May 5th, 2016

Why “custom design” isn’t always better for your membership organization

Do you need a website that has a custom design?

There’s an undeniable allure to the words “custom design.” It brings to mind images of luxury, durability, and fine design—with a price tag to match.

You want to do the best thing for your organization, and that means balancing two things: a quality website that won’t have to be re-done in a year or two, and a budget that gets you what you need without ballooning out of proportion. The question is: will a custom-built website do that for you, or is it overkill?

Is custom worth your investment?

The answer, of course, depends on what you hope to gain. Most custom websites aren’t selling you a custom website, but a custom Michigan web design to go on top of a pre-built framework. Which makes perfect sense: if you’re looking to buy a car, you’d rather invest in a custom interior than in custom tires.

By contrast, a design that starts from a robust, flexible template can still be customized to meet your individual design needs without sacrificing functionality. And because they’re more affordable, you can divert your budget toward custom items that really matter, such new photography or an updated logo.

“Custom” does not mean “vetted.”

First and foremost, you want a website that functions reliably and provides a premium user experience. That part doesn’t need to be redesigned. If you start from scratch with every website, you doom yourself to constantly reinventing the wheel, and for no obvious purpose. Why start at the beginning when you can benefit from prior experience?

One thing we’ve noticed from working with membership societies is that while the individuals and cultures involved are diverse, their needs overlap a great deal. By opting for a website template that has been vetted by other societies sharing similar needs, you benefit from a product crafted by professionals who already understand your organization, and you save yourself hours of meetings bringing someone new up to speed.

Templates aren’t just “good enough”

An adaptable, robust template can provide a beautiful website with all the functionality you need to serve your members and grow your member base so that you can focus on creating the messaging and visual style that best represents your organization. Because what can’t be pre-fabricated is your brand: that is unique to you, and deserves the sort of quality attention that custom-made can offer.

Leave the functional heavy-lifting to us.

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