Is Custom Website Design Dying?

In an era where slick and professional-looking websites can be quickly designed using templates and DIY website builders, this is a valid question. With the abundance of sophisticated tools that are easily available and can do the heavy lifting for people wanting to get a website in place, hasn’t custom web design become obsolete? Why go through the time-consuming process of working with a web designer to design and build a custom website when you can easily find a quicker solution on the spot?

Isn’t it better just to build your own website?

These are fair questions worth addressing and answering. Read on to discover why custom website design is still needful and necessary in our day and age, although there are many other website solutions available.

1. Website builders and templates have limitations

Website builders like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace have changed the way that entrepreneurs run their businesses online and allowed them the opportunity to bring their ideas to life without web agencies or website companies. These popular platforms make it easy for an individual who has no prior experience building websites to create and launch a site in a matter of hours, if not less.

Template-based websites, which are based off of a predesigned framework for a web page or set of pages, are another popular choice of modern-day business owners and entrepreneurs. Templates allow you to plug your content into a theme and work within its configuration to build the site and get it to look the way you want, often with more flexibility than a site builder.

Both of these solutions sound great, right?

The answer is that for some business owners, they might be. If you are just starting out in a small business and have a limited budget or if the nature of your business does not heavily rely on your web presence, it may be that a website builder or template will work well for you. Your time can be spent in setting up your website and you can learn what you need to from the internet and do the work yourself.

However, the disadvantage with both website builders and ready-made templates is that they will always be limited and lack diversity. Although you can add some customization and change colors, typography, background, and graphics, there is only so much you can do to make it look unique and incorporate special functionality. Sites built this way will feel more typical and cookie-cutter and lack the uniqueness and individuality that custom design allows you to have, where each feature is specifically built for the needs of the project. The needs of certain businesses are simply going to exceed what a template or website builder can provide, in terms of both design features and special or advanced functionalities that are required. 

2. Websites need to be brand machines

Websites have become the number one organic, online marketing tool for businesses. Given that, the purpose of a company’s website is not to just simply provide information, but to effectively and strategically reach their target audience, make conversions, and increase sales. This means that their website needs to be more than a website; it needs to be a brand machine, where everything is working together to meet these goals and serve the mission of the company.

More often than not, the quicker approach to getting a website in place will not include the depth of process or time that is necessary in order to incorporate a comprehensive brand strategy and truly make a website stand out and be differentiated from the sites of competitors. Creating an effective website that is successful in this way is a very involved process that requires investigation, research and investment of time in order to achieve the desired results. This is what custom design offers, where intentional thought is given to each feature of the design and elements, with research happening at each stage of the project and careful consideration to the brand identity and needs of the target audience. Each part of the web design is tailor made and constructed to fit within that brand and to meet those particular needs, and what otherwise might be a cold, digital environment is transformed into a living design with heart and soul that breathes the company’s values and mission. 

3. Creative flair is invaluable

With website design, as with any type of design, there is an element that cannot be overrated—creative flair. Consumers want to be entertained, inspired, and blown away by creative ideas and concepts. Often, the DIY or template approach to building a site will not cut it when it comes to incorporating the “genius creativity” that is needed in order to impress visitors and make them fall in love with your brand.

Many business owners trying to create their own site will not possess this creative flair or have the design skills or eye to be able to transfer their ideas into the digital realm. This is where a custom web designer is needed, who possesses unique vision and has the creative talents to translate your ideas and communicate the message of your brand effectively. A site builder or online platform will simply never be able to replace a real human designer, who can reveal the hidden possibilities of your concept and problem-solve with intuitive and creative thinking. And with custom design, the limit is pretty much the sky when it comes to how to incorporate visual ideas. The design is able to take form without limits around the specific needs of your business, providing you with a site that is uniquely made for you and makes you stand out.

4. User experience is non-negotiable

Good user experience is imperative and plays a significant role in the effectiveness of your website and whether it succeeds or not. If people feel uncomfortable on your website and don’t have a smooth experience using it, then they will leave and find another website that provides that to them.

In most cases, the average business owner will not possess the knowledge or expertise about user experience and behavior that is needed in order to incorporate this effectively into their website. This is where the role of custom design and a web designer is very key. A solid base for a good user experience is able to be created and custom solutions are invented to serve that need. During the custom web design process, questions will be studied and answered such as:

  • What is the flow of the user’s behavior at each point of the site?
  • What elements and features will the user see and interact with first?
  • What visual ideas and solutions will help to best facilitate the user’s experience and how does this follow through at every level of the site?
  • What is the mobile experience for the user?

The research and brainstorming that go into answering these questions is an all-important part of custom web design and the website-building process that business owners do not want to miss out on.

So, back to the original question—is custom web design dying? Hopefully, after reading this article, you will see that the answer is a resounding no. Although there are many modern tools available to help people build websites quickly, there will always be a need for custom web design, as the unique vision, inventiveness, resourcefulness, and solutions that it offers cannot be replaced and are highly important. Custom web design’s role in the digital world is critical—it helps to fuel the engine of progress on the web and provides the special and unique solutions that websites need, which cannot be reached through other means.

To learn more about the custom web design process and what advantages it holds for you and your business, contact us today.

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