When it comes to redesigning your website, there are a lot of options out there and it can be a bit hard to choose.
Do I use a template and keep it pushing? Do I splurge and hire a designer? Or do I purchase a third party template for some uniqueness and DIY?
Let’s get into those last two options right now: Should I hire a web designer or purchase a template?
When should I hire a designer?
You’ve gone down the template route before
If you’ve done templates before and you’re ready for something tailored to your brand and business, then hiring a designer is right for you.
Templates are great for those that want to add some more umph and strategy to their website, but aren’t quite in the position (due to many factors) to outsource that bit just yet.
You’ll know when you’ve outgrown a template – feel like your brand is going in a different direction or you’ll just want a fresh and updated look that aligns more with your new direction.
You’ve been in the game for a bit
If you’ve been in your industry and running your business for a bit, then you could definitely benefit from hiring a web designer.
At this point you’re (hopefully!) super intune with what your audience wants, how to give it to them, and the roll that your services or products play in their lives.
You’ve probably worked with a brand designer before or maybe a copywriter, so you know what it’s like to actively collaborate with another entrepreneur on a project.
(you need this prior experience to hire a web designer!)
Your experience in your field, in your business and in your market has afforded you to reach more and more opportunities, meaning that you have to make sure that your website and your visuals are up to par with the experiences/services and the products that you’re selling.
Your business is pivoting
If you’re moving in a new direction with your business, think about hiring a designer (and probably a copywriter if you can!) to work with you on restructuring your website and your messaging to fit your new brand.
Deciding to move your business in a new direction almost always requires a pretty sizeable website update that should be planned out strategically and with intention – something you’ll definitely get with when you find the right designer for you.
When you should purchase a template:
You’re just starting out:
If you’re just starting out in the entrepreneur world, welcome in! It’s a crazy world but we’re nice and we have wine.
Taking the time to research, plan, build your website on your own when you’re just starting out can be such a rewarding experience. It gives you the space and the freedom to learn about the basics of design on your own so you can translate them into other visuals that you’ll need in your business.
But if you’re still struggling with the design part, purchasing a third party template for your platform can be a super helpful resource and tool.
You’ll learn how to structure your content, what to put where, how to better use your platform, and more.
And the great thing is that you’ll get all of that from designers that did all of the hard work for you.
It may just be the nerd in me, but I truly think it’ll be a rewarding experience for you.
Related: Chaise – The Showit Template For Service Providers & Wedding Professionals
You probably should be focusing on something else:
Ok, so take it from someone that has spent countless hours at the beginning of her journey working on websites when I probably should have been out promoting my business:
Spend time getting your website on a solid foundation, then get out into the world.
Don’t use your website as a shield to stop you from getting out there and starting up talk around your business.
As you grow and start to hit more milestones, you should revisit your website (maybe once a month or once every other week) and make tweaks as you learn new strategies and techniques.
I say use this time to experiment. But don’t use too much time. Grab a template that gives you a strong footing so you can keep building your business.
Once you’ve outgrown that template and are ready for that next step, find a designer you like and hop on a call with them.
For all of you skimmers, let’s sum this up real quick:
Pros and Cons to Hiring a Web Designer and Buying a Template
Hiring a Web Designer:
- 1-on-1 time with someone dedicated to your project and wants to see it succeed.
- Someone to ask questions to and bounce ideas off of when it comes to what to focus on, goals, strategies, and more for your website (and maybe for your business)
- A customized and efficient plan of action that takes you through deciding on the style/overall look, structure, image choice, content, and more.
- You’re not doing it alone.
- Can be costly (usually starting at $1000 + depending on your needs)
- Can take longer (may take anywhere from two weeks to eight weeks)
- Your active and timely participation is needed: meaning your designer will need your feedback and payments in a timely manner to keep your project on track.
Purchasing a Template:
- A quick and easy start-up that you can usually do in a weekend.
- A solid foundation for you to build off of and structure your content around if you’re having trouble.
- Cost-effective (somewhat). Most templates range from $199 to about $800 (from what I’ve seen). The more you spend may depend on functionality.
- The confidence and fun you’ll experience from a good DIY ☺
- As your brand grows and changes, you may outgrow it faster than a more customized solution.
- To make it even more unique, you may have to add in some extra design elements that you’ll have to purchase/create separately.
- Choosing the wrong template for your brand and possibly pushing you farther back.
No matter if you choose to hire a web designer or purchase a template, as long as you go at it with an open mind and some patience, you’ll come away with something that you’re really excited about.
And don’t feel any less because you don’t have 4k to hire a web designer right now. That time will come when those types of purchases won’t scare you. And when that time does come – you’ll be so glad that you hired one.
INSIDE THE THOUGHTS OF A BRAND STRATEGIST & DESIGNER
buckle in, folks
I'm Ashleigh Keith, a creative problem solver for woman led brands that prefer to cultivate relationships instead of the perfect Instagram photo. I use my background in Psychology to develop human-centered brands for women that want to do more than just run a business - they want to make a greater impact on the world around them.
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