Your Web Designer Might Be Destroying Your Marketing Message…And Your Business.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a trend of new website development companies creating and offering template-based websites. This is not only the least optimum way to develop a website, but it can be detrimental. It is a disservice to clients to immediately put them into a template-based website without really examining the content.

Understand: If the first thing a web designer/developer says to you is “So, what do you want your website to look like?“, run from them.

The first question that complete company website developers in Sydney would and should ask you is “What do you want your website to DO?”, this meaning, what action do you want the user to take? Do you want more phone calls? Do you want more subscriptions to your newsletter? Sell more things from your online store?

The next topic the designer should discuss with you is your message and content. Things should be nailed down such as your audience, your most beneficial offering, what makes your different, your elevator pitch.

Design shouldn’t enter the picture at all until you’ve nailed down most (if not all) of your content.

Let me rephrase: Design shouldn’t enter the picture at all until you’ve nailed down most (if not all) of your content. There’s just no other way to put it. Designing a website first will dictate your content. You will be in “content prison”. Anything you write will need to be crow-barred into the design to which you are now restricted. I don’t care how good it looks, you are now a slave to that layout, and your message, content, usability, information architecture, call to action and everything else are now slaves to the design. This is the backwards way of doing things.

Once your message is clear, your content is written, and your calls to action defined, you can then have a designer create a layout around your content, giving it amazing flow and freedom to display your uninhibited message however you want. This is harnessing the power of the web.

This expert blog post illustrates exactly what I am talking about.


Templates are good in budget situations only. If you don’t have the budget for a custom design, then a template is a decent 2nd choice, but keep in mind, you will be restricted to what the template demands. Eventually you may grow out of it, and evolve to a custom designed website.

(photo credit Rian Van Der Merwe