For businesses, it is a must in this day and age to have a website. It is your home base and your business address in the virtual world. Having a great website can actually help or hurt your business. A great website will reflect on your business, helping it gain more clients and become more successful. A poorly made one will look messy and unprofessional, turning off clients even from the very start.; and this is not great from a business perspective.
In the process of getting a website for your business, there are 2 very big decisions you have to make–whether to use a template type of website or have a custom one built. Each one has its own pros and cons and it really depends on you, your needs and available resources as a business.
Template websites are those that are pre-designed and basically pre-made. Coding has already been done for you so all it will need is a bit of time to get your information in and some tweaking and customization from your end. To cite a few benefits of choosing these types of websites, they are 1) very inexpensive (and they can even be free!), 2) they are pretty much plug-and-play and you can do all the customization on your own and will have no need for a website developer or third-party company to help you, and 3) they are very quick to do so you can have your site up and running in as fast as a few hours.
There are drawbacks though, to this kind of website. More often than not, it is very easy to see that the site is a template site and it lacks the professional look that your business may need. It will also look very similar to other sites since templates are readily available. These sites may not stand out and may not function as well as you would like since you would be limited to the features and plug-ins available to you. More importantly–and this much be stressed as very important, template websites may not be as secure as you would want them to be since the code is easily accessible. Website support, SEO and marketing tools, and analytics are also quite lacking for template websites.
Custom websites, on the other hand, are those that are basically built from scratch. They are your idea and your concept made possible through collaboration with a great web development team (should you not have the skills yourself). Custom websites are unique and created specifically for your business needs.
Looking more into custom websites, we can cite some pros and cons.
They are created solely for you so they are uniquely yours and have the full functionality you need.
This means that the site is planned, created and built just for you and your business. Everything from conceptualizing, planning and building of the site is geared towards your business needs. This also means that there is a lot of focus on showing your brand personality and you can be sure that your website will look very unique and professional.
Your web development team will take care of the building, optimizing, maintaining and keeping your site safe.
Most website development teams will work with you from the conception of your website, to making sure that it is optimized for SEO, to maintaining and updating your site and making sure that your site is kept secure. This is something that template website providers lack in, or should they offer these things, will add on more costs and fees.
Custom websites are fully tested before launch.
This is great to make sure that your website performs well and is available to all browsers. Also, any necessary software integration and capabilities of your website will be tested to make sure that everything is working well.
Custom websites grow with your business
One of the biggest advantages of having a custom website is that there is always room for growth as your business grows and changes. You need not be stuck with a site that is obsolete because your business needs have changed or you may have new offerings as a business; you have decided to use new software. Since your custom website is built from scratch, you do not need to create a whole new site to accommodate your needs as you grow.
Let’s now take a look at the biggest cons when opting for custom websites:
They can get pricey
Unless you have the skills to code and create a custom website yourself, the general process is to find and hire a reputable web development company or team that can help you get your brainchild online. Hiring a good company costs quite a bit more than template sites and you would need to make time to find a team, draft a contract, and then brainstorm and collaborate with the team to create your website.
They take time
Custom websites take much longer to build than template sites which can be up and running within a few hours. Since a custom website is built from scratch, the time needed to build, test and make sure that the site is running well is much longer. This can take weeks, if not a couple of months.
It may be hard to communicate your vision and ideas
This is especially true if it will be your first website for your business. There may be some difficulty being able to share your vision and your idea to the website development team. Again, relaying back and forth ideas and concepts may take more time. A good website development company will be ready for such situations though and will be able to guide you through the planning and concept development process.
Though more tedious and time-consuming, custom websites–when done in collaboration with a good website development company, is more than worth the time, effort and cost. If done well and made to suit your business perfectly, a custom website will help you put your best foot forward and give your website the edge to succeed from the time it is up and running and for years to come.
-This article was written by Abby Villarica from Green Box