Every day, business owners and marketing executives across the country are tearing their hair out trying to figure out how much to invest in redesigning their embarrassingly outdated websites. It’s something we see all the time. The decision between a custom website and a template-based website, on the other hand, does not have to be painful.
Website templates are excellent solutions for some businesses, while Custom Website is required for others. There are five important factors to consider when making the best decision:
1. Set A Budget
The first thing to remember is that your website is not a place where you can cut corners. It’s your brand’s most comprehensive representation. It serves as the focal point for all of your branding and marketing efforts. Your website is the one place where your customers know they can find you at all times, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A well-designed website is always a wise investment.
Quality custom websites, on the other hand, are not cheap. Not every business can afford to hire one. A template-based website is probably your best option if your budget is less than $20,000, for example. Template websites offer pre-designed layouts, saving you money on the cost of hiring someone to do it for you. The limitations that come with them are the tradeoff. On the surface, template sites appear to be clean and functional, but their quality usually ends there.
A custom website is a no-brainer if your company can afford one. Furthermore, the cost should always be considered in context. The initial investment for a custom website for a small to medium-sized business is relatively low. Spending $30,000 on a custom website is only 1% of your annual revenue if your annual revenue is $3 million. Spending $50,000 on a custom website is only 0.5 percent of your annual revenue if your annual revenue is $10 million. The point is that if your company generates more than $3 million in annual revenue, there’s no reason not to invest in a custom website, especially given how important it is to the success of your brand.
2. The Passage Of Time
The fact that custom websites take time to design and build is another unavoidable reality. Depending on the size and complexity of the features, a quality custom website takes at least 2 to 4 months to launch. Because there are so many moving parts in this process, there is no way to speed it up. Custom websites necessitate many different people working on complex tasks on interdependent timelines. Planning, wireframes, design, development, copywriting, photography, testing, and optimization are just a few examples.
So, if you’re in a rush to get a website up and running—whether for a product launch, an event, or just plain impatience—you’ll almost certainly have to settle for a website template.
We recommend setting up a temporary landing page, or even a multifaceted single-page website, in nearly every case where time is an issue. It’s never a good idea to try to build a comprehensive site on a tight deadline. Cutting corners will only end up costing you more money in the long run.
3. Your Company’s Brand
Your brand is the third factor to consider when deciding between a custom website and a website template. Call us sceptics, but we believe this is a big deal. The simple truth is that if brand positioning is one of your goals for your new website (and it should be), you’ll need a custom design.
Template-based websites simply do not allow for the level of customization required to create a site that reflects your company’s distinct personality, identity, and positioning. Your website, as previously stated, is the most comprehensive representation of your brand. It’s the starting point for telling your brand’s storey. A website template limits your ability to differentiate your brand and effectively communicate your value propositions.
Custom Designed Websites provides you with a blank canvas on which to create a truly unique experience for your customers and forge an emotional bond with them. These kinds of connective experiences foster brand loyalty and trust, with benefits that are difficult to quantify.
4. The Ability To Function
Website templates have limitations in terms of functionality as well. To begin with, not every template is designed to be fully responsive (i.e. to work as well on mobile devices as they do on a desktop.) Responsiveness is no longer an optional feature, given that mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of all internet use.
A custom site is also necessary if you want to do any serious e-commerce with your website. Template-based websites lack the flexibility required to accommodate the backend of an e-commerce model. With website templates, security can also be an issue. Hackers prefer template-based sites because a single piece of malicious code can be used to compromise thousands of sites simultaneously. Custom sites are less vulnerable to attacks due to their unique development.
Another significant drawback of website templates is the lack of control over the user experience. The importance of user experience in ensuring that your customers get what they need from your website and that you get what you need from your customers cannot be overstated. You can only optimise your site’s ability to capture leads or sell products with a custom website.
5. Scalability And Flexibility
Templates for websites are truly a “one size fits all” solution. They have a lot of extra features that you might or might not need—features that cause coding conflicts if you try to expand the functionality of your site later.
A template-based site may appear to be a good fit for your current needs, but what happens when your company expands? As your site’s traffic grows, the extra features you don’t need can significantly slow down its loading time. As the number of visitors grows, so does the number of functional limitations.
A Custom Build Website, on the other hand, allows you to work within your budget and add features as they become necessary. Your developer will design the site to meet your current goals while also ensuring that it is easily scalable as you expand. Without sacrificing functionality, custom sites have no inherent limitations on the amount of user traffic they can handle.