In today’s digital landscape, having a dynamic and effective website is a critical part of doing business. Many consumers are using their phones to search for new products and services and your website is your first impression with them. You want your business to stand out from the crowd. You want your company to be memorable and unique, original and exciting. A template website design has the likely outcome of looking like hundreds of other sites on the web. Talk about a digital fashion faux pas!
Small business owners will often make major marketing decisions based on cost. Of course cost must be a factor, but investing in a custom website design is one you won’t regret. Why? Because it’s going to provide more distinctness and flexibility to your brand, as well as greater functionality, versatility, and targeted ranking online.
The great thing about a custom website design is you’re not limited by pre-set features. The sky’s the limit!
You know you need a new website built, but what type is best for your business? There are a couple of different options when it comes to building a website.
One option you could go with is a template-built website. These are websites built using pre-made themes offered by companies like Wix, WordPress, Squarespace and Drupal to name just a few. It’s like walking into a furniture store and picking one of the model rooms. You’ll get everything in that “room” and as long as your room at home is the same size and configuration, everything fits. But you won’t be able to choose different fabric to add your own personality, update the room for newer trends, or change any part of how you use that room.
The second option is to build a custom website. Unless you’re a website coding whiz, this option will usually require the help of a professional web design agency. This is akin to walking through the entire furniture store with a professional decorator and carpenter who can customize and reconfigure the pieces from anywhere in the store and make them especially for you and the space you have in mind—and even build in some versatility for multi-use purposes.
Let’s just deal with the elephant in the room. Yes, custom-built websites do cost more than template-built websites (generally), but let’s outline the benefits of each option so you’re comparing apples to apples on which one is best for your business.
When you go with a template website, you choose a pre-existing theme that’s already been developed. If you’re on a tight timeline and need to get your website up and running as quickly as possible, this is a good option. Because the framework of the site is already in place, all you need to do is add your own content.
The caveat to this is that not all template website designs are equally user friendly. If you aren’t familiar with design or code and you choose a more complicated template or theme, you might end up having to hire a designer to sort through the out-of-the-box-easy template you’ve wasted hours trying to figure out. Or worse! Have the security of your website compromised by bad code or an outdated plugin that came pre-installed. Oh – and maybe that template is no longer supported. Now you’re starting all over again. Super frustrating and costly!
If you are building your website on a shoestring budget, a template website is a good option. These websites tend to be cheaper than custom-built web designs because the templates are already built for the most part and ready to go.
When you pick a template design, what you see is what you get. Essentially, you know what your site is going to look like right from the beginning, and there should be no surprises when you see the final version. And because template websites are made from pre-existing themes, you can even check out other businesses who are using the same theme to see how their sites have turned out. But wouldn’t it be exciting to see what would better appeal to your target audience with a custom designed website?
When you build a website, you’ll get a site that fully encompasses the identity of your brand. Show potential customers why you are different and better than your competitors. You’ll be getting the benefit of a designer’s experience, insight, and expertise from building hundreds of custom-built websites. They know what search engines are looking for today versus what they were looking for two years ago. They’ll make the customer journey a priority and sales funnel behaviours. This expertise and experience gives your website a significant advantage over competitors. When you’re working with a custom website design, you can take some risks and break some rules.
Template web designs are generic and often require wonky work-arounds to perform the way you need it to — potentially causing functionality or security issues and creating endless headaches for you.
A custom built website (as compared to a template-built website) is the more streamlined, no-dead-weight option and you’ll see the difference in performance, ranking, speed among other benefits. When a designer builds a theme or template for sale, they create a one size fits all framework with “built-in options” for customization. These “options” include a lot of dead weight code (what we would call redundancies) that can affect page load speeds, compromise how search engines like Google searches or indexes your website, lack or lose function with future updates, leave or create potential security breaches, and an inability to change with current trends.
Custom websites are streamlined specifically with your business in mind. The design team will spend a great deal of time thinking about the unique qualities of your product offerings, your brand and the felt need and behaviour habits of your target audiences. Everything about your custom website will be geared towards hitting your company’s key performance indicators and goals without any dead weight code or compromised security.
A custom built website outperforms a template built website when it comes to how search engines rank and index your website. This is because search engines (like Google, Bing, Safari, Edge, etc.) prioritize original coding, industry standards on coding, and high-quality content. Unfortunately, some template website designers cut corners, reuse code, write bad code, and repeat content.
When a website is tailor-made for one specific client, each line of code has a well-thought out function and purpose and will be unique. Instead of a one site fit’s all solution, custom built designs focus only on the features that matter for your business and brand (no redundancies or dead weight). Imagine navigation menus structured to guide your customers to your sales funnel. No more guessing about appropriate images or where to store video. All of those concerns will be factored into the design, layout, navigation, and coding.
The benefits received with a custom website design cannot be underestimated.
We think your business deserves to stand out from the crowd and a great website continues to be one of the best ways to do that! We can design a unique and attractive website that will perform exactly as you need it and that often increases your search engine rankings as a bonus.
If you want distinctive, attractive, and professional custom website design results, don’t cut corners. Contact London, Ontario's ZOO Media Group today for a complimentary web design and development quote.