I think that we all agree on the importance of building a beautiful, easy-to-use and modern website, but the question remains: Should you go with a custom web design or a website builder when building that beautiful new website for your business?
Having a website custom build isn’t cheap. The cost of working with a web design agency can start at around £2000 and will go up from there. So, why then would you pay so much money for a new website when you could use another service such as Squarespace, Wix and Weebly and build a site for a lot less?
Now, you might think that, being a web designer, I am going to tell you that you should most definitely go with a custom web design and to be honest until about a couple of years ago, I would have done just that.
However, I am going to share the pros and cons of both custom web design and website builder with you. This will give you a comparison with which you will be able to make an educated and informed decision on what is best for your business.
Here we go -
Custom Website Design
Custom built websites very often involve a team of digital experts for online marketing and content, web design and development as well as social media and search engine optimisation. It starts with a creative process to understand who is your target audience, who do you want to reach, how do you want the website to function and how do you want your business to look.
SEO plays a big role in the success of any website and this is why custom built websites are very good. The developer is able to optimise the site during creation to allow for Google and other search engines to read each page to give the end user a more relevant search result thus, giving custom built sites naturally a better ranking on the system. This goes beyond keyword research.
The website will have a completely unique design that will incorporate the company’s branding
A customised website is adaptable to your company’s needs
The site is tested to work across all browsers
The site will be built to be search engine friendly
The site will grow with your business. If you know how you will need your site to operate in the future, the web developer will install technologies that will work with those ideas in mind
A customised website is more expensive than a template, due to the development time involved
The process to create a custom site takes longer than a template site
Design quality can vary
A website builder is a program or platform, that helps you build a website, like Squarespace, Wix or Weebly. Website builder are designed to be easy to use, allowing beginners or experienced designers to create an entire website quickly using a drag-and-drop editor.
Website builder come with built-in features to enable the user to customise their website. Some of those features and plugins can weigh down the website in terms of loading speed and SEO performance. However, most of the website builder now have built in SEO features to improve your website ranking.
Beautiful designed templates
Responsive templates which work on all devices
Fully customisable without coding
Quick turn around and development time
Lower development costs
Lots of other businesses could be using the same template which means your site won’t stand out as much
No custom functionalities for personalised user experience
Not much flexibility as with most website builder your template will be hosted by the provider and can not be moved to a different provider in the future
Whether you go with a website builder or a custom web design will depend on a number of factors, such as what type of business you have, what your budget is, who your target audience is and what your needs are.
For small and start-up businesses with a lower budget and basic needs, a website builder is a great option. Just think of a sole trader or small business who wants to build a website composed of a few pages, where they can share their services and products, events, availability, contact information and portfolio.
If you just want to build a website that shares information about your business, and if you don’t need much flexibility or custom functionalities, nor do you anticipate many changes down the line, then it’s likely not worth it to invest money in a custom web design.
However, if you are a small to medium sized businesses with a bigger budget and you require a more complex and unique website with more highly customised functionality or you need a website to grow along with your business, then you should choose a custom web design.
If you decide that a website builder fits your needs best, make sure that you get one that is mobile-responsive. With the majority of traffic coming from mobile, having a mobile-responsive website is essential.
If, after reading this, you are still unsure about what to do, please give me a call and ask for a free half hour consultation. I will do an evaluation of your business and help you determine what is the best fit for your business.
You might also like to ready as to why I design some of my client’s website in Squarespace.