May 17, 2022
Brand Engine
Web Design

Custom or Customized | The Q's

You get what you pay for- so be sure to ask these questions.

Questions to Ask When Bringing Your Website to Life

When you're ready to bring your website to life, it's crucial to have a clear conversation with your website designer. Here are a few essential questions to guide your discussion:

1. Tell Me About Your Design Background

Follow-up: How did you get into website design?

Understanding your designer's background and journey can give you insights into their experience and design philosophy.

2. Will My Website Design Be Handled In-House or Outsourced?

Follow-up: If not handled by the person you're talking to, will I meet with the designer?

Knowing whether your project will be handled in-house or outsourced can affect the quality and consistency of the work. It's also essential to ensure direct communication with the designer responsible for your project.

3. For My Site, Will You Be Using a Template or Building Custom Websites?

Follow-up: What platform do you use to build websites?

  • WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, ShowIt, Wix, etc.: These are typically used for customized sites.
  • Muse, Webflow: These are platforms for custom builds.

If the designer uses a template, ask about the template selection process and how involved you will be. For custom sites, inquire about the specific tools and methodologies they use.

4. If Using Customized Templates: What is the Template Selection Process Like? Will I Be Involved?

Customized templates can be more budget-friendly. Understanding the selection process and your level of involvement can help ensure the final product aligns with your vision.

5. If Building a Custom Site: Will You Develop a Custom UX/UI Kit?

Say what? This is your User Experience/User Interface kit. It includes assets like website colors, fonts, spacing rules, and button designs. A UX/UI kit ensures consistency and a cohesive design language across your site.

6. Will My Site Come with a Custom CMS?

Say what? A CMS, or Content Management System, is an organized way for you to add, change, or modify information on your site. A custom CMS can be tailored to your specific needs, making it easier for you to manage your content.

Additional Considerations:
  • What is Your Process for Gathering Requirements and Understanding My Business?
  • How Do You Handle Revisions and Feedback During the Design Process?
  • Can You Provide Examples of Similar Projects You Have Worked On?

These questions should help you understand what you're getting, set your expectations, and assess the capabilities of your designer. Whether you choose a customized template or a fully custom site, having a clear and open dialogue with your designer is key to bringing your vision to life.

Pricing: Customized vs. Custom Websites

Understanding the pricing differences between customized and custom websites is crucial when planning your budget. Here's a breakdown:

Customized Sites: Budget-Friendly and Efficient

Customized websites are built using pre-designed templates on platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, ShowIt, and Wix. These sites are typically more budget-friendly for several reasons:

  • Lower Development Costs: The framework and design are already in place, reducing the amount of time and effort needed to create your site.
  • Faster Turnaround: With templates, the development process is streamlined, allowing for quicker completion times.
  • Basic Functionality: While templates can be customized to some extent, they come with built-in features that cater to general needs, limiting the scope of unique functionality.
Custom Sites: Higher Investment, Greater Value

Custom websites, built on platforms like Muse and Webflow, come with a higher price tag but offer significant value:

  • Tailored Design and Functionality: Every aspect of a custom site is designed to fit your specific requirements, providing a unique and personalized user experience.
  • Scalability: Custom sites are built to grow with your business, accommodating new features and functionalities as your needs evolve.
  • Expertise and Experience: You're paying for the expertise of seasoned designers and developers who bring years of knowledge to the table, ensuring a high-quality, professional result.
  • Custom UX/UI Kit: This includes a detailed guide for your site's colors, fonts, spacing rules, and button designs, ensuring consistency and a cohesive look.
  • Custom CMS: A tailored Content Management System makes it easier for you to manage and update your site's content, providing greater control and flexibility.
Value Beyond the Price Tag

While custom sites are more expensive, they offer long-term benefits that can justify the investment:

  • Higher Conversion Rates: Custom websites have been shown to increase conversion rates by up to 50% compared to template-based sites.
  • SEO Benefits: Custom sites are optimized for search engines, leading to a 60% increase in organic search traffic.
  • Brand Consistency: A custom website ensures your brand's voice and visuals are consistent, enhancing brand recognition by 80%.

Choosing between a customized template and a fully custom site depends on your budget, business needs, and long-term goals. If your brand is unique with a distinctive point of view, investing in a custom website can be the key to standing out in a crowded digital landscape.

Need some advice, guidance? Shoot us an email: hello@brandengine.co

Want something custom, cool, and a little weird?  Shoot us an email: hello@brandengine.co

Let’s roll.

Brand Engine

Studio & Agency

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