In today’s digital world, your website is one of the most important marketing tools for your business – every move you make usually refers back to it in one way or another. With more and more DIY template-based websites being launched every day, many business owners are faced with the question of whether or not they should invest in a custom website designed and developed by professionals.
Using a template might initially be the cheaper and faster option, but it’s often a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. If you view your website as an investment rather than an expense, it will carry more value and a bigger overall return.
Below, we’ve listed the benefits you’ll get from investing in a custom website:
First impressions matter – they determine whether a customer will continue to interact with your website, brand or business. By investing in a custom website created by a professional, the designer will create an aesthetically pleasing look and feel that is unique to your brand and portrays your business as trustworthy and credible. They will also design it in a way so that visitors can easily navigate through it and find their desired information.
Alternatively, you could sign up for a DIY website builder and choose a template. However, these generic themes could make your web presence look close to identical to the thousands of people who are using the exact same theme. Opting for a template could tarnish your brand image and make it difficult for you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Custom Features & Unlimited Capabilities
Another major benefit of having a custom website is the ability to build almost any feature or functionality that you might need. Whether you’re a non-profit organization that needs online donation tools, or a retailer that needs an e-commerce platform, the options are endless. There are no limitations and you can continue to add new features as you grow and evolve, ultimately extending the shelf life of your website, too.
By opting to choose a generic theme from a DIY site builder, your options for customizing will be limited. You might find a template, make a few amends and leave it at that, ultimately failing to create a personalized experience for your visitors.
Seamless User Experience
The user experience is what it all comes down to. By investing in a custom website, the designers and developers will conduct in-depth research to create a customized sitemap. Following this, they will incorporate elements for search engine optimization and mobile responsiveness, and craft the site in a way so that visitors can easily navigate through it to locate desired information and become connected with the values of the brand. All of this will result in a seamless overall user experience.
If a website is built using a generic template, it hasn’t been built with your user experience in mind. Your customers may have difficulty locating the site in search engines, or they may find the site difficult to navigate because they’re browsing on their mobile and it isn’t mobile responsive. This is when customers become frustrated and leave the site, resulting in lost revenue for your business.
Support & Maintenance
In the ever-changing world of the internet, software updates are inevitable, and with this comes bugs, broken links, and other unexpected problems. A professional web design agency is likely to offer ongoing support – they can help you to prevent any major dysfunctional errors from occurring. However, in the event that something does go wrong, you will receive a personal service directly from the experts.
Unsurprisingly, if you choose to build your own website, the support you will receive will be almost non-existent. Yes, DIY site builders often have call centers, but the operators typically have no knowledge surrounding web development, meaning it could take days before your question is answered or your issue is resolved. Not to mention the number of hours you’ll spend on Google looking for tutorials.
Accurate Brand Reflection
A custom website will give you the freedom to create a look and feel that reflects your current brand identity. It is important that you are consistent with your brand across all marketing materials – both online and offline. Brand perception is becoming increasingly more important online, especially in markets that are saturated with competitors. Consumers are savvier than ever and they will notice if your marketing collateral doesn’t match up.
Having a website that doesn’t accurately represent your brand will confuse customers and tarnish your overall brand image. It’s hard to build trust with customers if it’s clear that you’ve used a DIY site builder, or if the site just provides a poor overall user experience.
Return on Investment
Although hiring a professional to build a custom website might be the more expensive option initially, it will be the better financial choice in the long run. Firstly, you will achieve a better return on investment – a more attractive website with unique functions that performs well will help you generate more sales. A professional web designer knows exactly where to locate your calls to action to help generate more revenue. Secondly, by hiring a professional from the beginning, you will avoid having to redo your site later when you realize it just isn’t generating results. Not to mention, the shelf life of a custom website is much longer because of the powerful capabilities, higher quality design and the ongoing support and maintenance you will receive.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and sometimes the best option isn’t always the easiest. Make your web presence count and invest in a custom website.
Convinced? Let HMG Creative build it for you. Get in touch!