These days, your brand’s online presence is everything. Even customers who go in-store to make their purchases will likely have done their homework on you first – this is known as the ROPO (research online, purchase offline) effect. This means your website will be the first impression your potential customers have of you, so you shouldn’t be cutting corners when it comes to your web design.
You can get plenty of decent ‘off-the-shelf’ designs, but decent isn’t good enough if you want to succeed in the online market. Only a bespoke design will make a real impression. Here’s our breakdown of why bespoke web design is superior to ‘off-the-shelf’.
You can truly stamp your brand on a bespoke site
The problem with ‘cookie-cutter’ web design is that it is based entirely on themes and templates. Whilst you may find some that are suitable for your brand, they’re never really yours. You may even find a design that you think perfectly suits your business, and can’t imagine designing anything original that is more fitting – but how many other brands are using the exact same template?
Bespoke sites allow you to weave your branding into the fabric of your site from the beginning. This goes for more than just a brand logo and a slogan too – the font, the colours, the images, the animation, and even the UX on a bespoke site can be moulded in a way that reinforces your branding.
Not ‘one size fits all’ but exactly the size you need
Bespoke web design is like a tailored suit – it’s the perfect fit for you and no two are exactly the same. More than just making the site your own through branding, you can have the type of site that suits the size of your operation.
If your business does a huge amount of e-commerce, then you need your site to function effectively no matter how many people are using it. Similarly, if you have a simple, stripped-back site, you may want to use smaller file sizes that load quicker.
Offers the flexibility you need
The most important thing about bespoke or custom design is flexibility. With a bespoke site, we start from the ground up when designing a layout. Using a content management system like WordPress allows us to design whatever we want in the way of layout and customise the CMS.
So, unlike an off-the-shelf theme, we can design, mould, re-mould and amend the site to our hearts’ content to get something that is 100% fit for purpose. On the other hand, with a themed development, we would have to work within the boundaries set by the theme.
Built to evolve over time
Your business will evolve, and so should your website. Sure, off-the-shelf designs can be customised, but when you’re doing this you are essentially hacking someone else’s code. This can cause problems in the future, when updating the site. Not to mention, it takes twice as long as when you’re working with your own good, clean code.
So, in 1 – 2 years after your site has been rocking and rolling, and you want to carry out some pretty radical changes to the layout on your Home page, or change the way the menu animates, or add some new functionality – it will be twice as quick, and a much cleaner and future proof process, if you are working with a bespoke site, and not carrying our a hack-job on a theme!
Has the advantage in terms of speed
Web pages that have been developed from the ground up will load quicker than an off-the-shelf. Enough said.
Tailored to work with your SEO and social from the beginning
SEO and social media should never be afterthoughts in web design. The best website in the world isn’t much use if no-one ever sees it. Optimising for SEO lets you climb the search rankings so that you’re easily visible among your competitors when someone searches for the products or services you provide.
You can, of course, implement SEO and social functions into an off-the-shelf website, but it is often not as well-integrated as on bespoke sites, and needs adding into the site once it has been designed, rather than being built in as something fundamental. Websites which try to implement SEO after the fact will likely uncover a whole load of technical issues which aren’t particularly search engine-friendly!
Offer a competitive advantage
What all of this equates to is an advantage over your competitors. Bespoke web design makes your site memorable – stunning visuals, clear branding, and a seamless, intuitive user experience are all things users will remember. Bespoke sites have an air of professionalism, and you just can’t achieve this with an off-the-shelf design.
There’s no doubt that bespoke web design is the only way to go if you want your brand to make an impression online. People are using websites as their first port of call when it comes to making an enquiry or approaching a brand for the first time, so that initial impression is everything. Why wouldn’t you want to make it the best it can be?
If you want to know more about our bespoke web design services, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.