In contrast to 15 years ago when you had to be a developer to build a website, today, pretty much anyone can make a website. Many web development platforms are available with free and paid-for templates that users can easily upload, add content (text, images, videos, etc.), hit the publish button, and are done.
Although they are quick and easy to set up, there are many things, like functionalities a template might be missing out on, that could directly affect your business’ goals.
On the other hand, while it covers all your needs, a tailor-made solution comes with a price.
So, how do you know if custom is the way to go? Let’s start from the beginning.
If you are contemplating a website redesign and/or redevelopment, read this post here first. No doubt, having an outdated website can harm your business. Still, there is much more to a re-do than you think.
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Custom web development refers to a customized website solution for your brand, business objective, product, or service. It enables you to have a unique website. Apart from the website’s obvious design uniqueness, a unique website also includes various functionalities developed to be as efficient as possible to help your business goals instead of harming them.
While it’s true custom solution helps you stand out and gain a competitive edge over your competition, whether it is necessary for your business depends on the type of your business and the website you want to build—the complexity of it.
If you own a restaurant, for example, you don’t need much. A simple website featuring your menu, team overview, and contact information would probably be enough. There are thousands of pre-made templates that can do exactly that.
But, if you are looking for something that will help your restaurant stand out (and not just from a design standpoint, I’m also talking about added functionalities such as reservations, reviews, ecommerce, etc.) custom approach might be the route for you.
Web development and web design are two somewhat overlapping terms that are frequently used easily in posts, much like this one without clear differentiation. So, for the sake of clarity, think of web design as of user experience aspects of website development (the web graphics, user interface design, what makes it ‘pretty’). Web development entails front and back end coding. The work that happens behind the scenes. Work that makes a website look as designed, work fast, and perform well on different browsers.
To start with, your website will have a unique look that matches your brand.
With so many pre-made templates today, you’ve probably noticed websites that look and feel very similar. That’s because the same templates were used, and (in most cases) only images and text were changed. Being an original in the pool of copy/paste solutions helps you stand out big time.
With a unique website that customers haven’t seen before, you instantly draw attention and look a lot more professional and trust-worthy. Custom solutions allow more space for original corporate branding, vital to growing your company as reputable and reliable in your field.
Finally, with a custom web development solution, you get to dictate every visual inch of the design and every functionality you need. That means that you’ll be able to develop a website completely to your and your audiences’ liking, including the ability to test various visual clues and/or functionalities until you find the ones that convert.
Although the cost of developing a custom web development solution may be higher than simply using a template, it is a great long-term investment.
For example, custom web development solutions scale easily. So, as soon as your business grows, your web developers will easily scale the existing website or web app.
Besides, customized websites are adaptable to your business requirements and objectives. Because they are developed with individual clients in mind, custom solutions have a much higher ROI.
Let’s say you decided on WordPress for your website platform and installed a simple template. A bit of customization, and you are ready to go live. After a while, you start adding various plugins and functionalities, high-quality photos, and blog content.
The next thing you know, your website is painfully slow. Custom solutions allow you to eliminate unnecessary bloatware while allowing functionality. And with the growing API microservices landscape, you can cut costs even more. Instead of developing certain functionality, you can opt-out to a well-known solution and integrate without influencing your website speed and performance.
With a website built with your ideal customer in mind, that works great on a variety of browsers and devices, and that’s blazingly fast, you deliver an amazing user experience to your visitors.
As one of the most important factors today for both search engines and your customers, the better user experience can influence your customers to choose you over your competitors.
Most templates out of the box, depending on a platform, are not built with performance and speed in mind. And even those that are, require a good bit of maintenance to keep them performant. It is not to say that Google prefers custom websites and web apps, but since you are starting from scratch, you are building your website with performance in mind.
This approach can help your website rank better because your website will be fast with a great user experience on both desktop and mobile. And when you rank better, it is easy for your potential customers to find you.
Developing a custom solution will certainly cost you more as far as initial costs are concerned. You’ll have to hire a team of web developers, spend time creating a plan for your website, and then spend time having it developed.
However, while getting a template might be more affordable in the beginning, you’ll most likely have to pay for licensing packages over a period of time, keep a tap on frequent theme/plugins update, and to some extent, be dependent on the template designer.
Designing the website takes time. Hiring web developers takes time. Developing the website takes time. And any adjustments, bug fixes, updates, and upgrades take time as well. A lot more in contrast to using templates.
Go through the list of pros and cons above, compare them against your business goals, and decide what the right choice for your business is.
Keep in mind that if you are looking for outstanding design, a tailor-made user-experience with custom functionalities and high-performance custom is the way to go.
It may cost more, but your business will rake in more profit because of it.
Need a custom web dev team to back your ideas and bring them to life? Let’s talk. BOOK A MEETING today and learn more about what we can do for you and your business.