The question we get all too often… “Can’t we just use a template for our website?” The short answer is sure you can. For our clients however there are a number of reasons we do not, and more often than not decline to use templates. Whether you are a new startup company, working to build a personal brand or a seasoned company looking to bring your digital marketing to a higher level, a custom designed site will always give you a more successful growth-driven tool for better marketing results for a number of reasons.
Stand Out From the Crowd
The world of web templates is a very crowded one. In most cases, templates are created with a general setup and are very cookie cutter style in design. When theme developers create themes you have to remember that they are focusing on a general market. They are focusing on getting their theme purchased by as many people as possible. That is how they make their money. A theme developer is not taking your business goals and forming the site around them. This is where custom designed websites excel. Every business has a voice, a tone, language that they use to portray their brand messaging to clients or about their product. This same tone or theme needs to be presented within your website. A custom built site allows this to be the focus and the structure should be formed around your business goals. Websites today are more than an online presence. They are digital marketing tools. Make sure it is set up and positioned correctly.
Build Around Your Specific Business Needs
As stated above, templates are built with a more general approach in mind. Without extensive code knowledge, they can be very hard to customize. Even with our level of expertise, templates can be difficult to personalize and often times take more effort to adjust versus building a new custom designed website. Before we start any web project we like to learn as much about the business we are designing and building for as possible. Every client gets a questionnaire to answer that helps us understand the items we need to know before there is the first click of the mouse or keystroke towards creating the site. We do this to make sure the custom site design is focused on conversion for better lead generation and working for the client. Websites need to be a working part of your digital marketing strategy.
Avoid the CMS Clutter
Content Management Systems (CMS) are very big these days. One of the first questions we get while in a consultation is “Will I have access to my website to make content updates?” Clients are looking to make sure they have access to control their content on updates, events and specials around their business. Our answer is yes. Whether the site is built on WordPress, Drupal or Hubspot’s COS, clients have access to update their websites. But like the general approach to design template developers have, they also have the same approach to the CMS control as well. Template back ends often have a lot of extras or clutter that cannot be removed and only add to a user’s confusion but also slow the speed of your site. In a world where the attention span of a website viewer is approaching 7 seconds, speed is a big component of a well-built site.
With all of our sites, we remove the clutter and customize the CMS to only have what you need. Keeping things as simple and as fast as possible. This customization helps clients effectively manage sites in a timely manner.
Make Your Brand Stand Out
Templates are placed in many markets by developers. They want their template to be purchased as many times as possible to generate revenue. In our industry the most popular ones surface quite often. For example, we can view a site and regularly name the template or link it to a developer group that specializes in templates. The biggest downfall of templates is that they can be used over and over again by different people and instead of businesses standing out, they fall into the crowded web world not pushing your site to the front of the crowd.
Custom designed websites are built for you and only you. Once we build the site, the design and theming of the site are solely used for the client at hand. Just as the next business we help will have a custom look to their site as well.
And We’re Out!
We want to further stress that custom designed sites will always give your business a better web presence and be easier to manage in the long run. As the template world grows, and more people come online, standing out from the crowd will become increasingly important. Giving your business the ability to speak your language and portray the business brand in the way you originally set out will always make for a more successful digital marketing strategy.
If you would like to receive a free consultation on how we can bring your brand to the web in a custom way, drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.