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Many think having a custom web design is too expensive but let's look at the advantages of hiring a web designer over using a free website template or purchasing one.
Benefits of custom web design:
With a custom web design it is created just for your business. Your website will be different from anyone else's.
How the background coding of your website is done will influence your success in the search engines.
If you have done your website planning, you will have a list of features you wish to have. By prioritizing this list of website features, you will give the web designer an idea of what to accommodate for in the future if your current budget doesn't allow all the features to be implemented from the start.
Just like adaptability, if you have planned what you want in the future for your website, a good web designer will take this into consideration as they select the technologies to use while building the website.
Other points to take into consideration when deciding if custom web design is for you are:
If you do not intend to learn how to code a website (or have someone on staff that can do this well) then you are going to have to request that a content management system be incorporated into the web design. There are limitations on some content management systems so be sure to review our Choosing a Content Management System article so you ask all the right questions about the proposed content management system the web designer is planning on using.
The website design should incorporate your company's branding. If you have already established your company branding, then that branding should be incorporated into the website.
For a business that hasn't established a branding or is under going a revamping, then you are going to want to know if you can use the graphics on the website elsewhere, like your letterhead, brochures and signage to mention a few. This will increase the price of the custom web design, but then you will have everything match.
Another idea if considering a custom web design is, just have a template made incorporating the website theme. You can then, if you have the skills, recycle the template theme to create the web pages for your website.