Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Control vs. Quality

One of the most common things I hear from a potential client is, "I want a site I can update myself."

Understandably, a client may be looking to keep costs down. Or perhaps they prefer to maintain control. After all, as I mentioned in my previous post, finding a web designer that offers website maintenance can be difficult.

Thus, some clients want a site built with a template or interface service, wherein they can log into their account and make changes. Instead of having to deal with the actual code of the site, they're engaging with an interface on the level of Word - you insert text here, drag a picture here, etc.

This can be, and sometimes is, a client's best option. However, be aware that by going this route, you can be sacrificing quality for convenience:

First, there is a huge difference between coding a site from scratch and building it using a template. Creating a website from scratch gives a designer 100% control over the design. Thus, he or she can tailor the site to your business' particular needs. If a picture needs to go here, no problem. If it makes sense for the menu to be a certain way, it's implemented.

However, when a template is used, the site's overall structure is set in stone. You're forcing your unique business to fit into a one-size-fits all design. In addition, most templates pale in comparison to what a solid designer can give you - mostly because, again, they're so basic.

Second, using a template service can actually make updates frustrating. It may seem like a simple and smooth solution versus hiring a designer. But you're trusting the interface to work properly. Just like dealing with programs such as Word can leave you with a headache at times, so can dealing with template services.

That being said, template services do have their uses. If you're just starting your business, for example, and simply can't afford a designer, then utilize whatever tools you can. But if ypu have the financial means to hire a designer, try searching for one that offers update services before going with a template service. Your website, after all, is your most important marketing tool. If it screams professionalism, so will your business.