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When you start a website project, there are a lot of options on the table. Should you build the site yourself using a plug-and-play service like Squarespace? Should you work with a team that specializes in customizing site templates? Or should you work with a digital partner to build a product from the ground up?

There’s no one-size-fits all answer to this problem. As a digital partner to our clients, though, Mostly Serious has a proven effective process for building digital properties from scratch, but we understand that process is not for everyone. Sometimes a template website or even a plug-and-play service is the right solution depending on budget constraints and how robust a project’s goals are.

However, there are a few telltale signs you should consider a custom approach. Before you take the first step to build a new website, make sure you scrutinize your business goals, ideal audience, and problems to be solved. You’d be surprised how much a ground-up solution might be for you.

1. You Want to Increase and Track Conversions.

One of the most common requests from our client prospects is the ability to set and track goals for a website. These goals typically break down into awareness or targeted leads, which required a digital solution that will help drive business objectives, attract the right type of people, and speak to a pre-established audience. Few templates out there, if any, are built around these needs (which can vary wildly depending on a business’s industry or offerings).

Like many other aspects of business, you get what you pay for when it comes to digital properties. A small investment typically doesn’t pay off big or accommodate long-term success. The point is: don’t expect to open the flood gates of new targeted leads by putting your dollars toward a template website.

Do, however, expect to see a trackable return on an investment in a ground-up approach. Through Mostly Serious’s process, we provide the unique opportunity to deeply understand your audience — beyond just what they do on your website, but what they like, what their habits are and what they expect from your business. We’re able to get results because we take the time to understand what will make your audience love your brand—then we execute on the work to make it a reality.

2. You Want A Presence That Contributes Heavily To Your Business Goals.

Before we can begin to build a product that will improve your business, we must first work with key stakeholders to determine what success even means to your business. We start this process by establishing clear goals and what measures of success ought to be through our tried-and-true discovery phase.

We employ strategic planning to ensure everyone involved in the project is on the same page and work through the difficult problems that are holding your business back. Then we work to define your audience, thoroughly understand your industry, and find opportunities that will allow us to achieve those aforementioned measures of success.

Part of starting from the ground up is a willingness to evaluate every aspect of your business and consider how a digital solution can help you move the ball forward—not just for an immediate return, but a long-term one that snowballs over time. That’s the value of a true partner.

Wireframes written on a Mostly Serious whiteboard

3. You Want to Build Solutions for Your Customers.

It’s easy to get caught up in building for ourselves. This is especially true when working with template websites, in which audience and business goals come second to the restrictions put in place by an off-the-shelf solution.

When people are not at the center of a solution, we risk building a product that does little outside of simply existing. If the purpose of your website is to simply show that your business exists, this can be the right option; however, if you want your digital properties to work for you and your audience, starting with a predefined solution puts you at an immediate competitive disadvantage.

Instead, before we begin building any solution, we use our discovery and planning phases to define who we’re building this product for and what trackable goals we want to achieve. By doing that, we’re immediately able to separate the product from predefined notions and always track back to the most important question: is the product meeting our goals, and is it pleasing the people using it?

Get Started

We know the leap into the digital landscape can be intimidating. We’re here to help. When you’re ready to build from the ground up, send us a message and we’ll help you understand the best path forward.

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