Is your website suffering from template-itis? These websites are easy to spot; they’re usually not a very good fit for the business they are supposed to represent. Templates are created for the masses; they are simple and vague enough so that many different businesses can use them, which means they often aren’t unique enough for each individual business. Instead of fitting like a glove, they fit more like a baggy old t-shirt; not very effective when you’re trying to present your business in a professional, visually appealing way!
For example, look at this Office Live website for Carriage Hills Ranch, a wedding and special event venue in Blanco, TX. At first glance it’s hard to tell what kind of business it is, because the only unique element is the picture. The appearance of the site doesn’t allude to elegance, beauty, or grace like it should for a business of this nature. You see that the Ranch is beautiful, but you get the impression that the experience of having your event there wouldn’t be as grand as the Ranch itself.
Now, check out the gorgeous website that Carriage Hills Ranch has now, which I designed back in 2009 to replace their Office Live site. From the flowing script of “Carriage Hills Ranch”, to the rich, velvety purple background, you get the impression that any special event hosted there would be a wonderful experience. This site not only looks great, but it has more functionality than the template, with slide shows, photo galleries, and a map to the Ranch. It presents all the information prospective customers are looking for, and gives them a taste of what Carriage Hills Ranch is all about.
» The point here is that it’s not enough to have a website with information about your business; your website should create an experience for your customers, so they get a genuine sense of what makes your business special, and that will keep them coming back for more.
Does your website do that?
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!