Custom Website Design and Why It Matters to Your Business
December 26, 2016
Today, you have a lot of choices when it comes to getting your business online. Options include a custom website design, using a website template, or creating one from a website builder. What is the best way to go? There are considerations with all of them. In this post, I want to give the benefits of using a custom website design.
Why Close Custom Website Design?
This is a big deal today. What is branding anyway? According to Entrepreneur, branding is the "marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products." Think Apple (with a bite out of an apple symbol) or McDonalds with the golden arches. Everyone knows what these symbols mean and who the company is that is attached to them. If they want a McDonalds hamburg, they won't make the mistake of turning into another hamburg restaurant. They will look for the big yellow M.
Forbes says that branding is similar to a trademark. So simply put, branding is something that people will identify with the company it represents.
Some of the key elements of branding a business are the logo, colors and fonts used. These elements should be consistently used throughout your marketing materials such as your website, business cards and flyers or other printed materials. The picture above shows the same design and colors are used in all of their marketing materials.
As you can see, branding is more effectively done through a custom website design rather than using a pre-made template. You can use your exact colors, fonts and style in creating your online presence.
As a business owner, you are very familiar with your business and what it's all about, but new/potential customers are not. You want to give them something to remember you by so they don't mistakenly go to your competitors. This is accomplished by having a distinguishable brand.
As we all know, unique, one-of-a-kind items are much more valuable than those that are mass produced. If you have ever gone somewhere and seen someone wearing your same clothing, you may have noticed you feel a little uncomfortable. It will be the same with a website. If you see websites around the web with the same look as your site has, it might give the impression your site is less valuable than one that was made to order.
Speaking of unique, know what makes you different from your competitors. Why should someone come to you for what they need? You need to know what sets you apart and state it clearly on your website and other marketing materials.
Uniqueness tends to speak VALUE. And people want to do business with someone that values what they are offering.
Fits Your Business's Needs
Every business is different and comes with its own set of needs. Many times you may find a template that looks the way you like but doesn't have the functionality you need. A church needs the ability to display sermons and events, which are often times, not included in a template. A business may need the capability for a shopping cart or want to use videos and the template you like may not offer those things.
A custom website does not make you fit your business needs into it; it is designed with your needs in mind.
Custom Design Fits Your Business's Personality
Each business has a personality. It might be fun, conservative, or caring. The look of your website should reflect that personality. When having a custom website design created for your business, your designer should get to know who your target market is, as well as what image you want your business to portray. This can be done somewhat with a template that can be modified. However, nothing beats a tailor-made design that was created specifically for your business.
Show Your Customers You Care
What does a custom one-of-a-kind website say to your customers? It says that you care enough about your business to invest in its future and that you plan on being around for years to come. We put time, effort and money into things we care about, right? If people know you have invested in your business, they will take you more seriously. It builds trust and credibility . And trust and credibility go a long way in securing new customers.
If you care about your business, it follows that you will care about your customers and making them happy. And this is of monumental importance in building long-time relationships with your customers.
Today online, there is so much competition for almost any type of business there is, it is important to go the extra mile. Be personable. Be real. Stand out from the crowd and the sea of websites that are out there.
It Grows with Your Business
A made-to-order design allows for growth as your business grows. You can add pages, media and restructure things to best meet your business's growing needs. I like to compare a custom website to a house that can be added on to and redecorated as your family grows. Using a template or builder is more like renting an apartment that you have to fit all your family's furniture and cherished items into. It cannot be added on to and does not have the ability for uniqueness like a house does.
If you have a reliable web designer create your site, he will make it SEO ready, meaning he will inserts keywords where they need to be as well as prepare a sitemap for the search engines. This is crucial if you want your site to be found when someone does a search for what you offer. Having a website is useless if no one can find you.
Many designers (like us!) offer a monthly package which ensures the software used will be kept up-to-date, which is vital for security. Knowing these things are taken care of allows you to focus on your business and you to won't have to concern yourself with the technical aspects of your site. A business owner should be focused on producing the best product/service he can and marketing it.
So, is there a Down Side?
With all these awesome advantages, is there a down side to having a custom website designed? The two that come to mind are cost and time it takes to get it done, but these don't have to be huge issues. Read on.
There is the potential of spending quite a bit more money on a custom design than just buying a template or using a website builder. Having said that, however, there are designers who charge reasonable prices for their work. Is a template less expensive? Yes, by all means, but keeping in mind the benefits of a tailor-made website, it is well worth the investment. Just be aware that a custom website does not need to drain you of your savings. Find the right designer. Just to let you know, we offer affordable web design and all of our websites are custom made.
- Time Frame
If you are going with an unreliable designer, the time may drag on and on before your site is completed. This is something you want to discuss up front with them to find out what their work load is like and how soon they expect to be able to complete your project. You may wait a bit longer to get the end result, but again, things worthwhile are worth being a little patient.
There are some very important advantages to have a custom website design created for your business. It will give you a unique, well branded home on the web that can be built on and fit to your specific business needs. But the greatest benefit is that potential customers will see that you value your business enough to make an investment in it, and that will build their trust in you. And people want to do business with someone they trust. It's as simple as that.