To Template or Not to Template?
First and foremost, as a graphic designer, I believe in original and unique design. In an ideal world, every client would be willing to pay for us to devote proper time to create the best possible design solution tailored to their business, from scratch. But the truth is, that takes a lot of time and resources, and everyone has a budget.
It took me team and me two solid months to create this website. I took pencil to paper and drew out each page until I was happy with the layout, then reproduced it digitally in Photoshop, making sure everything was pixel perfect before web development could even begin. Then the testing and tweaking began.
Needless to say, it was a long journey.
Completely custom websites cost a lot much time and money, so are they worth it?
Depends who you are. As a graphic and web design studio, it was a no brainer. I need to show current and potential clients what BVN is capable of, and it’s succeeded in getting lots of compliments and new work.
Bob, a self-employed plumber, just needs to be found on the internet. He couldn’t care less if his website design is unique or not.
Sally, an artist, has a clear idea of how she wants her website to look and doesn’t like the uniformity of a template. She doesn’t have a huge budget but understands the value of the design process and wants to know what we can do to help her.
Mark owns an advertising agency and wants a stunning website that sets him apart from his competition. The site will be a valuable marketing tool, so he’s willing to pay whatever it takes to get it perfect.
Three completely different clients.
The reality is, templates are a cost effective way of having a presentable website. Some people don’t want or need fancy websites, and I get that. There’s no way I’d ever give a client an out-of-the-box templated website. I will always make sure that the finished site looks nothing like the ‘demo website’. It’s principle.
For clients who want something more unique, I’ll work offline to design a site that works with their brief, before going online to build it from an approved mockup. It’s a longer process but it allows for considerably more customisation and leniency with the design.
Templates are for some people, custom sites are for others.