When it comes to making a website, the task has been simplified incredibly over the years. With the rise in popularity of platforms like WordPress, Shopify, and Wix, making business and ecommerce websites is possible without even having the basic knowledge of coding. It’s a brilliant trend that has enabled countless businesses who either don’t have the required expertise to build a website from scratch or don’t have the required capital for the same.
While template websites may seem like a gift from the Internet Gods, there is a common misconception that they can replace custom websites. Don’t get me wrong. Template based website builders and the resultant websites are superb, but only if you are a beginner. If, however, your online business is growing and you have a bit of capital, investing in developing a custom website should be high on your priority list.
But why would you invest thousands of dollars and your precious time with a web design company to create a website when you already have a template based website that is getting the job done?
Here are a few reasons to think about:
Your Business Is Not A Template
Even if you are operating in an extremely competitive industry, the reason you have customers is that your business offers something that the scores of competitors in your industry don’t. Unlike your website, there is a good chance that your business was not built on a template. Even new businesses that enter a competitive industry are usually focused on solving specific problems that have been left unaddressed by the other players in the industry.
If that is also the case for you, does your website complement this goal? Is it designed to focus on the unique problem that you are solving? Is the design or the layout created in a manner that highlights the unique attributes of your business?
If you are using a template, chances are that your answer to most of these questions will be no.
This means, without a custom website, carving out a unique place in your industry for your business will be a little bit more challenging. On the other hand, if your website is designed to reflect the unique selling points of your business, there is a better chance that the leads it generates are all at least a little informed about the value your business can deliver to them.
Your Customers Are Unique
Just like your business and the problem(s) that it is solving, you are also probably targeting a unique set of customers with unique problems and qualities. Does your website design solve for them? Does it focus on their problem? Does your website make your customers feel like your business cares about their pain points more than the competition?
If not, you may want to rethink your website design.
With custom website design and development, you can have a customer-oriented website that your visitors absolutely love. The navigation, the content, the visuals, the colours, and all the other elements can be used to demonstrate how your business cares for the unique problems of its customers and addresses them. Think about how many websites a typical Internet user visits in a day. If your templated website looks somewhat or exactly like those websites, what are your chances of making a lasting impression on them?
A customer-oriented design will also help you create better brand recall value in the minds of those visitors that don’t convert into customers right away.
One of the biggest problems of working with website templates is that they come with restrictions. Most templates don’t account for the suggestions made by your SEO checker tool or the ever-changing needs of a growing business. This is especially true for ecommerce websites that find themselves struggling with, especially when their business grows and they start catering to a larger audience. With a larger footfall on your online store, there are countless ways you can monetise your audience.
Thanks to the technology available to us today, we can record and use customer data to deliver delightful experiences throughout the buyer’s journey to the purchase decision. However, doing all that becomes a little more difficult with the limited features available with most website themes. When you have a custom website, you can virtually add any functionality to improve your results or the user experience. You can even add additional layers of security to make sure your website is well protected against cyber threats.
Depending On Others
When you use a theme, you are counting on the developers of the theme to regularly update its code and security features that make your website safe. If one day the developer decides to pull support from their theme, you will be left stranded with a theme that you don’t know how to manage. Even if you hire professional developer help, making changes to a theme may be surprisingly expensive. While this situation might seem unlikely, especially if you are using a premium theme, it is always a possibility.
Things get particularly bad for website owners who are using outdated themes without realising it. This puts their sensitive customer data at risk of a leak.
Build Unique, Stay Unique
Most of the successful themes available today have been ‘inspired’ by successful websites in various niches and industries. The layouts have been ‘proven’ to work for websites in a certain niche. As a result, a large number of websites in a particular niche all look similar. This means, even if you do manage to stand out from the crowd with a templated website, it will be very easy for others to copy your layout, template, and content ideas.
When you have a custom website, copying your designs and layout ideas will be a challenge. Sure, it is still possible, but copying a custom website is resource and cost intensive, which will act as an effective deterrent to most people with such intentions.
The conclusion is simple, investing in a custom website can potentially improve every single aspect of your business’ online presence. Making things work with a template-based website is perfectly possible but in order to truly succeed, you must take conscious steps to stand out from the crowd.
A custom website will prove to be a significant step in that direction, helping you provide an intuitive user experience to your audience, while also creating a unique brand identity for your business.
What’s stopping you from getting a custom website built for your business? Share with me in the comment section below.