With the rise of apps and content-driven platforms, a lot of clients have one thing in mind when it comes to their website and/or product catalogues: “make it editable”.
Fair enough, to make something easy to edit is assumed to cut costs for the client in the long run. It is important however to listen to your design professional when considering editable templates as you will find that trying to play around with the templates to make your changes look good will most likely waste more of your time than you think.
If you engage a designer to design a stable professional website for your business, be prepared to pay ongoing maintenance and update costs. It is perfectly fine to have a Content Management System that allows you to make small changes to your website’s copy and images but for the ongoing consistency of your website’s design and look, it is best you leave some more complex changes to the professionals.
If you have an e-commerce website, you can upload products yourself, change prices, descriptions, create promo codes and much more. On the other hand, I would recommend leaving the home page banner ads/images to the professionals if you want a professional look for your website.
PUBLICATIONS (DIGITAL / PDF OR PRINTED)
BIG warning here for anyone who wants to have editing capabilities for their catalogues. Unlike websites, with publications there is no grey area – if you ask for editing capabilities, you are taking the risk of ending up with a disjointed, amateurish looking catalogue.
Publication design is an art in itself and making a catalogue look professional requires the necessary design software as well as knowledge of typesetting and layout rules. The additional downside is that you will spend unnecessary time fiddling with the content to try to make it align and look decent.
If you want to save on editing costs for changes to your catalogue, streamline and organize the content as much as possible to begin with (maybe you can add an insert to the catalogue that contains the information that changes regularly and have more static information in the main catalogue). Another thing you can do is work out a retainer with your designer for your anticipated amount of changes per year.
If you want a beautiful catalogue or website that is cost-efficient for your business, hiring an experienced professional is a must. You will also have to be open to discussion in the planning stage if you want to be able to implement the most effective solutions for your business.