In the present era of digital revolution, if your business is not online, it’s hard to see it existing few months or years down the line.
Lack of online presents results not only in your limited scope of expansion, but also in the risk of losing your existing customers lured constantly by online players from all around the world. The modern consumer rarely wants to walk up to your store and spend few hours selecting and comparing items.
Even if he has the time – which, he most probably doesn’t – he might not consider the entire process worth the effort. After all, running an online search and contacting either of the many businesses shown in the search results consumes a lot less energy.
In a nutshell, regardless of whether you cater to the Business to Business (B2B) or the Business to Consumer (B2C) segment, online presence is a non-negotiable necessity.
Competition in business has stopped being a local affair a while ago.
Since the advent of the Internet, most businesses have become regional, national and/or international by design. And since different languages are no longer a taboo for customers, strictly speaking, competition has no borders whatsoever.
Consumers have lots of choices now where to spend their money and they are not apprehensive about ordering goods or services from another region – or, indeed, country – even if it has a different primary language.
For a comparison, we were once tasked with building a website for a local company which aimed to compete with the cheap labor laws of Poland! Customers in both UK and Ireland were seeking out these Polish-made products and importing them themselves. There you have it: a direct example of how modern-day business is conducted.
Needless to add – there is no going back!
Making the decision to take your business online is the easy part of the equation; the actual challenge comes after.
True, an online platform will undoubtedly unlock the hidden potential of your business and provide you with a stage for exponential growth. However, it comes with a caveat: you have to face competition from hundreds and thousands of company websites in your niche – fully aware that some of them have been there for years and decades!
So, you are faced with a decision which can either make or break your business: what kind of website design do you want?
And this brings us to the topic of this article.
The question is not straightforward, and, consequently, neither is the answer. This article is our attempt to present and examine the various factors which may affect your choice. It is also a clarification of how your website design and its content will inevitably dictate the direction in which your business will proceed.
You know us by now: we don’t mince our words, and we hide nothing from you. And, once again, our message is loud and clear: there aren’t many things worse than a template-based website.
Namely, we consistently get asked to fix websites which, upon review, turn out to have been built from a template, purchased themes or, even worse, via an online website builder. The main issue here isn’t the fact that the original developer was below par or, indeed, that the theme or template choice was poor. It’s the fact that IT companies are still using these techniques to cut as many corners as possible, producing what many custom designer and developers can’t stand: the so-called cheap site.
This obviously has a profoundly negative effect on your business, primarily in few intangible areas. Blame it on the “first to market” misconception!
It is way better to do something right than to do it first.
By the time we get involved with these stray websites, many months or years have passed, and the competition they didn’t have at the beginning is baying for blood at the moment. They had first mover’s advantage but missed their opportunity to strike.
What surprises us – and many industry leaders – the most is that in some cases, the company has paid the going rate for a custom website but received a template – eeek!
You leave no stone unturned in building your business exactly how you want it to be. But when it comes to websites, you tend to look for readymade, low-cost solutions which are inexpensive but add no real value.
It’s a paradox we can’t get out heads wrapped around!
The following analogy should put things in perspective.
Say, you are a restaurant owner. Obviously, you want your restaurant to be built around a certain theme. So that you are sure that right from the moment a customer enters your premises, he gets both memorable and compatible experience. A restaurant is not only about good food – it is also about the ambience, the lighting, the seating, the comfort and the overall experience that a customer takes with himself after leaving.
For some reason, website owners do not realize that their websites are no different. The landing page is much like the entry of a restaurant. If the look and feel of the website (the ambience of the restaurant) is not interesting enough, your visitor will not spend any time exploring it. After all, you’ve surely walked out of a restaurant if you find its eating area noisy, cluttered or unclean.
Why should you care about the food in cases such as this?
Internetlivestats.com estimates that the total number of websites is in the region of 2 billion! If even one-fourth of them are using website builder tools and templates from those “get your own website in a few clicks” services, what chance does your website have to stand out in the first few seconds?
Internet users drop off websites all the time. If they do not like what they see at first sight, there is no chance they would stay for further engagement; so, they leave almost immediately. On the other hand, if your website design is able to hold a visitor’s attention for over 20 seconds, it is a strong indication that he is curious about what he sees and would continue browsing it for minutes.
The Internet is full of websites that provide website design templates. They go a step further and assure you that the templates are fully customizable, built-to-suit your business. It is very easy to get attracted by their tall promises. Here are a number of reasons that scream out loud and clear why you should never opt for a template while building your website.
Usually the popularity of a product stands testimonial to its quality.
However, websites do not quite work that way. On the contrary, in fact: if a website claims hundreds and thousands of successful businesses that utilized their templates, you do not need any more evidence that the design you’ll get will not be unique.
You do not want to sacrifice uniqueness for saving up a few quid, do you?
A number of businesses go for readily available templates that are inexpensive and quick to customize. This is the point where you have a chance to make your website stand out from the crowd. Get a custom-made website built from scratch and it will be unique forever!
When you opt for a template, you are practically renting it, i.e., you’re not securing a full ownership.
Its ownership rights, together with its code and everything important that goes on behind the scenes (database communication, load times, optimization, etc.) are usually – to use a euphemism – elusive. In other words, should you ever feel the need to migrate your website to a different host in future, you may not have the flexibility to do so.
However, when it comes to website design, different things are trending each year, and you wouldn’t want to be left behind. If you want them to be loyal, you want to provide your visitors with the best possible experience. So, among other things, your website should load fast, it should have device-specific optimization and it must get and retrieve data really fast.
If you have worked with an agency and got your website custom-built from scratch, all you have to do – once things change – is to migrate it to a different host.
This is not the case with template-based websites.
You’re stuck with them for life – and at someone else’s mercy.
If you are using templates, your design options get very limited.
No matter how many customization options are available, your creativity is always limited and your business will never get the visibility you want it to get among your visitors. The problem will be more severe once you try to interface other websites with yours and you come to know that there are very few Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) available for your website (if any!)
Limited design would also hinder your website’s adaptability and you will have a tough time optimizing it for other devices such as smartphones and tablets.
When you hire an agency to develop your website from scratch, you will learn things which would normally take years – in days.
Yes, the process is awfully long compared to ready-to-use templates and you spend more money, but the experience you gain along the way is worth it alone.
Having an experienced person – or a team – at your disposal while making your website, means getting constant support and well-informed answers on things which may actually interest you. The knowledge you’ll acquire will be priceless come the next iteration – whomever you choose to work with.
And it will stay with you forever.
You can get a template for your website at a very nominal charge but the work is not even half done!
Content is what makes your website informative and interesting for visitors and you are on your own with it! And what you want to put on your website might not be compatible with your template’s underlying technology.
On the other hand, when you work with a web development agency, you get full support and you have 100% assurance that what you would ultimately get is what you wanted in the first place – without compromises!
Once you go for a template-based web development service, it is only a matter of time before you find out there are tens and hundreds of websites that have used the very same template you have opted for.
Templates rob your website of uniqueness and your efforts to differentiate your business from the others is severely dented by the way it presents itself. There is a good chance that potential customers would have seen similar websites in the past and your opportunity to create a great first impression on them goes up in smoke.
On the other hand, getting a website designed from scratch gives you the chance of making it look like the dream website you always wanted your customers to see. It will establish uniqueness the moment a visitor lands on it, resulting in a significant boost to your chances of getting a user ready to walk the full mile up the marketing funnel.
Template-based websites are built on the premise that irrespective of a website’s industry, purpose and its owner’s vision, one template has the ability to cater to different customer demands.
This assumption is obviously flawed. There are a myriad of industries and sectors. Within them, there are large number of businesses with different philosophies and vision. And a website should be able to reflect all of it within the first few seconds of a visitor’s landing on it. This can be achieved only through a website built all the way from scratch, where the business owner gets to interact with the development team on a regular basis and they all move forward towards a common goal.
When you are relying on a generic template made by someone else, you run the risk of losing compatibility with contemporary and upcoming best practices in the web development industry. There is a good chance that your template was not coded with future technology requirements in mind. Even though the readymade template did not cost you much, the slightest of changes to it may result in coding nightmares. And it’s not worth it.
Whether you are a small business owner or you own a big enterprise, you would want to concentrate on your business rather than breaking your head over figuring out how websites work and how to best design a website for your business. We provide comprehensive, end-to-end web development and maintenance solutions, which allows you to concentrate on your business while we work in parallel towards getting it the online visibility it deserves.
In today’s fast-paced world where businesses run around the clock, website templates have become a marketing buzzword. The companies providing these services advertise that you can get the template you want and customize it to suit your business needs. These solutions are low-cost and fast to build. Now, what can possibly go wrong?
If you are a small business owner, it is easy to get attracted to a template website, as it is always better to have some online presence than no presence at all. However, do not look at it as a permanent solution.
Our experienced team boasts with experts from both the technological as well as the marketing domain, who know the latest trends and how to get the best value for your work. We build your bespoke website from scratch, exactly the way you dreamt about, by taking minimal input from you. And our confidence is reflected in the fact that we ask you to rate us by the Return on Investment that our work generates for you.
That helps us build long-time relationships with all our clients.
Any bespoke software and applications development CRM - ERP - CMSClick here to start your project now