Bespoke Website Design vs Templates: Which is Best for my Business?
September 14th 2020 | By Steve Grant
The case for having an online presence is a strong one, and in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it has probably never been so important for customers to be able to access your services online. Very few consumers will make a buying decision without doing some form of online research beforehand. So if you’re not showing up digitally, then the fact is that you’re going to be missing out on potential sales. The question is though, when it comes to setting up a website, do you go for bespoke design and development, or opt for a template? Let’s break down the differences so you can see the pros and cons of each.
The great debate over bespoke web design versus template websites has been raging for many years. As with anything that commands a decision, there are advantages and disadvantages to be considered. So let’s examine both options in further detail.
Template websites are pre-built sites that can be customised to suit your business. Don’t be fooled too much by the word ‘customised’ though, because that only means in a limited sense. You will be bound by the restraints of the template, which may make it something of a challenge to apply your company branding. In other words, you’ll lack freedom of expression. However, template websites do have their advantages.
For a small business just starting out and on a limited budget, a template website offers an affordable stepping stone into the online world. It will get you a digital presence, so you can start the process of selling online. Do however consider it such: a stepping stone. A leg up onto the online ladder. Because as time goes by and your business starts to expand, you will begin to need something more substantial. And that’s a given.
That said, a template website is a good place to start and can offer a few viable benefits. For example, template websites can:
- Offer a quick and easy way to get your business online
- Keep costs to a minimum as your business gets off the ground
- Prove an ideal option for a one or two-page website
However, there are some downsides to consider when it comes to a template website:
- A cheap site will look just that: cheap, which may not be right for your brand image
- You will be limited as to functionality and the ability to modify the site to suit your needs, meaning your content may not fit, and the site may not do all the things you want it to
- The site probably won’t be able to evolve as your business grows, which means you’ll need a brand new one fairly soon = more cost
- Template sites are very ‘samey’ which means your website is likely to look similar, if not identical, to others
- Page loading speed may be compromised due to unnecessary features sitting in the background that you may not need but can’t remove
- Template sites don’t always come with a tailored support package, which could leave you stranded if you have an issue with your website
- Pre-built sites may not be built with SEO in mind, which means you could be losing out on search engine visibility
Bespoke design and development
The word ‘bespoke’ always seems to conjure up feelings of quality. And that’s precisely what you can expect with bespoke web design. London businesses choosing this option will benefit from a site that is designed specifically with their business goals and target audience in mind.
Because the process of designing a bespoke website starts with a thorough appraisal of your business, its objectives, long term vision, competitors, key messages, service offering and target audiences, it is always going to be a perfect fit for your brand. Bespoke websites promote trust and credibility. They stand out in the crowd. And best of all, a bespoke designed site is truly yours.
Here are some of the key benefits of opting for bespoke design and development:
- Bespoke websites are designed to evolve with your business and can be tweaked to incorporate new functionality as required, so you have a future-proof investment that you won’t need to replace all too soon
- Web design agencies specialising in bespoke design and development tend to offer ongoing support and management services, so you know you will be backed all the way
- Professionalism exudes from bespoke designed sites, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that the site will work across all browsers and devices, from mobile to desktop
- Bespoke web design involves creating a user experience that works specifically for your target audience
- A bespoke website is built with SEO at its core, so you can be reassured that your search engine optimisation campaigns will have the best chance of success
Of course, as with anything, there are some downsides when it comes to bespoke web design. London web designers will agree that budget wise, this avenue won’t always be the right one for you, especially if you are just starting out with your business venture. Also, if you are strapped for time, you’ll need to be aware that bespoke web design isn’t a quick process. It can take several weeks, if not longer, to arrive at the perfect tailor made website that works perfectly for your organisation, and is designed to meet your specific business goals.
Looking for bespoke design and development for your small business website?
Here at Figment, we specialise in creating successful bespoke websites for businesses looking to grow and enjoy a great return on their investment.
We offer the benefit of many years of experience and collective expertise pooled from a team of seasoned specialists. Using the latest developments in technology, and best practice design and SEO techniques, we have a proven track record in helping businesses to excel online, enjoy increased sales, and fast growth.