My client Karen knew she needed a website makeover. Her website promoted many services she no longer offered but didn’t include the ones she’d recently added. The site had been put together with software that offered very limited design options. It looked, she said, like something her teenaged son had put together for a high school project.
She wanted new copy for her website. But she also wanted a new design.
I could help with the copy. My tech person could give her a new look.
But there was a catch. The price we quoted wouldn’t include design. We’d work with a standard theme. She’d get a professional-looking site. It wouldn’t be original or unique, but it would be customized with her own images.
Karen loved the copy but she raised questions about the look of the site.
“It looked different in the demo.”
True. Your website’s look depends a great deal on the images you supply. The demo site included vivid, professional photos and original artwork. Karen’s photos were smaller and not nearly as bright or sharply defined.
“Can you give me a site like my competitor’s?”
Sure. Looks like they paid substantially more than we’re quoting. If your budget permits, I can help you find a designer who will match anything. You’ll also have to match the quality of their photos.
And you may not gain the same benefit from the site. For one thing, that competitor might be working from a different archetype. They may be a celebrity while you’re an educator. Click here to learn more about how archetypes affect your marketing.
To be perfectly honest: in my years of working with website makeovers, I’ve rarely met anyone who was happy with a website they copied. Let’s face it: your success won’t depend on having a form on the right versus the left of your page.
Ultimately what matters is the strength of your promise and your credibility: does your audience value what you offer? do they believe you can deliver? Does your site look reasonably professional, so you communicate that you mean business? Learn more about building credibility for your promise here.
“I want a website that will astonish my visitors – the wow effect.”
Once again, if you’ve got the budget, you can get the wow. But you may not want to.
A visually strong website can actually overpower the copy. Big name brands — the household names — can do well with this strategy. So can high-profile entertainers.
But smaller service-based business owners need copy to send a clear message. They need to differentiate themselves from the competition. They often need to explain their offers and demonstrate their value to prospects.
Bottom Line: About 90% of the time you get better results from a persuasive, professional website while you’re waiting for the budget or time to develop the perfect website. The most efficient, economical way to get a professional “good enough” website? Use WordPress and choose a theme from a reputable company, such as Divi or StudioPress.
You can certainly use other website developers, such as Wix or Squarespace. And you’ll certainly find critics of WordPress. You have to be vigilant about updates. You face a steeper learning curve. But you’ll find a wider selection of themes and options for customization in WordPress. You’ll find more developers who know WordPress, which means you can get help more easily.
Most important, I know many people who started with Wix, Squarespace or some other site builder. As their businesses grew, nearly everyone hit a wall with their website development. They ended up moving to WordPress. If you’re comfortable with a two-step process, that’s not a bad strategy. And some people use those templates forever.
I’ve also worked with business owners who were reasonably knowledgeable about their options. Whether they decided to DIY or hire a pro, they knew exactly how to obtain the maximum return on their investment. They knew what questions to ask and what to expect, realistically.
If you’d like me to help you develop a website that’s perfect for where you are now, let’s talk! Start with the Risk-Free 90-Minute Story Consultation here. Or apply for a complimentary 15-minute consultation to see if I’m a good fit for your needs and how we could work together. Click here to get started.