A strong web presence is crucial to your ability to grow your business, and your website serves as the hub that anchors all of your digital marketing efforts. Your website gives you an important tool to showcase the services or products you offer and provides customers with a way to learn more about your company. Without a strong website, your potential customers will most likely have a hard time discovering why they should choose you to address their needs.
When building a new website for your business, you have two main options:
- Custom website
- Templated website
There are many different website template options available, making it easier than ever to create a new website on your own. Templates provide you with a faster, more affordable way to build and launch your new website. This has led many businesses to ask the question, “Is a custom website worth it?” In almost all instances, the answer is yes.
The benefits you’ll receive from a custom website design make it much easier to connect with your customers and grow your business. Ultimately, this is the goal of having a website.
Custom Websites vs. Templated Websites: What’s the Difference?
A custom website is built completely from scratch using code. Your web developer will work with you to create a truly unique website that addresses the specific needs of your business and provides an exceptional user experience for your customers. You maintain control over every aspect of the design process in order to ensure the finished product becomes a powerful tool you can use to grow your business.
A templated website provides you with a predesigned site based off of a specific template. You will have the ability to add your own content and images to the website, but you will be very limited in terms of the adjustments you can make to the design features of the site, such as color, navigation, and other elements that are important for delivering an excellent user experience.
In general, website templates are fairly easy to set up on your own. However, you’ll need the help of an experienced web developer or a digital marketing agency to build a custom website.
Why Is Custom Website Design Superior?
A custom web design is a much more effective tool to help grow your business over time. While the initial cost may be greater, the following benefits make a custom website well worth the investment:
- Conveys your brand’s unique value
- Improves search engine results
- Provides a better user experience
- Allows for easy scalability
- Creates a more professional appearance
Custom Websites Convey Your Brand’s Unique Value
Creating a unique brand that conveys the value you provide to customers is an important component of building a strong business. There are many elements that go into your brand, including your:
- Colors (effective color choices increase brand recognition by as much as 80%)
- Style choices
A custom web design gives your web developer or digital marketing agency the ability to incorporate all of these elements into your website. In addition, you’ll maintain control over the layout, ensuring these elements are organized on your website in a way that make them truly stand out and cater to your target audience.
Templated websites, on the other hand, are constrained by the way the template is organized. This will significantly limit your ability to leverage these important brand elements in a way that will make them stand out to your audience. In addition, your website will have a very similar look and feel to other sites built off of the same template. For these reasons, it can be very challenging to convey your unique brand and messaging with a templated website.
Custom Websites Help You Rank Higher on Search Engines
It’s important that your website is built with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. When SEO best practices are used, it will be much easier for your website to rank better on the search engines, and first-page organic search rankings are crucial to the success of your digital marketing efforts.
A study analyzing over 80 million keywords and billions of search results found that 28.5% of people click the first organic Google search result. The success rate drops precipitously after that. Only 15% of people click on the second search result and 11% click on the third result. By the time you reach the tenth position at the bottom of the first page, only 2.5% of people are clicking on the search result. Good luck getting visitors to your site if you don’t rank on the first page for organic search.
Custom web design allows you to build your site in a way that will set you up for success with your SEO efforts:
- Removes code bloat to improve website speed (over 50% of visitors will leave a website when it takes more than 3 seconds for a page to load)
- Allows for responsive design which facilitates a better experience for desktop and mobile visitors
- Allows you to create an intuitive navigation structure that will make your website more user-friendly and reduce bounce rate
- Eliminates many of the security issues that often exist when your website is built on a templated platform (website security has been part of Google’s search algorithms for several years)
Custom Websites Deliver a Better User Experience
Ultimately, the measure of a successful website is how well it engages people and provides a good user experience. Websites that accomplish this goal will increase conversions, turning website visitors into new customers.
You know the needs of your target audience better than anyone else. You understand their frustrations and the ways in which you can help them. Custom web design allows you to construct your website with your customers in mind.
You can add the specific features necessary to engage your audience and deliver what they need. Depending on the unique nature of your business, this can be focused on providing useful information or easier access to purchasing your product. You’ll be able to streamline the user’s process, allowing them to access what they need faster and more efficiently.
Custom Websites Are Easily Scalable
Ideally, your business will grow and evolve over time. You need a website that can grow and meet your changing needs. This may involve:
- Accommodating a larger flow of traffic
- Expanding your ability to showcase new products and services
- Adding new functionality to address changes to your business model over time
- Altering the navigation structure to more effectively adapt to the needs of your audience
- Adjusting your website to reflect current web design and SEO best practices
Custom web design makes it much easier for you to make these necessary changes to your website. Your web developer can incorporate any new elements or features as necessary, allowing your website to grow and evolve with your business. Templated websites are much more limited in their ability to adapt to your changing needs over time.
Custom Web Design Gives Your Website a More Professional Appearance
The difference in the appearance of a custom web design and a templated website is significant. The level of professionalism that is conveyed through a custom design is a game changer for many businesses, making you appear more legitimate and trustworthy to anyone who visits the site. This increased credibility will help you establish yourself as an authority with potential customers, which often results in more quality leads and an increase in conversions.