As a business owner, it's crucial to let the world know about your existence and what you offer. Nowadays, there are countless ways to achieve this, but having a website is one of the most effective methods to establish a direct and personalized relationship with your customers. When you decide to invest in a website, you have two options to choose from - a custom-built website or a template-based website. Before we delve into these options, let's first understand why having a website is essential for your business' success.
- Credibility: Many businesses offer the same services, but having a website can prove that you are a legitimate and trustworthy business.
- Brand: A website allows you to showcase your brand, mission, completed projects, contact information, and even testimonials all in one place.
- Organic Traffic & Leads: By being online and having an SEO-optimized website, you have a higher chance of showing up in Google search results, which can bring more people to your business and ultimately lead to more deals.
- Save Time: Having a website saves time for both you and your customers. Your website is available 24/7 for the public, providing helpful information such as your business hours, services offered, and contact forms for inquiries. By having all this information readily available, you can avoid countless calls for generic information and focus on engaging with people who are truly interested in your business.
Now that we have reviewed the importance of bringing your business to this level, let’s go back to the important question: Which option is the right one for my business?
Your decision will depend on various factors, but some to consider are budget, project timeline, the level of branding required, the uniqueness you desire, and user experience. Before deciding on one of these options, it's essential to understand their limitations and possibilities based on your needs and goals. Here are some of the main differences between a template and a custom website:
- Uniqueness: A Template-based Website is a pre-designed template usually available online from tools like Weebly, Wix and other similar website builders. Everything is pre-built with a template that anyone can use, so chances are that you will find many websites around just like yours, making it less likely to stand out from the competition. On the other hand, a Custom Build Website is literally what it sounds like. It’s custom, designed especially for your brand and tailored to your unique needs. This means you'll have a one-of-a-kind website that reflects your personality and effectively communicates your message.
- Functionality: A custom website can be built with functionality that meets your specifications. Booking systems, e-commerce, customer portal, and custom forms are examples of how a custom website can be designed with those features in mind. A template website may have pre-built options, but often they will not fully meet your needs. Not to mention, adding features down the line as your business grows become increasingly difficult with a template build.
- Flexibility: With a custom website, you have the flexibility to add or remove features as necessary, allowing you to personalize your website to meet your business needs, rather than being limited by a pre-designed template. A template website may not allow the same level of flexibility.
- Scalability: A custom website is also scalable, meaning it can be designed to grow with your business. This eliminates the need to redesign your website in the future as your business expands, which can be a problem with template-based websites.
- Branding: Showcasing your brand can be done in unique ways with a custom website compared to a template website. You can easily integrate brand colours, logos, and elements into a custom website, to manage a cohesive digital presence. Template websites will have limitations on branding elements making it difficult to achieve optimal branding.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical for the success of a website. Custom websites are built with SEO in mind from the beginning. Website designers optimize your website for keywords and phrases related to your business and industry. With template websites, they are not as search engine friendly and can be more difficult to optimize.
Creating a website can be a valuable marketing tool that accurately reflects your marketing strategy. The time and cost required for each option varies. While a Template-based website can be quickly created and is less expensive, it has limitations. On the other hand, a Custom Build website has a higher cost due to the time and effort required for design and development, and it may take longer to launch. However, we can assure you that a custom website is a worthwhile investment if you want to create a website that fully represents your brand.
Initially, it may seem like a difficult decision to make, but it is an easy choice if you are clear about your business goals. Any initial savings from a Template-based website may end up costing you more in the long run and may not meet your needs. A Custom Build template is the best option for companies whose goals include functionality, brand expression, flexibility, and lead generation.
In conclusion, a template website may be the easier option, since custom websites have numerous benefits that will make a significant difference to your success. Remember, a custom website is unique, functional, flexible, SEO-friendly, and perfectly branded for your business. You will be setting your business up for success with a custom-built website.
Learn more about why a Custom Website makes more sense here and get started!