Many website design companies offer Website Design Packages, where for a fixed price you’ll get a basic website design, some hosting, maybe a domain name and at the end you’ll get a website. Sounds Great.

However, whilst these packaged websites have some great advantages, they’ll also introduce some pitfalls along the way.

Here we discuss a few of the benefits and some of the pitfalls to watch out for.

It’s Like Building a Bookcase

The first major benefit of a website design package is usually the price, after all that’s probably why you are considering an “off the shelf” package rather than something a little more bespoke.

It’s like going to your local DIY superstore and buying a bookcase. It’s about the right size, close to the colour you want, has approximately the right number of shelves and is only £50. It’ll do, as after all it’s only £50 so you can’t really be that fussy can you? You can’t ask for one just a little bit taller. You can’t ask for one more shelf. You either get the bookcase they offer or you don’t. But, it’ll do – it’s only £50.

You could of course have gone to your local joiner, and asked them to create you a bookcase that fits exactly into the alcove you have in your dining room, get it stained the perfect colour to match the rest of your furniture and get the shelves positioned to just the right heights to maximise the storage space for your collection of books.

The bespoke option will cost you quite a bit more, but it will be perfect, exactly what you want, will last longer and is much better value for money, even if it does cost a little bit more. It will serve you much better. You won’t be frustrated every time you use it. It won’t damage what you put in it as it’s been made just for you, to meet your exact needs.

This is YOUR Business Online

Your website is exactly like your bookcase.

You can choose to have a pre-defined packaged website for £399. It’ll do. You’ll get a few pages of content and whilst the menu system isn’t quite what you wanted and that map you need on the contact page wasn’t part of the package, the website looks OK. It’s good enough and gets you up and running online.

Sad thing is, that every time you look at the website, the menu annoys you. Your customer can’t find that map you wanted to put on there to find your premises. The extra page you wanted to explain the benefits of that killer product you’ve just launched isn’t there because they wanted to charge an extra £199 for it.

This is your business online and sadly it’s just not good enough, but “hey” you saved a bit of money and it’s only cost you £399.

YOU HAVE NOT SAVED ANY MONEYWhat you’ve done instead is lost business. You’ve compromised and been cheap and that will come back to haunt you for along time.

Instead of investing in a bespoke website design that helps your customers to find out the benefits of doing business with you, you’ve instead scrimped on your online expenditure, cut a few corners and given your online visitors a less that satisfactory website with which to judge your business upon.

YES – Your customers, visitors and potentials are judging your business based on your website without you even knowing it. You’ve given them your business card, or stuck your website address onto the bottom of that costly advert, and now they are visiting your website.

If they don’t like what they see or can’t find what they want, they’ll walk away faster than you will ever know.

Hidden Costs and Pitfalls

You may need to watch out for other hidden costs and pitfalls as well.

After all if your website designers are kicking out fully complete websites for only £399, they’ll need to do a whole batch of them to make any money. That means that they’ll only be doing the bare minimum to get your website out and they’ll probably be using a template that makes your website look like so many others.

Packages have limits and you’ll soon become frustrated with what extra you can’t have without paying more.

Watch out too for “get out clauses”. When buying packages, you may have to commit to lengthy contracts or pay penalty charges if you want to leave them. You may not even own the final website.

Invest and Reep the Rewards

If you invest in your website by asking for a bespoke website design, you will reap the benefits many times over.

We’re not saying that you need to invest thousands of pounds in your basic website. Just ask for something bespoke, tailor made to your needs, size, colours and preferences and so that you get something that maximises your online business.

You’ll get something that you’ll be proud of, pleased to show your customers and the business benefits will be countless.