Bespoke Websites v Template Web Design
Why does your business need a website?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the benefits and disadvantages of bespoke and template websites it’s best to think about the common reasons that businesses need a website in the first place. In the digital age, there are many ways to reach customers such as email marketing and apps with push notifications. However, the humble website is still the primary way to reach customers online.
The first reason that a business might need a website is simply that they do not have one already. This often applies to two types of businesses or organisations. The first group are new businesses or start-ups which are fresh out of the blocks. The second type of organisation is businesses which have taken a traditional approach and avoided the digital space for a long time. Either way, these types of businesses are looking for their first-ever website.
The other types of businesses that are looking for web development are those who already have a website but are looking to improve it. This might be due to a rebrand which means the design and tone of voice may need to be altered. The need for change could also be due to strategic business decisions such as digitising products or moving towards eCommerce. Other functional reasons may be switching or upgrading a content management system (CMS).
Whatever you’re reason for needing a website you’ll need to choose between either an off-the-self solution (template website) or something that is built completely around your business (bespoke website). Which option is right for your business?
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What is a bespoke website?
A bespoke website is a completely custom-built website that is specifically tailored to meet the unique needs and requirements of a particular business or individual. Experienced web developers create tailored websites using programming languages like PHP, customising every aspect to ensure a distinct and personalised online presence.
A bespoke website aims to make the site unique to the client, accurately reflecting their brand identity consistently across the site and providing a tailored user experience. Bespoke websites often utilise custom content management systems (CMS) to enable easy management and maintenance while incorporating advanced functionalities to suit the client's preferences. They can also be developed using common CMS platforms like Wordpress and Umbraco.
Advantages of bespoke web design
The single biggest advantage of bespoke web design and development is that the entire site will be tailored around your business and content. That means that user experience is likely to be much better than an off-the-shelf solution. For instance, your website may need an appointment scheduling facility based on 15-minute timeframes and 3 people. With a site that is built entirely around you, you can work with a designer and developer to create a solution that exactly fits your needs. With a perfect-fit solution, you are then likely to get a boost in conversions, sales and enquiries.
The second big advantage to bespoke design is that your branding will be showcased exactly how you want it. Need a pink headline, orange body text and button hover animation that spins like a whirlpool…you got it. The website will be a perfect embodiment of your business right down to the fonts or even the music.
The third big benefit of bespoke web design is that should anything go wrong with your site, you can speak directly to the people who made it. Maintenance of your website can be business-critical especially if it's your main source of revenue. Speaking directly to your developer means that bugs in the code get squashed quickly and your website remains up and running.
Drawbacks of bespoke web design
There are 2 main disadvantages to having a website designed and developed from the ground up. The first big one is cost. Bespoke websites are significantly more expensive than template websites since more time has to be spent tailoring both the site design and functionality around what you need.
The second big disadvantage that bespoke websites have is that they take more time to get ready. More planning will be required in order to make sure the website effectively meets your business requirements and working with a digital agency will help you achieve your goals. While you will end up with a website that is perfectly tailored to your needs it will take longer to get it.
What is a template website?
A template website is an off-the-shelf solution which has been built to a standard structure. These sites have a ready-made layout which lets users populate content and tweak colour palettes. However, you will be limited to the structure of the template. These sites are often tied to a platform such as Shopify, Squarespace and Wix and offer a number of templates to choose from. They are often geared towards getting your website up and running very quickly. However, what you gain from a quick turnaround you lose in terms of flexibility and uniqueness.
Benefits of template web design
The main benefits of a template website are that they are often much cheaper than a website that has to be designed and developed from scratch. The second largest advantage that a template-based website has over a bespoke website is that it can be made relatively quickly in comparison to something which is completely tailor-made. This means that template websites are a useful tool for those on a tight budget or timeline and make them a popular choice for start-ups or those dipping their toes into an online project. They can also be a useful route for those who are not tech-savvy as template websites are often basic with drag-and-drop features.
Disadvantages of bespoke web design
The drawbacks of template websites are that you will be limited to the parameters of the template itself. While you may be able to rearrange content and colours you may find that you end up working around the template rather than the template working for you. You will be limited in the fonts you can use and how colour is applied within the template. Content may also be presented in a way which might not be entirely suitable for how your users want it to be displayed. Another big drawback of template-based websites is that they often lack SEO functionality. Because templates are designed around generalities they often have bloated or outdated code which can be problematic for speed and load times which impact SEO.
Web Design at Parachute
At Parachute, we offer a bespoke web design and development service. We help bring your vision to life and make sure your website is as good as it can be with every button, link and click optimised around you.
If you are looking for a website that fits like a glove. Speak to our team of designers and developers who would love to help you build a website that you can be proud of.
Come in for a chat and a damn good cup of coffee. We’d be delighted to hear what you’ve got planned and how we can help you with your project.