.

Do I even own my templated website?

Most of us would like to think that when we build a website, it is ours and we can do with it as we please. But beware —  in many instances, if you stop paying your monthly fees you may lose the entire website, or be forced into paying significant fees to take the data with you. Further, many template companies and free website companies code sites in a language of their own choosing which can render the raw data from the website useless, requiring a full rebuild if you ever change companies.

Now that you understand the value in hiring someone to build a custom coded website for your business, and the significant costs it may entail, who should you select to create it?  You’re welcome to scour the internet on your own, or you can use SEOversite’s free matchmaking service to pair you with superb web teams. We hold our vendors accountable and can help oversee your entire web design process, from conception to updates.  To learn more reach out to us at Guardian@SEOversite.com.

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