Insights / Website
Have you ever wondered why some websites look or “feel” so amazing?
Check these out:
Pretty neat right? All of them share one thing in common - they’re all custom-built.
Put simply, these websites are designed with features and functionalities that are uniquely made to look and work in a special way. If you’re planning to recreate something similar using pre-designed templates, then the results will disappoint you as they only provide basic features that limit creativity.
So, Should I Not Use Templates?
That entirely depends on what you need - Do you want something quick & simple or something more personalized that’s made to achieve a certain goal?
If you’re leaning towards the first option, then templates are a great choice as they let users quickly get a basic website up with minimal effort. But if you aim to push up sales or get more customers, a custom-built would help you out as they’re designed to meet specific goals in the most efficient way possible.
After all, there are reasons why so many big businesses engage with agencies in the creation of their website! Here are 5 of them.
1. Unique Visuals
It’s no secret here - visuals are important. Often, we quickly form assumptions about something based on its visual appearance by assigning value or a perceived value to those things.
Let’s put this in the context of online shopping. Customers are more likely to click on products that look good because they associate them with quality or premium products, which are then perceived to be better, as they are:
“First impressions matter.”
Those visuals help establish the impression customers have towards you. A custom website lets you take advantage of how you can present yourself through visuals, giving you full control over each and every part of your website. Even small details such as fonts and colours are customizable as you aren’t restricted by the preset layouts of typical website templates. Beyond that, there’s another benefit to having an attractive website:
As mentioned, there’s value in looking good because it persuades and positively influences people’s perception towards the quality of your products and services. After all, if you’ve already built up a brand, then you’d know how important it is to stick to the branding that’s been set for your business. When you stop doing so, customers will start questioning whether the business is actually changing. This could then either pull them closer or push them away.
2. Custom Functionality
This is an example of “custom functionalities”. As shown above, having a custom-built website allows you to integrate these special functions or features.
While you may not necessarily need something as complex and advanced as the site above, having these special functions can help capture and heighten your audience’s interest and attention to your business.
Some even opt to “gamify” their entire website to make for an interesting and engaging customer experience. And this is only a small taste of how far you can go creatively with a website that’s custom-built for you!
3. User Experience
What is your favourite memory? In that memory, you interacted with something or someone that created a pleasant experience, triggering positive feelings towards the subject and leaving a good, lasting impression. Generally, great experiences make us remember things and people better.
In the context of a business, “user experience” refers to a person’s overall emotions and attitudes towards those things. It indicates how memorable your brand, products and services are to your customers, based on their interaction with you.
“User experience is about how it feels.”
Whether it’s your site’s visuals. functionality or both, your brand’s user experience should evoke some kind of emotion within your customers. What do you want them to feel when looking at or thinking about your brand? How can you use the website to convey your brand’s message? Making your audience feel something is a powerful factor in determining whether they’re going to stay or leave your site.
Optimizing Your User Experience
To ensure the creation of a good user experience, you’ll need to take note of a few technical things within your website:
- Loading Speed
- User-Friendly Navigation
- Mobile Responsiveness etc.
Another crucial factor that determines whether customers either stay or leave a certain site is speed. We all know the frustrations of having slow internet speed, so imagine what it’s like when your website adds on to that and takes an extremely long time to load.
Usually, this is a common problem in templates as they come pre-built with lots of plugins installed, affecting the overall speed of your website. While it’s great to have a wide selection of choices, the reality is that you’ll end up using only a few of them on a regular basis. This means all the unused plugins will still run in the background, even if you’ve disabled them!
Some of these visually attractive themes could also slow your site down due to the extra code required to display those attractive graphics. But even aside from that, you’d have to troubleshoot certain technical issues such as image optimization, compression, slow web hosting servers, unnecessary (.CSS) and (.JS) files and so much more!
We’re not saying that using templates is bad. Those problems can definitely be resolved if you have the patience and technical expertise to do so. But for those who are short on time or who’d rather not deal with these concerns, getting a custom-built website is going to save you from having those nightmares.
As consumers spend more time shopping online, the use of credit cards, e-wallets and other digital payment methods is only going to increase as time goes by. Thus, the security and safety of information have become an important concern for the people.
With pre-designed templates, you’re never guaranteed such safety because they are designed as open source. This essentially means that anyone can quickly access the code and develop software to modify anything within the website, which is a huge drawback as you can imagine the amount of damage that can be done if a hacker with malicious intent decides to sabotage your website. You could lose things like:
- Personal Data (i.e. passwords, debit/credit card info, sensitive customer information)
- Site Assets (i.e. files, images, content)
However, that story becomes different when you have a custom-built website, as it takes away the risk by providing only you and your team access to the sensitive code. Moreover, you can request your web design team to integrate it with state-of-the-art security measures to safely protect your website from most cybersecurity threats. You wouldn’t have to worry about your site’s safety being compromised as you can be safely assured of the protection installed in dealing with the many cyber attacks that could potentially come about.
We’ll say this again. Templates aren’t the devil. Their benefits are just better suited for smaller uses that don’t involve complex situations and hands-on expertise.
A custom-built website allows for much more customization and personalization, while being assured by the web design team in building a quality digital asset that helps accomplish the business’s key objectives in the most optimal and cost-effective manner.