Creating a website used to be somewhat rocket science only a decade ago but now, things have become a lot different, not to mention easier. With web development platforms such as WordPress, even those who don't have a single clue about coding can take matters into their own hands and create websites single-handedly. However, there are certain instances when using such a platform just wouldn’t cut it.
At times like these, entrepreneurs need to make a few tough decisions and delve deeper into the entire web development process.
One of these tough decisions might be choosing between pre-made templates for websites or opting for custom web development.
Why would this be such a tough call, you ask?
Well, both have their advantages and disadvantages and the solution is mainly subjective. However, sometimes you need custom development as the specific benefits it has may prove to be just the thing that will gain your website and brand a competitive edge in the digital realm.
What is custom Web Development?
Web development is the process of building, creating and maintaining websites. It’s what keeps the site going, i.e. allows it to load correctly on every browser and system. It is also the engine that processes e-commerce transactions, collects leads and downloads digital documents. It’s the engine of your site and it‘s digital presence.
It’s important to know that web development can either break or make your site’s popularity and profitability. It’s not all about the looks of the site, but features, speed, compatibility are crucial factors that will play an important role in your website’s success. This is where seasoned web developers come in.
Custom web development enables you to create a unique website and gain that competitive edge over others in your industry. Going with pre-made templates can also do the trick, however, if you are looking for something that will stand out (and not just from an artistic standpoint) custom might be the route you should take.
Why you may need it?
– When you don’t have to worry about budget limitations
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. When you‘re not restricted by a strict budget, creating a custom website may be a good option.
You know the drill, whenever you want something custom, that usually means that you need to dig deeper into your pocket. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since you’ll have the freedom to do whatever you wish regarding your website. The things you want might be some minor tweaks from a time-tested and reliable design, or an entirely new concept, with a well sought-out custom plan and a reliable development team, you can pull it off.
– When you’re thinking for the long haul
People in the industry know that custom web platforms yield more ROI when compared to pre-made designs, even though they are more costly.
Custom websites are built with the customer, their business objectives and audience in mind. This means that every move the developers make serves your business to increase conversion rates and generating more profit.
– When you have a complex website concept
There’s simply just too much work with your website. Maybe you have a huge site in mind with different features, widgets and with loads of different content types. You’re planning on launching a photo archive, a huge video and audio library, interactive on-site purchase options and even some VR features.
For such a complex job, you need to work with people who know what they are doing. A project like that requires experience and a good eye for detail, a professional’s touch who knows how to make all these features appear seamless and functional without damaging user-experience.
Also, taking the custom route can add value and can help you with brand recognition. A complex site with different designs can give you a huge advantage over pre-made websites using the same templates over and over again on every page. Unique brands get more recognition and in today’s digital game, leaving a good first impression is everything.
– When you’re keen about aesthetics
The way your website looks also plays a crucial role in winning over new visitors and potential customers. An awesome design can help in boosting sales and driving traffic to your site and that’s why it’s crucial to create a look that is appealing to your audience.
When it comes to custom development, you simply have more options at your disposal giving you the chance of creating a site that will have better engagement than pre-made options.
– When you’re concerned about your audience
At the end of the day, user-experience is pivotal for your website’s success. Professional developers know this and will always tailor the development process in accordance with user expectations. Independent communication, easy-to-use features, loading speed, and compatibility all add a little to creating a better user-experience and developers can “push the right buttons” to create such an online environment where all this blends together seamlessly.
To boost UX, you’ll also want to understand your visitors’ needs. If you want to gain their trust, you often need to provide personalized solutions to them. When you opt for the custom route, you can also create and customize web pages based on filters and categories like demographics and location. This might seem like a bit of extra work, but depending on the industry you’re in, it can give you a huge advantage over your competitors who are using basic pre-made templates.
– When you want your SEO to be on point
A lot of digital marketers prefer custom websites because they generally rank better with search engines. Online visibility is crucial for success and good SEO and web development should go hand in hand.
Search engines also prefer custom-built sites because of them generally being more user-friendly and performing better on other platforms, like mobile devices. Optimizing your website for all platforms across the board can be easier when you choose to go custom.
Are there any drawbacks?
Well, the first thing that might be of your concern is the cost, especially if you are on a tight budget. The other thing may be the fact that it’s time-consuming. Preparing a fast-loading, unique, highly-compatible and SEO-friendly website takes planning, research and time. Also, there are testing stages which your site will need to pass before it becomes live and fully functional.
Maintaining custom websites can also be pricier.
The main reason companies opt for pre-made templates is because they are less expensive and may serve as a quick fix if they are in dire need of a website and need it fast.
To top this all off, templates are evolving and giving more and more options while generally custom development can also get frustrating.
What to choose?
Opting between pre-made templates and a custom-made website can be a tough call, there’s no question about that.
Both have their pros and cons and both of them can boost your company’s profits if done and presented right.
However, if you are more concerned about the long haul, about making a difference and gaining that coveted edge over your competitors, going custom might be the way for you.
It enables you to operate a website with outstanding looks, user-experience, compatibility, and speed, optimized for search engines and different platforms.
Is it more expensive? Yes. However, it can also boost your profit if you play your cards right.