A custom web design requires you to build your own unique website from scratch. It requires a dedicated web developer with professional expertise. Adopting a template is quite simple. You simply need to access the digital marketplace, buy an in-built template and tailor it according to your needs. A small business can resort to one of the above means, after due consideration to the following aspects.
Your website is your digital sales representative. It must be capable of representing what you want your business mission to be, for your target market. If you go in for custom design, the developer will work hand-in-hand with you, making your website as unique as possible. In the case of small business website design templates, your business will have a similar layout much like others who have also bought the same. With the right web agency, there is no limit to how much creative potential you use in the building of your website. Besides, you will have more room to apply your own thoughts and ideas in the design process. The flexibility of sitting down with the web-designer and voicing out your requirements can work wonders for the final output.
- Content Management System
In custom small business website design, the developer builds an exclusive CMS into your website. The greatest advantage is that the busy small business owners can manage their content from anywhere, anytime. It is important to understand that your own CMS means lesser risk of data loss. Backup of your website will be available in multiple versions. Though templates also offer back-up, the system is not as reliable as in custom design.
- Customization And Flexibility
Templates do not have the flexibility for the small business website design to change according to your business needs. For small businesses, only dynamic websites that can accommodate change will work best. Custom made websites grow with your business. The dedicated IT experts will make sure that the web design is receptive to the challenges of scaling-up. Customization is severely limited in templates. You cannot customize them beyond a point. Since the layout areas are pre-defined, additional images or content must be adapted for a good fit, making customization tedious.
- Adaptation To Business Goals
Since the website has been developed exactly as per your requirements, you get what you want out of the websites. They are a digital restatement of your business goals. When you build your website, you can prioritize web content and provide better UX to visitors. The focus is on what visitors need from your small business website design rather than what your business needs from it. For example, if customer retention is the core for your small business in the growing years, then your website should be capable of extracting as much information as possible from existing customers.
- The Implication On SEO
Custom web design is more SEO friendly when compared to a bought template. A website made uniquely for you will adopt a responsive web design, which is one of the important factors that boost visibility. Since web content is personalized and unique, with positive UX, it leads to good Google rankings. For small businesses, SEO is a must for brand positioning. If you have a new product and are trying to position it in the market, then it is better to build your website yourself. Since you are going to assign a dedicated resource for web development, your business can get an SEO expert to be part of the process. With your own website, catering to search queries becomes more relevant, making them search engine friendly.
- Security, Support And Upgrades
When a hacker gets illegal access to the source codes of templates, them all websites that have used the template are at potential risk. This risk is minimized in the case of custom designs, since every website is unique and there is no danger of data theft. Support features are awesome in case of custom designs. The designer will be available and accountable for performance efficiency of the website. The codes used by the web developer are up-to-date and embrace latest IT trends. Coding errors are avoided. In the case of templates, you will never get direct access to the person who engineered it in the first place. One-to-one support is doubtful in the case of templates.
- Multi-Browser Compatibility
Your dedicated web developer takes on the responsibility to ensure that your small business web design is supported by all popular browsers, like Netscape Navigator, the Google Chrome, or the Mozilla Firefox. The website will be tested and re-tested for multi-browser support. It will lead to greater user satisfaction, since all users will not have all the required browsers installed in their system. Templates, on the other hand, may use antiquated coding and hence multi-browser support is not offered.
- The Time-Cost Factors
Templates have the advantages of getting your small business website design up and running in a limited time frame. Precious time is spent in meeting, approvals, prototype development, checking and implementation. In case of templates, the product is pre-built and can be bought off-the-shelf. They also cost lesser than building your own website. The variety of themes and plugins offered by templates are amazing. You do not need dedicated IT staff like HTML or CSS coding experts. Deploying high-skilled staff can be expensive for small businesses. If you are a small business that has very less time in getting the web design ready, templates may be ideal. Furthermore, the perceived benefits of the website must exceed the costs involved in building it.
There is no one-size-fits all approach in web design. Much of the decision to make or to buy depends on web design goals, time and budget available. As a rule of thumb, if you need a quick web solution and if your product is a generic one, small business website design templates can work well. If you have the time and want to highlight your USP, it is better to build from the scratch.