Understanding the differences as well as the impacts
Your website is one of the single most important things a potential customer sees when researching your business. You want it to stand out, and to look professional, all while reflecting your business’s mission and values. On top of that, you need it to be unique from everyone else’s website, but not so unique that it misses the mark. How is this possible?
If creating a unique website sounds like a daunting task, that’s because it is. While this may not be the answer you were looking for, it is important to keep the importance of an effective, impactful website in mind when seeking to create one for your business. Do you use a template site from a webhosting service like WordPress or Joomla? Or do you create a custom design from scratch?
Why does it Matter if Your Site is Template-Built or Custom?
If you haven’t already noticed, not all websites are created equal. Some that are built with templates are innovative, effective and beautiful. Some custom websites are clumsy and difficult to navigate. Many fall into relative mediocrity, getting glossed over in the sea of other “unique” sites out there. While template websites seem generic, they are not without their benefits.
Templated sites can offer a cost-effective alternative to custom-built sites. They can also be easily and quickly edited by you personally, and can be launched almost immediately. However, they also come with their share of downfalls.
Template-designed sites may have a generic look and feel, as you are limited on the graphics and tools you can use. They may also experience limited functionality and can even be vulnerable to security breaches. Publicly-hosted websites are often the target of hackers, potentially putting your business’ personal data at risk.
Custom-designed websites on the other hand, while typically more expensive than template sites, offer increased functionality and are often more user-friendly. Because they are completely custom, they can be as specific or unique as your business dictates; they can be changed relatively easily if content is updated. You can also host an online store, and offer users more features than a template-designed site. Even more important is that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be much more effective with a custom-designed site. The web developers who create your custom site will ensure that your site is properly optimized to rank on search engines like Google and Bing.
It should be known, however, that while custom websites offer a whole host of benefits, they are not without their pitfalls. Custom-designed sites are often much more expensive to create, as they require web developers to design and code the content. Additionally, custom sites take longer to create and take the creation out of your hands, putting it into the hands of developers who you trust to properly deliver your vision.
Before you decide launch your business website, please be sure to weigh the pros and cons of template-designed vs. custom-built websites. You want to make the best decision for your business to ensure you make the biggest splash possible with your new website!