In today’s digital world, your website is your shop window. It navigates people to you, it then helps to convert them into enquiries after showcasing your products and services. 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?
When you start to think about getting a new website for your business, it can be quite daunting. Should you opt for simplicity through a template site like Wix, Weebly or GoDaddy? Or should you have a bespoke website created for you? There is much to think about!
Generic vs Bespoke
A template website is just that. It is a template that may have been used time and time again by other businesses which may, or may not, be complementary to yours. There will be elements that you can tailor including the addition of your logo, brand colours or images, but in the main a template site is often very standard and identifiable. Conversely, a custom-built website is developed specifically to meet your business needs. This means that the look, feel, branding, content and styling is entirely down to you and can be designed by your web developer to meet your exact requirements.
Updating your content
Template sites sit 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 constricted to the boundaries that the template dictates. This is not so for websites that have been built to your specification. Here at Pedwar for example, we give our clients full access to the back end of the website, so that they can update content, blogs, images and any 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!
A speedy ‘go-live’
A template website can be live within minutes. Because it is already in existence, all that needs to be done is update the elements of the template that allow you to ‘brand’ it as much as possible – and you’re away. A website that has been designed and built for you will almost certainly take longer because it has 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Template websites can fall foul of outdated or broken code and this can affect your search engine rankings.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 practice.
Potential for growth
Template 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 – with add-ons 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. And the reasons for this are clear because you’re buying off-the-shelf as opposed to something bespoke. But 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 template sites and then inevitably investing in your bespoke site later down the line. And we won’t even begin to think about 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. And 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. As web developers you’d naturally expect us to say that bespoke is best. And we believe that it is both in the short term, and the long term. At every stage of your business, from infancy through to being very established, we want your customers to look in through your digital shop window and see your brand as it truly is.