How important is custom design and programming for your website?
Do you really need your own designs and backend, or are pre-designed templates enough?
If you’ve ever decided – or even considered – embarking on a website project, you will probably have considered with the question: ‘Can I build it myself?’
Indeed, for many business owners without either a technical or a design background, the prospect of having to enlist the services of both a technical team and a design team in order to create their website or digital assets can seem prohibitively expensive.
In order to address this obstacle, many so-called ‘no-code’ solutions have emerged for building websites that offer pre-designed templates that can be configured for your own use.
The problem is, websites created using ‘no-code’ software tend to be limited in terms of the technical capabilities and customization they offer. This can be a problem for companies seeking to offer their customers a personalized, curated service that reflects their brand and strategies.
The same issue applies to the design templates no-code solutions offer. While they may be attractive and generally acceptable, it can be very difficult to express a brand’s unique identity using a pre-defined template – which other businesses may also be using.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the importance of custom design and coding in your website project. By asking these questions, you should be able to reach a better understanding of what will be the best solution for your own unique circumstances and needs.
1. How important is ‘being unique’ to your business?
The first impression most people will have of your business is your website. While you may be able to attract visitors through marketing on other digital platforms, it’s what they encounter once they have visited your website that will pave the way for whether they want to use your services – or not.
Indeed, research has found that people view a website’s design as the most important factor in gauging the credibility of a business. For this reason, having a design that reflects your brand’s unique character is critical.
Websites created using templates run the risk of being very similar in terms of layout and structure. Companies that create websites using templates tend to gravitate towards similar styles, depending on their industry, which can make it hard to ‘stand out’ in a highly competitive digital marketplace.
With a customized website, you will have full control of your brand identity, and, if you’re using a professional design / development team, will have many more opportunities to create a unique experience and impression of your website for your users.
2. How complex do you want your website to be?
For certain business that just need to present a simple snapshot of their services and list contact details for prospective customers to get in touch – a website template might very well do the trick.
However, for websites that will be used for more complex tasks such as community engagement through newsletters, managing large inventories or offering complex, customizable products, a customized website that is designed specifically for those purposes will be the better choice.
While templates can do well when the given product or services are simple – which is rarer than you might think – customized websites are needed in order to offer richer shopping and browsing experiences for your visitors.
At the same time, template websites also tend to have highly complex, often-impregnable back-ends – which is not the kind of complexity that is conducive to adaptability and high SEO scores.
Template websites are often not updated to latest SEO coding standards rewarded by search engines such as Google. Another effect of this back-end complexity can be manifested in slower load times than customized websites, which have been built in order to run your various processes specifically.
However, with a customized website, your website will be optimized by your developers and designers to adhere to the latest SEO trends and systems.
3. How flexible do you want your website to be? Should it be able to grow with your business?
Because template-based websites do not – by design – provide access to their backend coding, it is very hard to adapt them to be able to handle larger volumes of users, or to work with different languages or country-specific versions.
A template-based website cannot usually be configured in ways that will make it accessible to new or much larger audiences than what it has been initially designed for.
There will be a need to create a new website, which can be difficult to properly integrate with a pre-existing, template-based website. This will end up taking more time and resources and can risk negatively affecting your continuity and community reach.
For this reason, companies that are expecting significant fluctuations or evolutions in their target audience, activities or operations will be much better off opting for a customized website that they have full control over in terms of both technical architecture and design.
This will give them the ability to respond to changing market demands and conditions when the need arises, and to not be restricted in terms of what their website can and cannot do.
4. How responsive do you need your website to be?
Another area where template-based websites often lack is in responsiveness. In order to have a chance of success in the vast global digital marketplace, companies need to ensure that their digital assets are fully responsive to the complex array of different devices and operating systems out there.
While template-based websites can often claim to have responsive designs that adapt to whether a visitor is using a desktop, mobile, Android or iPhone, the reality tends to be more complicated.
Devices and operating systems evolve all the time, so if your website is not built to be able to be adjusted when necessary, you can end up losing access to a large pool of potential customers.
Similarly, while website templates may have in-built responsiveness, how this interacts with the unique content you put in place on your website will be automatic, rather than curated. This can end up forcing companies to shape their content according to the parameters of the template, leading to compromised content and product offerings.
With a customized website, your design and coding will be built and adapted to fit your brand and content – not vice versa. This can give you the freedom and space to truly let your brand shine and make the greatest impact.
Have a web project you want to develop with professional IT developers based in our offshore locations (vietnam offshore development centre service among others)? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss how Bocasay can be your trusted partner.