Custom web design is when a website is created using customised functionalities and design.
Is it really necessary to pay for a customised WordPress site, when templates can easily be chosen and added to a WordPress install? Often WordPress templates look really good from the get-go.
What business owners do not take into account is that templates are frequently not perfect for their company and can be slow to load.
Often that code is unnecessary for the design at hand. The pages become code-heavy.
This is where customisation comes in.
Pretty much anyone can add a template to a WordPress install. WordPress website designers have skill and experience in making that template exactly what the customer wants, taking out unnecessary files or designing from scratch.
The skill of a website designer is in perfecting a website in design, layout and SEO.
Here’s what every small business should think about when commissioning a website designer for custom web design.
The website logo is used at the top of a website. It brands the site. A logo remains in the mind of a customer, and are often the only thing they remember. Branding is really important building a business online.
A website logo should not be different to the one on business cards. The company logo should be the same across the board, that way people can instantly recognise the brand.
Logo size and shape
The size and shape of a company logo can have a huge impact on the way a web design finally turns out.
For example, a round logo with text within may not fit well on a website that has a horizontal header. The logo would have to be made very small, making it illegible, especially on mobile.
It is quite common to use a responsive logo, a secondary logo that can be used as an avatar on social media or forums. It should be recognisable, following the corporate look.
The font used throughout the website is incredibly important. The right font can make a site look modern or traditional, having an impact on the audience quite instantly.
When body font looks weak against the website logo the website can look messy and inconsistent.
I’ve often been provided sparse content to include in a web page. This can be because the business owner cannot write or because they prefer the website to be visually impacting. Photographers are guilty of the latter.
Content is SO important for search engines. No content means your website cannot do it’s job, which is to be found and to gain business.
Pages must be informative and helpful to your target audience.
It is worth employing a content writer who has knowledge on writing for search engines.
Websites built to be search engine friendly
To work hard a website should be built for search engines, around key terms. From the ground up a good website designer will build with search engines in mind.
Pages have to be created with search engine friendly URLs, titles and content if they want to be found.
Images should be saved according to content, alt tags added. SEO can be improved afterwards, but a page will lose rank if the URL is changed, and must start the climb again.
Website photographs and images
Thought should go into quality photographs or illustrations. A bad photograph can truly bring the standard of the website down.
You can’t increase a photo’s DPI so take them at high resolution, even when using a smartphone. Send the designer the original, without resizing it or compressing it. Low quality, pixelated photos look terrible.
Professional photos can make all the difference to a polished business website.
Landscape or portrait photos?
When having photos taken think about the design of the site, and how and where the photos will fit. Should they be landscape or portrait?
Landscape format is when the image is wider than it is tall. Portrait is when the image is taller than it is wide.
Ask a professional photographer to take both landscape and portrait. That way your web designer can position different versions within the site.
A hero image is a large banner image that spans the width of the site. Portrait photos likely can’t be used as a banner image, so keep that in mind.
How much does a custom website design cost?
It is really difficult to answer how much a website design should cost, as it depends on the design, pages, payment facility and functionality. And there are a lot of web designers each with different standards.
Website designers can offer ‘off the shelf’ solutions, or cheaper website design for start-ups.
However, if you really want the website to work invest in an experienced web designer who will do the job properly. I often see businesses spend more money having a website fixed, moved or improved.
For a custom website design a business will be looking at a starting price of around £1000.
Much less and the creator is not spending the right amount of time building a website properly.