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Choices, Choices…So Many Choices…
Do I Go High, Or Go Low? This is the Question when you start thinking about creating a website for your business. There are a lot of choices out there. Of course, you want to save money, so all of those “Do It Yourself” themes are very enticing. At first glance, they seem cheaper. And you figure you are fairly tech-savvy, right? They look beautiful and claim they are easy to use. But upon further inspection, they may end up costing you much more than you had planned. Here’s why:
1. Pre-designed themes are more complicated than you may think.
I’ve been involved in a lot of site development, which includes customers that come to us with a site they started setting up with a pre-designed theme. The theme had lots of fancy bells and whistles and promised to be easy to work with. Well, if it was so easy to work with, they wouldn’t be coming to us, right? And I can’t tell you how many customers we’ve had in this scenario.
The left sidebar becomes filled with confusing options. Then there are individual theme options that are tough to find. It’s hard to figure out which options can be changed and which can’t? And how do you change the footer with this theme anyway?
Many times the documentation is dreadfully lacking or completely non-existent. And if there is documentation, do you have time to read through it all or watch all of the videos? Do their instructions make sense? Even when using a drag and drop editor, there is still a learning curve.
Are you familiar with H tags? If not, then my guess is that you will not set them up right for the best SEO results.
And how long will you look for what you want until you give up and decide that it’s not that important anyway? Then, all of those fancy bells and whistles that you thought you were getting may not even work correctly. Did you thoroughly test the sample site before you bought the theme, or did you just give it a cursory look-over? Did you test on all browsers and devices?
And if this theme doesn’t work and you decide to purchase another theme, you’re starting back at ground zero with a new dollar and time investment to learn a whole new theme.
You’ve got a business to run. Do you really have time to learn web development?
When we design a custom theme for you, we add the options you need so the backend dashboard is streamlined and easy to use. And we offer customized training, so we spend time showing you exactly what you need to know, and we don’t waste your time going over what you don’t need. We do the testing for you so your site looks beautiful on all devices.
2. Pre-designed themes are slower than you’d expect.
Before you choose any pre-designed theme, I highly recommend you test it on Google Page Speed. If the designer couldn’t set up a fast loading page with good speed results for the demo, how in the world is a novice going to set up a fast page? These days, page speed is a big factor in SEO results, so if you choose a theme with a slow loading time, there is only so much SEO magic that help your rankings.
Here’s an example of one popular theme that gets failing rankings from their demo:
When we design a custom theme for you, we only use the code you need so your theme is fast. There is no bloated extra code with all of the options that you won’t be using anyway ~ no extra code to slow your site down.
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
In addition to the speed issue, we’ve also run into quite a few customers who built their website themselves and then took the site to an SEO expert because it wasn’t getting the results they wanted, only to find out that the site was not conducive to adding the SEO metadata they needed to rank. Then they had to start from scratch with all of that time and money wasted, again.
When we design a custom theme for you, the SEO metadata areas are built right in. We can show you how to update them yourself, or you can use our SEO Dream Team to insure great results. Our sites are built to rank quickly and we can show you what you need to do to keep ranking.
If you do decide to use a pre-designed theme, be sure to check how fast theme authors get back to support questions (if they get back to them at all). Are the questions answered quickly and do the answers make sense?
Do you have to be a developer to understand the answers? Is that feature you want compatible or even offered? How long is support offered? In what method is support offered? Email responses only? A ticketing system? Are the theme authors even awake when you have an urgent problem? I’ve seen critical problems that break a website and the theme author responds with an answer like – “this issue will be addressed in the next update”. And then, the update never arrives. Meanwhile, the client is left with a site that doesn’t work, or an insecure site that can’t be updated with the latest WordPress core secure update.
At MarkNet Group, when we design a custom theme for you, we’re here for you. We’re real people who work U.S. hours. You can call us, email us, screenshare with us, and if that doesn’t work, we can even show up in person to make sure your questions are being answered. When you work with us, you won’t be ignored and your questions will be answered.
5. You Need More
Does that pre-designed theme offer ALL the functionality you need? Will they tell you which plugins to install to make sure your site is secure? Will they help you integrate your social media and email campaigns? Do you want to add ecommerce or forms? And will that theme help you grow your business when you’re ready to do more?
If that theme isn’t custom designed for you, it’s going to look and function like a poorly fitting suit. If you had an important client meeting, would you present yourself to those clients with a suit you created yourself? Will that suit make you look successful? Will it make you look like you’re serious about your business? Why do you think a website should be any different? A website also creates an immediate impression on your clients. And how your website looks and functions says a lot about you.
When we design a custom theme for you, we’ve got your back. We have lots of experience with security, social integration, ecommerce and complicated forms. Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered. And when you’re ready to grow, we’re here to integrate new features into your site and help you with your digital marketing strategy.
So, before you choose that pre-designed theme, be sure you consider all of the costs, including those now and down the road. At first glance, a pre-designed theme may be the cheaper, easier way to go, but in the long run, you get what you pay for.
Invest in your business with a custom designed website that is going to be fast, secure, SEO friendly, and will be able to grow with your business. Invest in a team that has your back. We Care and We Get Results.
We’ll design & develop a website that saves you time, is easy to use, and actually earns you money by generating interest in your business.
Turn Your Website Into a Money Making Machine!