Part Six: The Scope of Your Website Design

mobiledesignIn part six of the series, we will explore how the scope of your website’s requirements will impact your decision to have a DIY website, or go with a custom web design. Most Sydney website designers will tell you that websites can vary greatly in their look and function. Portfolio/brochure sites don’t typically require the level of coding that is involved with a more interactive e-commerce site.

One small business may need only 6 pages of content, while another business needs 60 pages with 15 different layout options. Not only this, but what a lot of people don’t understand that the design or ‘front’ end of a website isn’t always an indication of the sophistication of the technology that it has ‘under the hood’. Sometimes, the simplest looking websites have highly specialized ‘back ends’ to make cogs turn and automate their business’ processes. Understanding the scope of both your website’s design and required functionality will help you to conclude which avenue to pursue.

Cons of hiring a web design company:

There are very few cons involved in hiring a web design company based on the scope of your design. Most professional companies have the experience and skills to design a site no matter how large or small, making this avenue ideal for most, if not all, businesses. However, if your website really is very simple and requires basic functionality you may be ‘overkilling it’ with a custom solution. Although it may be tempting to think that your one of the ‘simple sites’, when it comes down to it very few websites are as simple as they seem. It’s always worth getting a few proposals from a website design company anyway, just to interrogate your assumptions about how much work will be involved.

Pros of hiring a web design company:

The scope of your website may change at any time, just as your business requirements can change in a heartbeat. A web design company is able to handle any type of design, meaning you won’t have to make compromises to your online presence, as you would with template-based sites. The larger and more complex your site will be, the more likely you’ll benefit from a professional web design.

When it comes to high-level functionality, such as e-commerce components, or custom integrations – the DIY approach will likely cause you headaches and problems down the road. A professional web design team will go through endless test phases, mockups and project planning to ensure the final product delivers on brief and on time. Furthermore, the more pages your site will have, the more important it is to work with a professional design company who can ensure your website provides a consistent user experience. Not only this, but they’ll also help you manage your content so that it is optimized for SEO and ultimately, customer conversion.

Cons of building a site using pre-made templates:

Templates are essentially the antithesis of an individual “scope of design”. This is because they have already been developed with someone else’s scope in mind. Sure, templates can vary in their look and function; however, as you begin to determine your specific needs for your business, you’ll discover that templates don’t typically cater to your needs. Templates are confining and restrictive, whereas design companies can build to your specific needs.

Pros of building a site using pre-made templates:

Many small businesses want just a simple 5-6 page site that provides them with an online presence. These scaled down sites are often quite suitable for the budget friendly DIY approach, assuming you or a team member have the skills and time required to manipulate a template. When designing these smaller sites, however, it is important to remember that as your business grows, so too will the requirements of your website. Today your site may be 6 pages. In 2 years, it may be 40 pages. Your website design should be scalable enough to handle that growth. Unfortunately scalability isn’t always the strongest suit of a template website.

You shouldn’t have to design your website around the restrictions of a template. You should think of your needs first, and then design a site from that vision. As such, hiring a design firm to handle the project will allow you to understand exactly what you need, and then they will help you make that vision become a reality.

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