16 Feb What A “Simple Website” Really Means
The effort that goes into creating a “simple” website is anything but simple. In fact, when clients typically ask for a simple website, that’s not what they’re really looking for at all.
What a simple website means
To a web designer, a simple website would be one page with mostly plain text and limited functionality. If that doesn’t sound too exciting, it’s not. But it is simple!
To a client, a “simple website” translates to a combination of the following:
- Aesthetically pleasing and in alignment with their brand
- Easy to use
- Easy to navigate
- Easy to view on all screen sizes (mobile, desktop, tablet)
- Clearly differentiated sections with easy to read text
- Clear calls to action
- Fast load time
- All links lead to the right places
- SEO optimized
While the first version of a simple website (plain text) would be fast and easy to set up, it’s not engaging for website visitors, nor will it necessarily be representative of your brand. Basically, it’s cheap, but it’s not perfect. The alternative is a custom website.
A custom-built website checks all the boxes of a “simple” website in the list above – it’s easy to use, interactive, and engaging. But it’s far from simple when it comes to the technical side of things and how long it takes to build. The time commitment to fully design a website is between 20-40 hours for five to ten pages, excluding revisions.
What does the custom web design process look like?
We can’t speak for every designer, but our process always starts with a free consultation. In the times of COVID, this happens via a quick 15-30 minute video conference or phone call. After our conversation, you’ll receive an estimate via email with a detailed scope for your project, as well as pricing and payment plan options.
Once we receive a signed copy of the estimate, we’ll send over the invoice for deposit. From there, we’ll get started on a mood board to make sure we’re aligned visually before starting on the website. During the mood board phase, we refine image inspiration – the types of images to be used on the new site – and a color scheme.
After the mood board is approved, it’s time to design! A finished version of the website is typically ready within a couple of weeks, then we’ll schedule a screen share to walk through the site together and make any changes. The full process takes about 4-6 weeks before your new site launches.
For more, check out our blog post on what questions to ask your web designer before signing a contract.
What kind of website do you really need, simple or custom?
Sometimes a “simple website” is an effort to cut costs, which is totally understandable. Building a custom website can be expensive depending on custom functionality and high page volume, and sometimes a one-page, text-only website can do the job while saving up. Only you know what you really need! But we’re happy to chat if you have any questions about the process and our pricing. Schedule a consultation below, or check out our FAQs here.
If you’re thinking about whether you want a simple website or a custom website, here are a couple of things to consider:
1) Written content
How much do you have to say?
How important is it to have multiple pages?
2) Visual content (images & video)
Do you have a product-focused business? If so, visual content will be extremely important.
Do you have existing imagery of projects / services?
3) Business specialties
Do you have multiple buckets of business or different types of clients?
The last step in evaluating whether you need a simple website or a custom-built website is to organize your content. As a small business owner, you likely have a ton of information about your business… but spread across your phone, laptop, old website, and five email addresses.
When you get all of your information in one place, you’ll have an easier time deciding which images / videos / written content should make the cut for your final website. After putting everything in one place, you can decide if what you need is a simple one-page site or something more complex.