by Kevin D. Hendricks
You’ve decided you need a web site and it’s time to figure out what you can afford.
You have two options: custom web design or template web design.
Custom web design is when you hire a designer and programmer to design and build your site from scratch. The upside of custom design is that you get an entirely original design tailored to meet your needs (assuming you hire a good designer). Unfortunately it’s not always tailored to meet your wallet.
Template web design is when you buy a pre-existing template and customize it to meet your needs. The upside of template design is that you save time, money and hassle.
Let’s look at the numbers.
A custom web design project can cost a lot, but the actual price will vary considerably depending on a number of factors, including the size of the site, advanced features, caliber of the team you hire and more. A small, six-page site with few bells and whistles could easily cost you $3,000. And the price goes up from there if you want extras like an e-mail newsletter or an updatable news section.
You might find someone cheaper or get a cut rate deal, but chances are you’re not going to get a custom web site designed and programmed for less than $1,000—unless you trust that creepy looking high school kid down the street to do the job.
And don’t forget updates. Unless you’ve learned HTML or paid extra for a content management system, you’ll need to pay your programmer every time you need to make a change. And those changes will likely be made on their schedule, not yours.
A template web design project, on the other hand, is a bargain. Templates from iThemes range from $30 to $80. You’ll spend some time customizing your template in WordPress and making it your own, but those are quick and easy one-time changes and are comparable to the time you’ll spend managing a custom web project.
Bells and whistles can be added pretty easily with free WordPress plugins. And any changes you need to make you can do yourself
So let’s compare the costs:
Custom design: $1,000-5,000
Template design: $30-80
That’s a radical price difference.
But there are pros and cons with each solution.
With custom design, there is a steep price factor. But if you’ve got the budget, it’s worth it to hire a professional freelancer or firm who will work with you to build a site that meets your exact needs and goals.
Template design is great for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to save some money and have complete control of the process. It’s cheaper and you’re in charge.
So there’s some basic information to get you started on building a website for your business, organization or personal interests.