One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring a web designer to build a custom website before you’re ready.
Sounds kind of shocking coming from a guy who makes his living as a web developer, right?
The problem is this:
When you’re just starting a website for your online business or you want to start a blog you need to focus on getting started, not on getting in the weeds trying to figure out what kind of custom web design you need.
I remember a call with a prospective client one time who wanted to talk about doing a custom website design for his blog.
He already had a solid framework in place: He was using WordPress and had a nice, professionally built premium WordPress theme and it was working.
His blog was fairly new, but he was cranking along and very modestly successful with what he’d been doing so far.
We started to get into the details of how much a custom designed website would cost, and although we were on a phone call, I’m pretty sure I could see the sticker shock on his face.
I explained to him the complexities of a custom blog design, what would be involved, and all the various things we’d need to account for to build him a successful site, and he simply replied, “I can’t afford that. My business isn’t making that kind of money.”
I told him that it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to do a custom design and that he’d be better off continuing to work on building his business. He already had what he needed at that point so I told him that when things change, I’d be more than happy to talk about it again in the future.
There was another time where I had a call with an ambitious, motivated mom was going to create a blog on her family’s favorite place on earth to go – Disney World Resort in Orlando.
She had her plan together and was excited:
She had blog topics ready to go, she had content ready, she had images, a logo, and all the things that you need to have to build a great website.
She was eager and had plans on how she could monetize her blog because, financially, she wanted to help her family get out from underneath the burden that their debt was putting on their family.
She was totally prepared – more prepared than many that I’ve talked to, ready to do the work and dive in.
The problem she was wrestling with was she didn’t know how to make her site look the way she wanted. She’d tried to learn some coding herself but gave up because it was confusing and wasn’t really her thing. It took too much time, and while she was the type who could dig and learn what she need to learn, it was just too much work and it was slowing her down. That’s when she reached out to me.
We talked about her project and we went through her plan. But, it just didn’t make sense to spend a lot of money doing a custom-designed website at this point.
So we shifted gears and instead, we talked about a plan she could use to launch a WordPress website fast so she could focus on creating her content and building her blog.
So, unless you’re a start-up with a big budget and some really clear needs for what you need to do with your website, hiring a web designer is not the way to go when you’re getting started.
Spend the money, time and effort on the other areas that are going to give you a greater return on investment. Work on creating great content and work on building your business.
I’ll still be here when you’re ready for custom design work.