As the world increasingly becomes a digital one, having an online presence for your business is pretty much a MUST. Not having a digital presence is a risky strategy, and can be the difference between building a lasting brand and one that fades into the background.
While a digital presence is crucial, it’s your choice as to how big a part it plays in your organisation’s operations. It can represent your total operations, like an eCommerce business that has a solely digital presence or compliment your operations, which is a strategy that many organisations around the globe choose.
Whatever your choice, your website should be an extension of your brand, not a standalone part. Your website is the digital face of your brand, and therefore must be treated that way. It needs to be integrated not only into your marketing strategy but your operational strategy as well.
Many companies make the mistake of embarking on a digital journey out of fear of not keeping up with trends, rather than viewing it as a long-term investment. If a digital representation doesn’t add value to your business, then don’t go down that route because you’re fearful; it should be a strategic decision that is well thought out.
If, like many others, you do choose to go down the digital path, then make sure you treat it with the importance it deserves; when it comes to digital, rather do it the right way or not at all. A slapdash website is guaranteed to do more harm than good to your brand, so make sure you do it professionally the first-time round.
Like any other type of branding, your website needs to represent your unique selling point. If your business has the same offering as hundreds of others out there, then you may need to reconsider your operating strategy. And if your website is just like the millions of others out there, then you may need to reassess your digital marketing strategy.
Consumers are spoilt for choice with access to endless goods and services on the internet, which is forcing brands to provide greater value. They’re also time poor, which is forcing brands to communicate their point of difference in a creative way in order to quickly grab their audience’s attention.
Your website is not dissimilar, it can be the difference between creating a loyal customer that continuously returns, or one that quickly leaves and never comes back. It needs to provide value to your customers, as well as communicate your offering in an original way.
If it doesn’t then you take the risk of blending in, rather than standing out.
Custom web design and development is the best way to provide both value and a unique offering to your customers. The beauty of custom website design is that it’s extremely flexible, it can be tailored specifically to your needs and doesn’t have to break the bank; it’s suitable for both large and small budgets.
Not sure if custom web design is for you?
Here Are The Top 5 No B.S Reasons Why You Must Get A Custom Website Design For Your Business:
First and foremost, a custom website provides you with a one of a kind website that no other existing business has; it’s yours alone. What does this mean for you? There are over 1.5 billion websites on the internet today, and your website will be unlike any other.
When you go down the route of creating a non-custom website, the reality is that it will look like hundreds or potentially thousands of others.
Pre-set styles, colours and formats scream minimal effort to your customers, and certainly won’t make you stand out from the crowd. You’ll just be another company that’s trying to sell their goods or services online, rather than a brand that is seen as innovative, creative and authentic.
With custom website design and development, there is no theme; it will be built to your specifications with no limitations. Your website will be built around your customer journey; you can focus on the design and development around your narrative.
Individuality is priceless in a saturated landscape; a custom website will set you apart from your competitors.
Having a secure website is crucial to successful online operations; it builds trust with users who can have peace of mind when engaging with your site, as well as satisfies the requirements for search engines.
Major security breaches aren’t uncommon, highlighting the need for search engines to take additional steps when it comes to online security. Google has set Chrome to automatically warn users if they’re entering information on a form that’s hosted on a page that does not have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) installed.
Using website builders or open source Content Management System (CMS), exposes your website to vulnerabilities that affect other websites using these platforms. This means that a weakness found on another site using that platform can potentially be used to penetrate all the other websites using the same version of the platform.
Custom built web software eliminates a large amount of these risks as they generally develop with SSL in mind leading to fewer issues down the track, as well as source code that’s most likely not public knowledge, decreasing the risk of a breach.
Generally, companies that custom build websites also host the websites they build so the hosting environment is optimised accordingly.
Website builders and CMS’s generally come pre-built with lots of functions to cater to a wide range of users; they’re created to target just about anyone and everyone. This means that every website that’s built includes these add-ons whether they need them or not, ultimately slowing down the website.
A slow load speed will increase your website’s bounce rate; speed is a killer when it comes to keeping visitors on your website. According to 2018 research conducted by Google, nearly 55% of mobile users will leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.
It’s hard enough to get visitors onto your page, so keeping them on your site is crucial; a high bounce rate ultimately means lost revenue. Consumers are time poor and consequently impatient so a website that loads quickly is the first step to converting browsers into customers.
Custom web design eliminates unnecessary functionality that slows down a website, as well as enables custom functionality that is tailored to your needs. It’s a win all round.
4. Functionality That Suits
The way a website functions is equally as important as it looks. There’s little point in having a website that looks good but doesn’t work the way it should.
Using a pre-built theme means that it may not function exactly as you want or need it to; they’re built with millions of users in mind, not just your business. Website usability is crucial to keeping visitors on your website, if a website is hard to use then visitors will get frustrated and leave your page.
On the contrary, a website that has a smooth navigation and is easy to use, encourages visitors to use and return to use the website time and time again. If visitors know where and how to find what they’re looking for then they’re more likely to return.
Custom website design allows you to build the functions you want from the start without having to make any sacrifices. Not only does this help your business processes, but it allows you to create a customer journey that is ideal for your business.
Moving visitors through the journey to becoming customers is what it’s all about; increased conversions means a better bottom line and a higher ROI.
In addition to having the ideal customer journey for your business, custom web design and development allows you to optimise your business functions, automating processes and increasing efficiency.
Whether it’s connecting your CRM system to your website, or automatically capturing potential leads, specifically designed functionality means your business will become more efficient, saving time and money down the track.
5. Scalability & flexibility
Planning is key to a scalable and flexible website. When a website is initially built, it should be created with the future in mind, allowing it to change as your business changes.
Before you approach a website developer, you should have a clear vision of where you want to be. Ensure that you communicate your vision clearly so your website developer has the ability to create a website that not only suits your business now, but in the future too.
Creating a custom-built website will ensure that your website is scalable, having the capability to handle more traffic, as well as flexible, to add/change functions as your business expands its operations.
A pre-built template doesn’t give you the option for scale or flexibility, which means that they have a very limited lifespan. Not having the option to scale or not providing the option to be flexible will limit your ability to develop your online presence. It may seem like a great option at the start, but it can become a headache longer term.
Creating a website is not a small task, so you need to ensure that you make provisions for the future, avoiding having to redesign your website as your business grows. If you go down the pre-built route using a website builder, you will come to a point where you need to start from scratch.
Open source CMS’s provide greater options for scale and flexibility; however, this can become costly down the track and require a professional to manage them; adding scale and flexibility to a CMS is not easily done.
Custom website design allows you to create with the future in mind. Both scalability and functionality are key when creating a website, ensuring that it works for your business long-term. If you have goals to expand your business then a custom website is certainly the way to go, and is the easiest way to do it.
Custom web design and development has so many benefits when compared to website builders and open source CMS’s. When comparing the various options, think of it as a long-term investment rather than an expense. A custom-built website is more likely to bring you higher returns if it’s done correctly, your customers will get the experience they deserve.
With over a billion websites out there, you need to come up with a creative way to stand out; a custom website is your way to shine.
While website builders and CMS’s may seem like the cheaper and easier option upfront, they most likely won’t be down the track. Creating a website that is right for your business, as well as your customers can bring you long-term benefits; you’re most likely to get a higher ROI which makes better business sense.
Getting a website that is specifically created for your business could be the difference between being a follower, versus becoming an industry leader. Your customers will feel valued and be instantly engaged if a website is built with them in mind, at the end of the day, they’re the ones that will be using it so make sure it’s exactly what THEY need.