Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of blogs pouring into the web with unique & creative designs. These blogs are either designed by some unknown company or by the owner himself. Usually, no issues arise when blog owners are themselves web designers but when it comes to a third party, the actual problem starts! So, in this article, I’ll just list out few points that you should consider before getting a custom design from third parties – be it blogger or WordPress.
What is Custom Web design & why you need one:
There are many beautiful WordPress themes out there, for example from WordPress theme repo, you can get many free designed WordPress themes, and if budget is not a concerned you can get Genesis theme with all skins package, and give an uplift to your Website. But the problem with all existing theme is, anyone can use it. You miss out the chance of branding, and having a unique look. For example, look at ShoutMeLoud.com, here we use custom design, and if you search for ShoutMeLoud theme, you will find many blogs trying to copy and giveaway ShoutMeLoud theme or BlogSpot designs. Point here is, your custom design helps in branding of your blog. Now, lets look at few points which you should consider before getting a custom blog design.
1. LOOK OUT FOR QUOTES:
Well, there are plenty ofout there who can design what you want. The price for blogs run on blogger platform are way to less when compared to that by a WordPress blog. So, it’s pretty obvious when you go with WordPress and a company with good reputation, you’ll end up way too high from your budget. On the other hand, an unknown agency, low-cost but may/may not satisfy your requirements. I’ll stress this point a little later in the article.
It’s better you write down “What you actually want” before you search for quotes so that, there’ll be no miss understanding between you and the designer. I say this because many a time, when people ask for additional features apart from the initial layout, the design companies take advantage of the initial amount you pay them and charge you a lot more than what should actually be charged, for the additional features. So, better be careful before you make a payment – generally this does not happen with renowned companies.
2. DO YOU REALLY NEED ONE:
If you want your blog to stand out unique, it’s pretty obvious that you maintain a unique website. This actually provides you and your blog an individuality – I prefer a unique design when it comes to my blog. I suggest the same to you as well. If your a blogger, there are thousands of template you can choose from but none will provide you the exact look you have in your mind. So, it’s up to the individual to decide whether to opt for a custom design or choose one from the lot which satisfies the maximum among his/her expectations.
3.CHOOSING BETWEEN THE BEST AND THE WORST:
As I mentioned earlier in the article, you need to narrow down the quotes to select between the worst and the best. I suggest you to make a table with the features you listed as your rows and the quotes you received for designing the same as your columns. By doing this chart, you’ll be able to find which company offers you the best and the worst. At least, if you don’t find the best, you’ll end with something better:)
4. DOES IT FIT YOUR BUDGET:
The most important factor which actually decides the final look would be the amount you wish to spend on your design. It’s quite obvious when you want extraordinary features on your blog, you’ll end up on a high scale. Cost includes the brand and the reputation of the company too.
For example, Darren Rowse from Problogger.net would have spent quite a lot on his design which includes a lot of custom areas like the job board, popular articles, archives, etc… If you except all this done for $200 or $300. Definitely not! It would be way beyond this. Even premium WordPress or blogger themes are sold for $49. Multiply it with number of sales they make – you’ll know the exact price of that premium theme.
5. FINAL DECISION:
Once you fix your budget say $500, a good company would quote say $700 or $800. It’s intelligent that you pick the one with $700 and extend the deadline for time. This saves a lot in your budget. Instead of getting all the features fitting into your budget and ending up with a low quality work, I suggest you to compromise with few but end up with a quality design.
For blogger/blogspot users, the best way to get your custom design – choose a template from the web that satisfies most of your expectations. Later, get quotes from various designers for the missing/additional features because it’s rather easy to customize/add features rather than building a complete template from the scratch on blogger.
So, choosing a custom blog design is actually a negotiation between your thoughts and ideas with that of the designer’s price. When you compromise with few features & extend the time for deadline , you’ll end up with a quality piece of art at a better price else it’s gonna be a complete waste of time and money. Be wise and choose nice!!!
If I had missed some points, your always welcome to share them via comments!