Cookie Cutter Web Design Needs to Die

Andrew Tuzson – Founder / CEO

You, you smart-observer you, are probably thinking right now. “How can you sell yourself online if you do not have a website to sell in the first place?”

This is an astute guess and a good point. You cannot sell yourself without a website. But any old website wouldn’t do. No, you don’t want to apply maximum web marketing efforts into a run down turd of a website and you certainly don’t want your website comprised of outdated technologies or design trends.

From user friendliness to mobile functionality and performance to responsiveness, all of these features are a part of web design. And all of them are the things you need on a page. You can’t just want these things. These are not the extra features you add on to complete the package or to make it look sexier; any web marketing agency who told you that would be lying. No, these are essentials. If you do not have these pieces as a part of your website, you will fail. These parts are necessary, so let’s look at them a little further.

Death to the Cookie Cutter

There is a horrible trend currently existing within the world of web marketing. It is an awful beast of a thing and makes us all uncomfortably sick at Evol Empire Creative. Whenever we see this trend, we shrivel up like a vampire facing the sun, shrieking in terror as we race to close out a computer window and see something different. What we hate, above all else, is cookie cutter websites.

This horrible trend happened because of a need. People, businesses, organizations, they needed websites to create an online presence. But these entities didn’t want to pay a ton of money for these necessary websites. Consumers needed something, and some crafty companies with some web design experience came in. These companies saw an opportunity. They reached out to businesses and individuals and made an offer. These cookies cutter web design services were offering businesses access to a selection of predetermined features, coupled with a predetermined website, at a low cost. The site would have everything the average web user wanted, to a degree, and it would supposedly meet the needs of the business. The companies promised quality and made it easy to update.

Thus, like the McMansions and pre-determined developments of houses that haunt the suburbs, companies began buying cookie cutter websites that came with all the features and amenities needed. While it was unfortunate when only a few different web agencies were employing this approach,the horizon darkened when actual design agencies got involved. Overall, the end results were terrible websites.

“But they look nice” you might be thinking. Here is the problem, where they look nice on the surface, often they fail to engage your needs underneath. First and foremost, if you buy cookie cutter, you get cookie cutter, which means your competitors can buy the same thing. It also means consumers have likely seen your website elsewhere, just with different content and branding. It may not seem like a big deal, but people do pay note to these things. This approach is much like all of us wearing the exact same polo, slightly different colors, and toting individuality. It simply doesn’t work.

Next, it is harder to manage. As a web design agency, we are your mechanics building you a custom engine. We have all the parts and bells and whistles you need to be successful. We have the tools and experience to build you something that runs. Often, the cookie cutter sites have hidden flaws, and when they break down, fixing them can take days of customer service calls instead of a simple email to our team.

Lastly, these sites are all so boring. At a certain point, cookie cutters suck, and their designs suck. When you buy a design everyone else has, you stop standing out and more start being a part of the mundane along with everyone else. Relying on cookie cutter websites is just a bad practice. You might save a little bit of money in the front end. In the long term, it is a cheap investment and will yield cheap results.

Never have we heard of a client who went with a cookie cutter option and loved it. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact. Every time someone picks cookie cutter, the issues implicit on the site bite them in the ass tenfold.