web anniversary

The question we often get asked, “Why would I choose a custom built site when I can get a SquareSpace or Wix site in less time and for less money?” It is the responsibility of any reputable web designer to advise on the best solution that fits their client’s needs.

For a business that wants to stay ahead from the competition, having an outstanding online presence and brand image is essential. An individually designed website will help you achieve that goal.

It is common for small business owners to purchase a website from an existing template to reduce cost and save time. Is this right for an ambitious business owner who wishes to grow?

Off-the-shelf templates

There are many limitations with the design of most templates, what you see is what you get. You should be able to change the colours and possibly the fonts but the layout is pretty much set in stone. If you have a pre-built template site, just remember that someone else out there may already have a website that looks exactly like yours. You will also need to be aware that the code embedded in the template may not be 100% clean from bugs and may need fixing at a later date.

By using an experienced developer to custom build your website you can ensure all the code is future proof. A custom-built bespoke website is “tailor-made” for your company. Its design is unique to your brand image, and its functionality is specific to the needs of your customers. Having a unique design following your company brand guidelines will help your business to stand out from the competition.

Start-up companies and small businesses often need a website up quickly and on a low budget. Most website package templates and platforms like Squarespace and Wix are often ‘drag and drop’, meaning someone with less knowledge of how websites work can simply upload content into a website to get it up and running rather quickly. However, this creates coding errors every time an element is ‘dragged and dropped’ meaning your website is being severely damaged every time you make a change. This is likely to affect any SEO efforts and will also impact user experience.

These templates are therefore helpless to serve changes to the site design and layout. They are usually created for the wow factor using design tricks such as nice colours, beautiful graphics, and impressive animations without much thought behind the back-end of the website, most of the time leaving the code unrepairable.

Custom-built websites

A custom site is always expandable. Features can be built in to make your website, and sometimes your business, easier to manage. You can easily add new functionality to a bespoke website as and when you need it. You can also grow and develop the site with your business, so that future expansion and changes to the site can be implemented seamlessly, hassle free and without incurring any additional high costs.

To correctly build a fully customised bespoke website you will need to hire a team of professionals including a digital designer, copywriter, web developer, a tester, an SEO specialist and a digital marketing specialist to acquire customers. Each professional carries out a specific role and must coordinate with each other to complete the web project successfully. This requires some investment and is worthwhile long term.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is another area where template websites fall short. In order to get ranked prominently in search engines such as Google, the entire web page must follow very specific guidelines, which aim to place data in certain strategic locations for better indexing by search engines. Only custom-made websites can do this. A solid web developer will constantly update their code and find new ways to increase the longevity of the sites they build. They are up-to-date with SEO best practices as they get released from Google.

Some off-the-shelf templates may use outdated code or old plugins that can get hacked more easily. This is fairly common with the cheaper WordPress theme templates. Code that has been written from scratch is much harder for hackers to crack than a regular template.

Bespoke web design will offer a more sustainable, professional advantage to you in the long term – saving you time and money in the future. It is worth investing in a custom-built website so that you don’t compromise on quality, usability and image.

Get in touch with a member of our team today, to find out how we can build a website designed uniquely for your business.