In today's digital world, your website is your shop window. It catches the attention of potential customers and entices them in to do business with your company. By showcasing your products and services in that way they deserve, it helps to convert prospects into qualified leads and enquiries. Your website makes you accessible 24/7 and will position your brand in a way that is attractive to your target market. So it sets an expectation – but is that expectation a true reflection of what you can deliver?
Starting to think about getting a new website for your business can be quite daunting. You are faced with decisions like "should I go for the cheapest option such as a website builder provided by companies like Wix or GoDaddy? or should I pay considerably more to have a bespoke site designed and built for me?"
Generic vs. bespoke
A template-based website is just that. A ready made design that countless other businesses have used before you, that may or may not complement your branding. There will be elements that you can alter, including the addition of your logo, brand colours or images, but generally a template-based site detracts from the professionalism of your business and it is often obvious to others in your industry that not much effort has gone into it.
Conversely, a custom-built website is developed specifically to meet your business needs. This means that the look, feel, branding and content is entirely down to you and can be designed by Pedwar to meet your exact requirements.
Updating your content
Template-based websites run on a content management system that will allow you to update your content. However, much like the design, this can be limiting and you’ll be restricted to the boundaries that the template dictates. This is not the case for the bespoke-built websites that we create here at Pedwar, which are built to your specifications.
For example, we give our clients full access to the back end of the website, so that they can update content, blog articles, images and any other element they wish. Some clients prefer limited access to ensure that they don’t ‘break’ the site, and whilst this is unlikely, this can be provided too!
Good things take time
A template-based website can be live within minutes, and that's because it has very little room for customisation. Once you've entered your content the website is more or less ready to go live. A website that has been designed and built for you will almost understandably take longer because it is built from scratch to meet your specific brief.
Talking in code
Template websites can fall foul of outdated or broken code and this can affect your search engine rankings. This is much less likely to happen when your site is bespoke and created by a website developer that is fully up-to-date with the latest coding best practices.
Potential for growth
Templated websites will usually allow you to add pages and content as your business grows. There may also be plugins and widgets that can act as an online shop, project portfolio or library should you wish. This is useful, but as your business grows, these template add-ons can be quite inflexible. Your custom-made site can grow with your business and additional modules and functionality can be developed with your business and your clients in mind – hence no limits and always on brand!
Supporting your cashflow
Without question a template site is likely to be a much cheaper option from the outset. The reason for this are clear, you’re buying off-the-shelf as opposed to having something bespoke created for you. However, as time progresses, and your business grows, it is highly likely that a bespoke website will become an important requirement in your marketing arsenal. It may ultimately be more cost effective to have your own website developed upfront, and let it grow with your business rather than paying out for a template website and then inevitably investing in your bespoke site later down the line. Then there's the question of how much lost business a template site may have cost you because it poorly reflects your brand or your offering!
There are many good reasons for considering a template-based website, and there are many reasons for considering having a website that’s built specifically for you as well. So, as a business you must step back and understand your priorities. Here at Pedwar we provide website development services in Swansea, Carmarthen, Neath, Bridgend and Cardiff.
At Pedwar, we believe that a bespoke website is the best solution both in the short term, and the long term. At every stage of your business, from infancy through to being well established, we want your customers to look in through your digital shop window and see your brand as it truly is.