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Why you should get a custom design for your website

Published March 23, 2016
Don't want this to happen to you? Avoid using a pre-made template for your website.

Websites are quickly becoming the primary mouthpiece for brick-and-mortar and online companies alike. Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding between using a pre-built web template (see above) or investing in a custom-built website. 

Whether your primary business is conducted through your website or in-person, your company's online presence is becoming a crucial part of maintaining relevance in your market. Your dedication to your customers' interests and preferences will often be experienced through your website before a potential customer speaks to your staff—is your site sending the right message?

To harness its many benefits for your business, you will need to weigh your financial and time limitations against the visual and functional appeal that will keep your web visitors interested. Consider the information below to help you determine if your company is ready to invest in the advantages that only a custom site can offer.

Here are a few benefits of custom website design:

1. It gives you control over brand consistency.

Your brand is the most valuable asset your company owns—it's the only truly unique thing about your company. Rather than wedging your brand’s visual design elements into someone else’s template, you can have a custom site built as an extension of your company. Invest in a custom site to make your virtual presence as inviting and helpful to your visitors as your face-to-face interactions with them.

2. It shows your commitment to high quality. 

The quality of a custom site can speak to your company's level of professionalism and attention to detail. It's the difference between buying a coat off the rack versus having one tailor-made to fit you perfectly. With a custom design, you will stand out as being polished and unique in a market flooded with generic, low-cost templates and outdated designs.

3. It uncovers valuable insights throughout the planning process.

Your website is only one piece of your brand and marketing strategy, but it is likely to operate as your company’s primary mouthpiece. The process of planning a custom site involves asking questions about your everyday business activities and your goals for immediate and future growth. This often inspires new ideas and helps clarify and strengthen your approach to marketing, sales, product development, customer onboarding and more. While a website template is great for companies who are still learning about their market and optimizing their business, it doesn’t engage your company with any thought-provoking questions. If you’re looking to bring more definition to your next steps, consider using your custom website project as a jumping off point for intentional, big-picture thinking.

4. It helps future-proof your site for fewer updates.

Design trends and technological possibilities are constantly changing. While templates can be updated to incorporate some new technology requirements, they're not built to last. That means it’s only a matter of months, or, at most, about two years, before your site will need to be updated to stay relevant. Fussing with the inadequate or overcomplicated code that is ubiquitous with inexpensive templates will cost hours of unproductive work. On the other hand, because custom sites are coded to address specific needs and are inherently flexible, the process of updating them is more manageable for developers. Cleaner, leaner code means fewer delays and lower costs to maintain your site once it’s built.

5. It comes with expertise.

The ability to reach your specific audience in a memorable way is only something that can be achieved through expert guidance and custom design. You will have the advantage of working with experts who can observe how your users interact with your site so you can learn how to improve it over time. Having a dedicated web developer can also keep your site protected from security threats and updated with any new website compliance requirements. Rather than guessing about how best to use this powerful communication tool, you will be guided through each step and kept informed of new opportunities to enhance your brand online.

6. The bottom line …

As with anything that is custom-built, individualized website design requires a higher up-front investment than a generic, pre-built template. A pre-built template can range in cost from free to $300. But what you keep in terms of dollars, is often lost in hours of labor through setup and maintenance—and all this for a website that is almost identical to hundreds of others out there.

Investing in design and technology built specifically for your needs will prevent the hassle and delays experienced with one-size-fits-all tools. The cost of fighting fires created by an inadequate website will add up over time and deter you from spending energy on real growth. Consider the pros and cons and make sure your website works for you. 

Make the Most of Your Website

If you have questions about modernizing your site or improving its design or functionality, we would be happy to walk you through your options. Contact us for a consultation.

Design and functionality go hand-in-hand:

Business-building Branding and UX Design: Kari Kay

Secure, Future-Proof Technology: Ten Forward Consulting

Author details

Kari Kay

Founder and Creative Director of Plot Creative Studio