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Why Using a HubSpot Theme Is Actually Not a Bad Thing

Tue, Jul 5, 2016

HubSpot HubSpot CMS Development

In some cases it's better to upgrade a vanilla HubSpot theme instead of building everything from scratch.

Make no mistake, HubSpot themes are beautiful.

However, there are reasons why you need a custom layout: branding, customer feedback or nature of your business.

When I do a site redesign project, development means either creating custom styling or custom modules specific to the clients' needs.

Throughout the project, we stick to a style and usability guideline to keep everything in line with the client's objective; whether it's logistical (technical know-how, manpower) or financial.

I still believe that when push comes to shove, building from scratch is ideal. However, I don't discount creating something from an existing HubSpot theme.

Download my guide on how to plan and execute a website redesign project.

The Benefits of a Theme Over Custom

Take a home makeover as an example. A new house owner asks a contractor to strip the house down to the bare minimum.

From there, they start to build everything – from the structure onto the final touches. However, the walls, the foundation, beams and ceiling might stay the same.

A home makeover needs less manpower, materials and resources to complete. A brand new home is more expensive and takes longer.

In the case of a website makeover, we are looking at three benefits:

  1. Cost Effectivness - Just to clarify, HubSpot-created themes are free. What clients are actually paying for are the developer's time and effort.
    A custom designed site costs $6,000 to $10,000. On the other hand, building from a vanilla HubSpot theme is more affordable -- about $1,500 to $3,500.That's a 25% to 35% savings!
  2. Speed - A typical web development project can take 6-8 weeks. Whereas a makeover takes only 2-3 weeks.
  3. Flexibility - If the customers needs change, a makeover can be redirected without investing too much extra time or money.

The Best Case Scenarios

Every time a client approaches me for a site makeover, I look at these 4 scenarios to see if they qualify to use a HubSpot theme instead of custom design:

  1. If the client's site is very outdated (3 years old and older)
  2. The customer has a tight deadline (less than 2 months) or budget ($5,000 or below)
  3. If they are a bootstrapping startup and just need to get something up quickly
  4. If the site is in a testing phase and everything's not yet set in stone

Take note of item number 4.

There's a growing trend in inbound marketing; you deploy a website in 3 months, gather customer data and apply changes based on those data.

In other words, your design today won't be the same next quarter.

This is what marketers call "Growth Driven Design" or GDD; which I discussed in my previous article entitled, "Modern Web Design: Why Traditional Web Design is Outdated?"

If GDD is something you'd like to implement, then a makeover might be suited for you.

The Worst Case Scenarios

Of course, there are times when a customized website is better. And I think these scenarios are applicable when we're talking about websites 3 years and above. Or, there's a complete re-branding and the company will introduce new products or services:

  1. If the client has a lot of specific requests or design needs that won't be met with a simple makeover
  2. If customers have an allocated budget and time to spend on a larger project

Final Words

Speed and Affordability: these are the main benefits of a makeover.

A web developer may not provide all the bells and whistles, but the turnaround time is quicker and cheaper.

Make sure, though, that you have room for growth should your business start to boom and the additional revenue allows for a better-looking website.

If this is something you're considering, then shoot me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

I've got more than 5 years of experience solving any type of redesign you can imagine.

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