The Risks and Rewards of Custom-Built Websites: Is Your Business Prepared?

4 January, 2019

Is your business struggling to stand out online? With so many options available for building a website, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. In this article, we’ll explore the risks and rewards of custom-built websites and help you determine if this option is right for your business. Whether you’re a small startup or a larger organisation, read on to discover the unique advantages and disadvantages of investing in a custom website.

While pre-designed templates and website builders may be more affordable for small businesses, they may not offer the level of customization and functionality required for larger organisations. In contrast, custom-built websites offer unique advantages and disadvantages, making it crucial for businesses to weigh their options before making a decision.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the risks and rewards of getting a custom-built website and help you determine if your business is prepared for the investment.

What exactly is a custom website?

A custom website is a site that is uniquely designed and built from scratch, tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of a business. Unlike pre-designed templates or website builders, custom websites are created by a professional designer and developer who work closely with the client to understand their brand, vision, and target audience.

Custom websites are characterised by their ability to provide a highly personalised user experience, advanced functionality, and scalable solutions that can adapt to the evolving needs of a business. With a custom website, businesses have the flexibility to choose their own design, layout, and features, ensuring that their website stands out from competitors and meets the specific requirements of their customers.

When would a business need a custom site?

A custom-built website is needed when a business requires unique features and personalization not found in pre-designed templates. 

Imagine a jewellery company that offers a “build your own jewellery” feature on their website, where customers can customise their own pieces by selecting different metals, gemstones, and designs. With a custom-built website, the company could offer this advanced functionality, providing a unique user experience and setting them apart from competitors who only offer pre-made jewellery.

Advantages of Getting a Custom-Built Site:

  1. Unique Design: With a custom-built website, you can have a unique design that perfectly suits your business and brand. You can work with a designer to create a website that stands out from the crowd and helps you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  2. Scalability: Custom-built sites can be easily scaled up or down as per your business needs. You can add new features and functionalities as your business grows, and your website needs to adapt to new challenges.
  3. SEO Optimization: Custom-built websites can be optimised for search engines, making it easier for customers to find your business online. This optimization can include keyword research, metadata optimization, and other techniques that help to improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages.
  4. Control: With a custom-built website, you have complete control over every aspect of your site. You can make changes quickly and easily, without having to rely on a third-party provider to make updates for you.

Disadvantages of Getting a Custom-Built Site:

  1. Cost: Custom-built websites are generally more expensive than pre-designed templates or website builders. This is because you’re paying for the time and expertise of a professional designer and developer to create your website from scratch.
  2. Time: Custom-built websites can take longer to create than pre-designed templates or website builders. This is because the design and development process is tailored specifically to your business and can involve multiple rounds of revisions and changes.
  3. Maintenance: Custom-built websites require ongoing maintenance to ensure that they continue to function properly. This can include updates to software, security patches, and other maintenance tasks that require ongoing attention and expertise.
  4. Support: With a custom-built website, you may not have access to the same level of support as you would with a pre-designed template or website builder. This is because the website is unique to your business and may require specialised knowledge to maintain and update.

How much does it cost to get a custom-built website?

Are you thinking about getting a custom-built website but unsure about the cost? The truth is, the cost of a custom-built website varies greatly depending on your specific needs and requirements. Some factors that can affect the cost include the complexity of the design, the number of pages, the functionality, and the level of customization required.

On average, you can expect to pay multiple thousands for a custom site built from the ground up. Many developers may call their sites custom, but area really templates. However, keep in mind that investing in a high-quality website can pay off in the long run, as it can help attract and retain customers, improve your online presence, and increase your business’s overall success.

10 Tips to Save Money on Your Custom Website Development.

  1. Clearly define your business requirements and goals to avoid scope creep and additional costs.
  2. Opt for a fixed-price contract instead of an hourly rate to avoid unexpected expenses.
  3. Choose a designer/developer with experience in your industry to minimise the learning curve.
  4. Consider using pre-built modules or components instead of creating everything from scratch.
  5. Provide your designer/developer with all necessary information and materials upfront to avoid delays and additional costs.
  6. Use free or open-source software instead of expensive proprietary software.
  7. Minimise the number of custom features and functionalities to save on development costs.
  8. Opt for a simple design instead of complex graphics or animations that require additional development time.
  9. Use a content management system (CMS) to manage and update your website content yourself, instead of relying on your designer/developer.
  10. Consider ongoing maintenance and support costs when choosing your designer/developer to avoid expensive maintenance fees down the line.

What type of businesses should avoid custom websites?

  1. Small local charities or community organisations with limited budgets that only require a basic website for sharing information.
  2. Personal trainers or yoga instructors who require a simple website for scheduling and booking sessions.
  3. Freelance photographers or artists who require a website to showcase their work but don’t need advanced functionality.
  4. Local restaurants or cafes that require a website for basic information, such as menu, hours of operation, and contact information.
  5. Independent musicians or bands who require a website for sharing their music and upcoming shows, but don’t require advanced functionality.

Do Custom Sites Rank Better?

There is no guarantee that custom-built websites will rank better in search engines than pre-designed templates or website builders. The ranking of a website is determined by several factors, including content quality, relevance, and authority. While custom-built websites may provide greater flexibility and functionality, the content on the site and the SEO strategy implemented are more critical factors in determining search engine ranking.

How Custom-built websites Set Your Business Apart

If you’re considering investing in a custom-built website, it’s important to understand the true advantages that come with it. While there are many benefits to a custom site, one of the most significant is the opportunity to create a unique design that sets your business apart from competitors. A custom-built site allows you to showcase your brand personality and create a user experience that aligns with your specific business needs. By working with a skilled web developer, you can incorporate unique features and functionalities that are tailored to your business goals and audience. This not only enhances the visual appeal of your site but also helps establish your business as a credible and professional entity. So, if you’re looking to differentiate your business and make a lasting impression on your audience, investing in a custom-built website may be the right choice for you.

In conclusion, getting a custom-built website has its advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for a website that is uniquely tailored to your business and brand, and you have the budget and time to invest in a custom design and development process, then a custom-built website may be the right choice for you. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable and accessible option, then a pre-designed template or website builder may be a better fit. Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for your business.

Custom-built Websites: Is it Right for You?

If you’re a small business owner with a limited budget, a custom-built website may not be the most cost-effective option. However, if you’re looking to create a unique brand experience and stand out from competitors, a custom-built website may be the right choice for you. By understanding the specific needs and goals of your business, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to invest in a custom-built website. Overall, while custom-built sites offer many benefits, it’s important to carefully consider your business needs and budget before making a decision.

By Scott Evans
As co-founder and Director of Gorilla 360, Scott has spent the last 12 years helping businesses grow through smart digital marketing.
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