“How much does a website cost?” Ask any Celt, and you’re almost guaranteed to get the same response: “How much does a car cost?” That’s because there is simply no one-size-fits-all price point when it comes to something as personally tailored to the needs of your organization as a website. If either time or cost considerations won’t allow for a fully customized web experience, an easily navigable, well-written site is still possible for as little as $10,000-15,000 through a template-based approach to website development.
Developing within pre-existing website templates offers significant cost and time savings in both layout creation and coding, while focusing the majority of resources on purposeful strategy, compelling content and beautiful design. As with any website project, these sites start by researching potential users and creating the ideal navigation and experience. Next, design concepts are presented including recommended templates for the home and select interior pages. Copy is then constructed to carefully balance your brand voice and key messages with the right mix of key words being searched by your target audience. Finally, the site is launched with all SEO metadata in place and the addition of any requested plug-and-play functionality such as e-commerce or analytic tracking capabilities.
Having worked with several clients with a wide range of website needs and budgets, we have found four types of website projects most likely to benefit from a template-based website development:
- The Economy Model – Having a limited marketing budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful, effective site. For Project Play Books, Celtic was able to produce a cost efficient website with a clean, simple design carefully structured to help drive visitors to purchase.
- The Need for Speed – Utilizing pre-existing templates delivers web projects must faster than with a full-scale build, providing a great option for clients seeking a quick auxiliary site or promotional landing page to complement a larger primary site. When client Ardent Mills needed a standalone site for its Simply Milled consumer line of flour, Celtic was able to meet an expedited launch timeline with a template-based build that fit perfectly within Ardent’s larger brand family.
- Get Me from “Point A” to “Point B” – Just as some cars are designed for simply “getting around,” many websites can be completely effective with a simple layout and feature set built for the needs of your users. When we created a standalone site for our own Celtic Association Management division, we knew that the competitive set of sites put a premium on substance over extreme functionality. We intentionally built within a clean, minimal layout to help our target users easily find the information they sought and connect with Celtic.
- Hand Over the Keys – Just as with our larger site projects, every template-based site Celtic builds is created within an open source content management system (CMS). For clients that don’t have the resources to engage Celtic for ongoing content creation and website management, our template-based sites offer them full control over all site images and copy without any coding knowledge required.
In 2017, the complexity of a site’s design and the depth of its user features are limited only by the imagination of your development team…and your budget. Building within templates offers a great opportunity to deliver great looking, effective websites within a smaller budget and/or timeline. If it sounds like this approach might be a fit for your next web project, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.