In this day and age, it’s impossible to operate a successful business without a website. But not any old website will do. Despite the growth of templates and DIY website builders, the best way to develop an effective site continues to be through custom website development.
What is Custom Website Development?
You’ll hear a lot of people inside and outside of the industry employ the phrase “custom website development,” but they’re often referring to nothing more than website templates. In reality, a custom website has to have been built from scratch, using code.
There are no templates or copy-and-paste layouts in this kind of design. Everything is unique from the ground up.
That being the case, not just anyone can develop a custom website. It requires a designer who has coding skills and expertise in SEO, understands design layout, and understands industry best practices for conversion.
Thus, you wouldn’t want to hire just anyone. You have to find a website development company that has the necessary experience, expertise, and industry-specific knowledge.
The Five Biggest Benefits of Going the Custom Route
There are any number of reasons to go with a custom website, but here are five of the top benefits and advantages.
1. 100 Percent Unique
When you go the DIY route – meaning you choose a template or use a stock layout provided by a website builder – you’re using a canned layout. It stands to reason that if the design is any good, it’s probably been used hundreds or thousands of times already by others.
You have to ask yourself: What does this communicate about my business?
The benefit of custom website development is that it’s 100 percent unique. There won’t be another website that’s just like yours on the Internet.
That should give your presentation a higher quality and character that other brands will lack. Your visitors might not know for certain that your website is unique, but they should feel as part of their user experience.
2. Fully Customizable
As the name implies, a custom website is fully customizable. You won’t have to choose between different elements and sacrifice some of them. You can have your cake and eat it, too.
Yes, it might cost more on the front end, but odds are the long-term ROI will be significantly stronger than if you used a template or website builder.
3. Optimum Flexibility
One factor about DIY websites that few people discuss openly is the lack of control. When you use one of those drag-and-drop builders, you are not able to just take your website and move it to another platform.
If you encounter a need to shift, you’ll be forced to redesign your site entirely, using the next platform’s technology.
With a custom website, you possess total flexibility. You can choose from any number of hosts and configure your setup for any kind of platform. This makes your site the ideal tool for scaling your business over time, if circumstances encourage it.
4. Enhanced SEO
For the most part, generic websites prioritize aesthetics first, functionality second, and SEO third. So, although you might obtain a good-looking site, it’s not so likely that you’ll rank highly among the search engines.
With a custom website, you don’t have to choose between design, function, and SEO; you can get all three. Custom website development typically starts with a solid SEO foundation and then addresses the design.
This gives you a better framework and a better shot at ranking for key search terms. You’ll probably have to invest in content on an ongoing basis if you want to keep a high rank, but at least you’ll know the fundamentals are in place.
5. Ease of Maintenance
No website lasts forever. Trends change, best practices evolve, and companies grow.
When you have a custom website, maintenance is easy. You know who developed the design, and that enables you to go straight to the source and get first-rate updates.
They won’t be free, of course, but the developer will already be familiar with your site, which lowers the chances of future problems.
Putting it All Together
There’s a time and place for drag-and-drop builders and/or templates. If, for example, you only need a simple, one-page site to send people for scheduling appointments, you can probably get away with a simple site.
But if you’re developing a website that is intended to serve as your brand’s digital foundation, you don’t want to waste all of your potential with a generic design. By opting for custom website development, you can give your brand an advantage over the competition.
It’s your choice, but we’d encourage you to make the smart one!