How to DIY your website the right way

In the early stages of business, most entrepreneurs don’t have the money to invest in a custom website that is tailored for their business. But let me tell you a little-known secret in the online business world – you don’t need to.

This might leave you stuck DIYing your website with a less than stellar outcome. By not having an online presence that shows you off to your best light and speaks to your ideal client you are missing out on potential business. Sometimes, a poorly designed website can do more damage than none at all.

As a busy entrepreneur trying to do it all, you don’t have the time or energy to learn how to design a wow-factor website by yourself.

And this is where templates step in to save the day.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What a website template is and how it can help you
  • Why you should use a template
  • The pros and cons of using a website template vs custom
  • How to get the most out of a template

What is a website template?

A website template is a pre-designed website designed to make building your website easier.

A template gives you a starting point. It’s already designed so that you can easily insert your content and images and end up with a strategically built and beautifully designed website without trying to create it from scratch yourself. It’s an easy-to-execute game-plan for making a website that feels like you + connects with your audience.

Templates vary depending on where you get it from but typically come with an editable layout and step-by-step tutorials and resources to show you how to set up your website from scratch. It’s DIY but with guidance from an expert so that you aren’t trying to figure it out on your own.

With custom website design, you work 1:1 with a designer to build a website that is tailored to your brand and needs. There is a time and place for a custom website in your business but templates better serve small businesses who are at the beginning or in-between stages of building their brand.

Why you should use a template

Almost every business owner can benefit from a template at some point in their business. Templates are in between DIY and custom design. They are best for busy entrepreneurs who appreciate aesthetics but don’t have the time or knowledge to create a website themselves and aren’t quite ready to invest in custom.

Website template

Here are some of the top reasons why you would benefit from a template:

You’re in your first few years of business

If you’re in the beginning stages of building your brand and business, a template can be all that you need. Before you get to the point where you are ready to invest in custom, a template offers you a strategic and beautiful website while keeping things simple for this stage of business. A lot can change in the first year and you will want to make sure that you know your audience, your process, and messaging before investing too much time and money into your brand and website.

You’re on a budget

When your business is ready for the investment, custom design can open you up to a whole new level of an online presence. After you’ve had a chance to develop a strong foundation for your brand, you will be in a better place to invest in a custom website. But if you’re on a budget, then a template can serve you well. It’s the best way to get a strong website with less investment knowing that you can invest more in it when you reach that next level. A template provides you with an affordable way to present your business well and help you get to the next level easier.

You need a website fast

If you’ve got a crunched timeline, templates can make it much quicker and easier to get your website online. Since you’ve got a starting point, it takes a lot less time to build out your website and make it live. Most templates are built so that you can simply insert your branding, content, and imagery and launch your site. Of course, you can take it much further than that with more customization, but at the base, you can generally launch your website quickly with a template.

If you don’t have time or resources to commit to building your own website, it may be time to consider custom. Hiring a web designer is like bringing in a partner into your business that can help you make big moves faster.

You want to have control over your website

Setting up your own website template allows you to truly learn the ins and outs of how to manage your website. It gives you more confidence and control over your website. If you need updates or want to make changes, you can easily edit yourself. You should get website training with a custom website design so you can also edit your site confidently, but setting up your own template gives you control over how you want to do it.

If your website requires lots of additional functionality and backend setup, it may be best to invest in custom design from the beginning.

The pros and cons of using a website template vs custom

As I mentioned earlier, there is a time in your business when templates serve you best and a time when custom could be better. Here are the pros and cons of templates vs. custom websites.

Template Pros:

  • Smaller investment
  • Quicker turnaround
  • Allows to learn how to control your website

Template Cons:

  • Not completely custom
  • Have to dedicate your own time to edit
  • Learning curve with editing

Custom Pros:

  • Completely custom website tailored for your brand and goals
  • Have a designer dedicated to building your site
  • Additional features that are harder to achieve on your own

Custom Cons:

  • Larger investment
  • Takes more time

How to get the most out of a template

If you decide to go the template route to serve your business, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your template-based website. I always recommend starting by organizing your strategy, content, branding, and images so that you can easily implement them within your site. You also want to make sure you choose a template that is strategically built and includes the type of pages you need for your site.

Another tip for optimizing your template is actually to keep the original design mostly the same. You can definitely custom the pages for your needs, and it’s always good to add a little personalization to fit your brand, but also keep in mind that your template was designed by an expert, and messing with it too much could take away from that.

Recap

Whether you DIY your website from scratch, utilize a template, or go the custom route, remember that your website is a big part of your business’s success. Every level of business requires different things from your website and focusing on what you need in your current season will help you to maximize your online presence.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to amp up your online presence with a template, check out the template designs here and grab one that works best for your business. You can customize and launch your website with guidance so that you have an elevated online presence without the stress of DIYing by yourself.

Website template

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Website template

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