It’s almost certainly not necessary to convince any business operator in 2018 about the importance of a website.
Put simply, your customers are online, websites never sleep, it’s no longer difficult or expensive to have a great internet presence, and it’s the perfect way to polish your brand, image and reputation and connect with the world.
So if you’ve made that decision to create a website for your business, the very next question you’ll be answering is a simple choice: custom, or template?
Before you make that call, it’s important to think deeply about exactly what you need from your website. It should look great, be fast, simple and easy to use for your customers, reach a wide and targeted audience, present your products beautifully, stand out in a competitive market – and much more.
So let’s look at your options:
Custom came first
In the past, getting a website built from the ground wasn’t even an option – it was simply how to get online. A web developer takes your concept and brings it to life, with everything from the graphics to the site design, architecture, structure, content management and everything else made just for you.
But these days, there is another option: the pre-made, easy to get up and running and cheaper website template.
Put simply, this used to be the clear ‘second rate’ option. Basically, a template is a website you can pick ‘off the shelf’, already built with that all-important ‘code’. You then customise them with a range of looks, your own content and images, and forego the need for professional designers or web developers.
Template sites mean that even with limited time, knowledge and budget, anyone can get online and on those Google listings with a pretty good looking and functional website.
And these days, more and more businesses are going the ‘template’ route. Here are a few crucial reasons why custom websites are the only correct choice for a business that is serious about having a great online presence.
1. The possibilities
A template website may be easy, but it’s limited. Yes, you can customise that template – but only within the bounds of what’s being offered in terms of graphics and functionality. On the other hand, the possibilities of a custom website are literally infinite. Ok, tapping into that professional knowledge, skills and experience will cost you more, but it will deliver whatever you want to achieve.
2. The uniqueness
While you can select from a range of options, the truth is that your template website will always be very similar to many others that are out there. And is a look and design that can be summarised with the phrase ‘close enough is good enough’ really good enough for a brand like yours, that wants to truly differentiate itself from the competition and demonstrate its excellence?
3. The adaptability
Put simply, your custom website will be yours – while a template will never be more than a disguised version of someone else’s. But the number 1 rule of the internet these days is the ability to quickly react to what’s going on out there in terms of trends, new technology and features, and the moves of your competition. Only a custom website will really be ready to be tweaked, modified, upgraded or improved to be exactly what you need it to be – today and tomorrow.
4. The payback
There is no doubt that getting a website custom-built means you need to pay more for the time, skills and experience of a qualified development team. But when it comes to your valuable online business, is the cost really that great? In fact, cutting corners with a cheap template design may actually cost you money over time in terms of poor SEO, audience reach and sales conversion.
In short, you should never underestimate the power of custom web design. Give your business its best possible chance to succeed online from the get go.