Custom Web Site Design – Necessary or No

Must you have a Custom Web Site Design for your Ecommerce Site?

How important is it for your web site to have a custom design?

This is a question asked frequently by entrepreneurs who are considering their first ecommerce venture. It is a valid question that directly relates the costs that will be expended for that first web site design.

First we should define the difference between a custom web site design and other designs.

What Does Custom Web Site Design Mean?

Much of what is done on the Internet is accomplished using what we techies call templates. In simple terms a template is a structural document which allows the user to simply fill in the informational areas.

The result of using a template is that all documents (web pages in this case) generated in this manner will look alike.

Even custom web designers use templates when developing web sites. Once they determine a structural design of a web site, using a template guarantees that every page will meet the standard of that design.

What makes a custom web site design different, is that your designer will develop logos, page layouts, color schemes, and possibly advanced technical mechanisms for your web site. These elements ‘brand’ your web site specifically to your company and become identifiers to your customers.

Using a template design such as those offered at shared hosting providers, or offered as themes in one of the WSISYG editors (Frontpage themes for example) generally do not allow your web site to have those special ‘branding’ elements.

While some of the templates offered allow you to insert your own logo images, and Frontpage themes can also be changed using your own images, this actually makes the web site more of a custom design.

Keep that in mind when determining how important a custom design will be to your Internet Store. Making those small changes to a template can have the effect your desire at a more reasonable cost.

When You Really Need a Custom Web Site Design

It is when you require those advanced technical mechanisms on your web site that you will definitely need the help of a custom web site designer.

If your ecommerce venture requires data base connectivity allowing your customers to enter and you to store personal preference, shipping, and payment information, you need the assistance of an experience design professional to assure that your data base is developed correctly.

Have you ever visited a web site where you are required to fill in a form and there are spaces that require information that does not relate to you. When you fail to enter data in those spaces the form generates error messages. Such a form is an excellent way to drive your potential customers away. Such forms have been designed by people who lacked the knowledge or experience to make them work for all your customers.

There are a number of other technical aspects available for your Internet store, but none of them will have a positive effect if they are not designed correctly. In fact, non functioning bells and whistles on your web site will reflect very negatively on your business.

Consider what is best for your Internet store. Consider your budget. Then decide whether or not you need a custom design.

— Mickey Dodson

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