Custom Website Designs Versus Templates: Is There a Difference in the Value?
by Josette MIllar
You need a website, right?
Of course you do! Everybody needs a website in this day and age.
As a leader in your organization, budgets are always at the forefront of every decision you make. While it may seem like a no-brainer to take the DIY route and go with an existing template that lets you magically create a website, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for.
In other words, your ROI may not reap great rewards if you haven’t invested anything into the initial product.
Why not just drag-and-drop?
Templates that allow you to drag-and-drop content and create a ready-to-go website certainly save on time, but what are they giving you in return?
Your business is a brand. It should be your goal to stand out above the competition and showcase the superiority of your products and services.
If you’re using a template, you can rest assured that your unique brand is lost in a mix of other businesses that are also using your template-of-choice.
No matter how you slice it, there’s nothing unique about a template. You can insert your logo, hire a great writer, and incorporate awesome images, but the result will still be an off-the-shelf product that consumers will identify the moment they arrive at your homepage.
What are the advantages of a custom-designed website?
For starters, let’s look at the obvious: A custom-designed website is tailored to you.
A template is designed to be pretty, but there’s nothing about it that’s intended to propel your company on to the next level of success. Dozens — if not hundreds or thousands — of other businesses utilize the same template, so it’s built with a generic interface that’s meant to appease the masses.
On the other hand, a customized website allows you to engage your customers and meet the needs of your audience by addressing their specific needs, behaviors, and goals.
Adaptability is key if you want to truly connect with your customer base. Custom-designed websites deliver flexibility that templates simply can’t offer, allowing you to incorporate industry and company-specific features directly onto your pages. They provide:
- Great User Interface. Successful web design begins with the user experience in mind. Templates don’t care what your customers will be doing when they arrive at your site. As a result, they often create a frustrating experience that leads customers away from companies’ pages.
- Customer Engagement. How do your customers reach you, and how do they interact when they find you? Only customized websites can help you optimize the answers to these questions.
How does content play a role in website design?
Have you heard of Googlebot? If not, you may wish to consider handing over the reins of your website to a team of professionals who can help your pages get indexed by the major search engines on the web.
In short, content does matter — a lot. In today’s world, it’s not only about what words you use in your content (actually, keyword-stuffing can lead to stiff penalties that can make for an insufferable comeback in SEO land), but it’s about how you code and place your content.
If you’re not familiar with sitemaps, coding, and search engine penalties, you should probably consider leaving the job of your website design to the experts. There are plenty of intricacies involved in great web design that simply can’t be put into a template.
Still not convinced that custom website design is the way you should go? It’s time for you to contact our team at Sheffield Media Group so we can show you the way to better customer engagement!