So you think your hosting's template services or using a popular C.M.S. template to build a "simple" website is good enough for your business?
Long answer short, you may get away with it if you're running a one-person operation and just need today's equivalent of a listing in the Yellowpages. For everybody else, it's not an effective part of a growth strategy for your brand or business even if you're not selling things directly off your website.
As we’ve said elsewhere, do-it-yourself template sites do serve a purpose. And if you're going to use one and just add your logo and address, don't pay a business to set it up for you, you can save costs and do it yourself.
If for example, you need to build a hobby site you don't actually need to use for business, or if you're going to stand on the street corner passing out pamphlets with you URL on them or something, then you don’t need to spend money on a custom branded website.
If you don't plan to make money off it, even tangentially, and literally don't need any visitors you haven't personally brought in, a site that generates traffic then influences visitors probably isn't necessary.
For everybody else, if you require marketing of any kind, have at least one competitor, and don't have a staff of thousands to send across the world spreading the personalized word out about your organization, you need a website with more than the logo and address sections to be custom. That, and NOT JUST "wanting a pretty website" is why you pay a web development agency to make you a site, to brand, differentiate and to attract new leads or customers.
Let's step back away from websites for a minute and discuss traditional branding and marketing methods. Let's start at the easiest; those local mailed paper circulars filled with weight loss goods, doggie spas, and bathtub refinishing ads. The ones you almost never read through before you throw them in your trash along with those never ending Direct TV mailers. Around here in Los Angeles, in a busy regional market, they claim to get you into 12,000 to 30,000 households, one time, and charge you $500 to thousands for that.
And just as many businesses use the do-it-yourself templates or web host's "build your business website" services, many businesses will gladly pay up to a few thousand dollars to get one cheesy (OMG sooo cheesy) print ad to the houses of 30,000 people, many of whom throw the mailer away sight unseen.
Those same business owners often have the mindframe that a website that is built to get in front of the eyes of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people ACTIVELY searching for THEIR VERY PRODUCT in an engaging and effective way, should be able to be had for the price of, or less than, a one-time cheesy print ad that ends up in the recycling bin. Business owners with this mind-set often strike out with their first website. They start out by by throwing a few hundred or a few thousand dollars at web development and walk away thinking websites "don't work". But websites and web branding really do work when done right, and we're here to prove it to you.
Branding Websites by Artisan Crew:
What They Can Do For Your Business