If you are just starting a blog or a website you need to launch it as soon as you can. You don’t have time to wait for a custom website design and advanced features. First you need to test and learn more about the market you get into. To accomplish this the best way is to launch an initial version ( or beta if you want ) of the website.

Once your website is established you can make assumptions on your potential traffic to your website and potential income. With these numbers you can plan your budget. You have to take care for both your website design and development, and advertising and promotion.

Sooner or later, when your website will reach a certain level, you will need a custom design so you can differentiate yourself from other websites. You need a professional design so anyone can be sure that the website is a professional one, and not another blog just popped out from nowhere.

Definitely, a custom design worth it when the times come. I just don’t recommend it when you have so many options to start easy and fast, using wordpress with a free or premium theme, unless you start directly with a high budget.

Another tip I can give you when you deal with a website design company is to know what to ask for. You will be tempted to say that you just want  a design, but if you ask for this you will get a .psd website template that you don’t know what to do with. You will later find out that you need another developer to slice the template and build the code for it and configure your website.

But today, you can ask directly a custom wordpress design. You will only have to upload it to your server and activate it. Maybe the design company will ask some more to give your the wordpress theme directly, but believe me it worth to pay that money, instead of paying 20$/hour to a developer to do the work.