One of the latest trends in web design has taken the form of a debate, and a fierce one at that. Should web designers unfailingly create their designs from scratch? Or, does it make sense to use pre-built websites instead?
One side will tell you that web designers create their designs from scratch. By doing so, they can justifiably claim that their work is 100% professional and creative.
The other side tells you that a professional designer will take advantage of any tool. Such a tool can be used to advantage to complement existing creativity and skills.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Perhaps, it is shaded somewhat more towards the use of pre-built websites.
Designing from scratch gives you creative freedom while pre-built websites rob you of your creative mark
If your plan is to design everything from scratch, you’d better have an ample supply of creativity to make it work. The counter-argument here is that designing from scratch requires creativity. It doesn’t rob you of it.
Most of your creative instincts come from past experience. Designing from scratch is one way to gain that experience. But not necessarily the best or easiest way. Build up a storehouse of knowledge first and creativity will follow. You’ll also learn a lot by using the best design tools at your disposal. What you learn will add to that storehouse of knowledge and to your creative instincts as well.
In this respect, pre-built websites are a Godsend. They make your design efforts easier and they speed up project workflows. They also “teach” you the right way to get things done that your clients will at least appreciate.
Be Theme has 400+ of these gems, with 10 or so more being added to its library monthly.
Check out these examples of industry-specific websites you’ll find in the library.
You’re only professional if you design from scratch & pre-built websites are for beginners
“You’re only professional if ….” often prefaces advice that from a web design perspective can lead you into a minefield. Setting a standard for yourself that’s based on someone else’s opinion can get you into all kinds of trouble.
This includes becoming stressed out should you set the bar too high or flat burning yourself out.
When you are trying too hard it’s easy to give clients more than they want. For example, stunning websites loaded with bells and whistles. However, they might be looking for a somewhat minimalist effect – like one of these:
Witness the power of simplicity. You could probably knock out a website like any of the above in a relatively short time. Your client would absolutely love it!
You have to put 110% effort into every project & if don’t treat each client equally, you shouldn’t take clients at all
Did you try devoting an equal amount of time to each of your homework assignments? In this case, your grade point average is likely to plummet.
Yes, you would like to be able to claim you’ve given each of your clients a 110% effort. But that’s not easy to do when you have multiple clients. There just aren’t enough percentages to go around. Even if there were, trying to give each client an equal share just isn’t going to work.
What you end up doing is offering the lowest common denominator in terms of time and effort to each client.
Each of them will likely be equally unhappy with your results.
This approach may work at times when a team is involved. It may work at times if everyone is using pre-built websites.
Keep your focus on client satisfaction. Use pre-built websites to help make that happen. Do that, and you won’t need to worry about “equal time for all” and everyone will be much happier.
Do you really believe you could or should devote equal time to each of these diverse website topics? How about if you were saddled with designing them all at the same time?
Create a website from scratch when you have the time to do so. Rely on any design tool that will help you along when the time is short, or the budget is tight, and you should be all right.
Should you design from scratch, or use pre-built websites and/or other tools? Choosing your battles is the best approach. Don’t rely on what others think you should do. Some of their ideas and beliefs aren’t necessarily working all that well for them, and won’t for you either.
You’ll get projects where starting from scratch makes good sense. You’ll get projects with the time and/or budget limitations. Sometimes, there will be a lack of familiarity with a particular industry necessitates. This can put certain design tools into play to help you along.
There is one of the not-so-well-kept secrets about pre-built websites. It is that they not only help you build high-quality websites quickly and easily. But they provide your creativity, knowledge base, and design skills a pedestal. Upon this pedestal, you can show them off.
This article is sponsored by Muffin Group.