Custom Web Design vs. WordPress ThemesAugust 22, 2013
I have always found it interesting to watch the reactions people have when they find out the cost of a custom website. Our process at Impact Media begins with meeting a prospective client and listening to their needs and goals. Once we have gathered the necessary information, we will put together a proposal that outlines the strategy of how we are going to help them meet those needs and achieve their goals. We take careful consideration of all the factors and do our best to break everything down into terms that will be easily understood. This is important because it shows the client that we have a plan. In some cases, the prospective client is not concerned how we are going to achieve their goals; their primary focus is the cost. This is a mistake of grandiose proportions.
According to a survey by Folyo.com, a website that helps start-ups connect with web designers, the average website design takes thirty hours. They estimated the Home page web design will eat up half that time. Which is why you have to look at all the designer is doing for the price you have been quoted and understand that this is a complicated job. Gone are the days when you could hire a high school kid who is great with computers to build your website. If you want to point at all the sites where you can build a website for free, then you have to ask yourself; how good are they if you are paying nothing?
Today’s websites are vastly more complicated to build than three years ago and light years ahead of what it was five years ago. A web designer and programmer have to take into account that there are three main browsers that the site has to function for including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Then they have to take factor in the multiple mobile systems that will be viewing it such as Microsoft Windows, Apple’s iOS, and Google Android.
This is why a good custom website should start at $3,000. There is so much time and planning that goes into it, trouble shooting to make sure it works properly before launching, and the time it takes to make sure the client approves of each design feature. A properly built website with a responsive web design should last a business at least three years, possibly longer if proper maintenance is applied to make sure the site complies to the ongoing changes made by net browsers and mobile platforms. If you breakdown an average website cost of $4,000 by 36 months you are paying less than $112 a month for what is arguably the most important marketing tool you will use.
Now let us throw a monkey wrench into everything and bring up WordPress. WordPress is typically a template based design software that was originally intended to be a blogging platform, but in the last couple of years has been manipulated into being used as normal business websites. We will be the first to admit that there are some fantastic looking WordPress templates available and on the surface you might have a hard time differentiating them from a custom web design. WordPress themes tend to be much cheaper because the level of expertise it takes to customize one is far less than building a website from scratch. If you listen to novice web designers, they will tell you how WordPress is the greatest addition to web design in recent history and it will take care of all your needs.
Here is the problem with WordPress. The first major drawback is that it is built with an open source programming language. Open Source means that the original code has been made public so anyone can add to it and manipulate it. The kid next door and the big time advertising agency both have the same access to the same code which will expand the possibilities of what can be imagined and created with the programming. The draw back is anyone can see the code including hackers who have a field day with WordPress sites. No matter how protected you think you are, hackers will always find a new vulnerability with Open Source programming. The second biggest drawback is the limitations that you face. While the template may look good and do many things, you are at the mercy of its functionality. The third major drawback is you lose uniqueness. It is a template and that means there are other companies out there using the exact same one, possibly your competitor.
You may pay $2,000 to have a professional customize your WordPress template instead of $3,500 for a custom site and feel great about saving $1,500. Then your site gets hacked and you have to pay a company to go back and reinstall everything into its proper place. It just makes more sense to pay a little more up front for a custom site than having to spend much more in the long run. With custom you can have your website designed exactly the way you want it with less security issues and in the long run save you a ton of money.
At Impact Media we offer both Custom Web Design & WordPress Design & development, but we want to ensure that you know the difference so that your expectations are met thoroughly and that you get exactly what you are looking for to compliment your Business in every aspect.