Thinking of a new website for 2024?
Your website doesn’t just convey your brand identity it’s your virtual storefront when attracting leads and engaging with customers, and it’s your most powerful marketing tool.
Just as an inviting shop window entices customers in, your website’s visual design influences whether 75% of users judge your business to be credible and professional.
Being a design agency, we create highly customised websites for our clients but many businesses start with a templated website just to get out of the blocks. But there comes a point when a template no longer serves your business needs.
A website template is a pre-defined theme with built-in functionality and a ready-made layout that allows you to drag and drop elements and apply your branding, including wording, logo, colours, fonts and other visuals. Think of popular templates like Shopify or WordPress Premium, they’ll typically have a generic layout with basic customisation capabilities.
Businesses may opt for a template-based website for the following reasons:
While pre-defined layouts can get you online quicker, there are some essential aspects where a bespoke website can take your business to the next level.
A bespoke website is built from scratch and is customised to meet your specific brand requirements. Every design aspect from the colours to the layout is considered and created to fit your brand perfectly and offer a tailored user experience. Where templates tend to have a more uniform look and feel, bespoke websites deliver a stand-out online presence that’s memorable and truly unique.
Here are some of the ways a bespoke website can capture the essence of your business and truly set you apart.
A bespoke website allows you to spotlight your brand identity with a user experience designed entirely for your target audience. For businesses that struggle with this, working with a web developer or a design agency can clarify bring clarity as it’s an integral part of the process. Going bespoke means elements such as your logo, colour palette, typography, and overall tone of voice are built into a customised hard-coded theme that’s tailored to your brand identity.
A templated website will probably end up looking like countless other websites with the same template. Because customisation is limited, it’s difficult to create a truly original and memorable online presence. Also, many are chosen based on aesthetics alone but this can muddy the waters as the pre-populated layout and design elements may not support or align with your business goals.
User experience is one of the starting points for a bespoke website. It drives every little design detail, from blog article pages to menus & social media icons, giving a cohesive look and feel throughout the site to keep the user experience consistent, personalised and user-friendly.
Templates often prioritise aesthetics over functionality, resulting in a compromised user experience. Also customising a template with limited coding knowledge can alter the website design and impact crucial principles like visual hierarchy and navigability. If a website is poorly designed or is difficult to use, it can lead to lost conversions, decreased customer engagement, and damaged brand reputation.
With the majority of web traffic now coming from mobile devices, your website must be responsive and optimised for mobile viewing. Those that aren’t are being demoted more frequently as Google takes mobile compatibility and user experience very seriously.
This is easily coded into a bespoke website from the start but can’t be guaranteed on all pre-built templates, especially ones that use older technology.
Custom website design also provides the flexibility to implement effective SEO strategies from the outset, including keyword optimisation, meta descriptions, and schema markup. This makes it easier to attract organic traffic and reach your target audience. It also impacts conversions as people are more inclined to buy if your website speed is faster. Even a 1-second improvement in page loading speed can lead to a 7% increase in conversions
On the other hand, template website themes come pre-loaded with files and features you don’t need but they’re still being loaded in the background. This leads to slower load times and a frustrating user experience. They may also become outdated quickly meaning SEO optimization is compromised
One of the biggest advantages of bespoke website design is scalability. As your business grows, new features, content, and functionality can easily be added without compromising the overall website design and consistency. This is something templates can’t offer.
While the upfront cost of a template appears lower, add-ons and extra features your business needs like booking systems, custom forms or live chat support can bump up costs. This functionality can incur significant costs as developers have to adapt to your theme’s coding structure.
While the decision to invest in a new website ultimately comes down to time and money, the most important question to ask is whether your website framework can support your business as it grows.
This is where a bespoke website offers a significant competitive advantage. Working with a team of professionals, together you can create an original website that reflects your brand identity, enhances user experience, and ensures scalability for future growth. The result is a customised hard-coded theme that offers a more cohesive brand experience for your target audience.
Lots to consider before deciding on your new website! Check out our case studies to see some of the bespoke websites we’ve created for clients. And if you need help or have any questions about getting a new website for 2024 reach out to our team anytime.