We see you over there, searching “how to build a website from scratch.” And, guess what, you’re not wrong in wanting to try. In fact, building a custom business website is almost always a good idea.
If you want your business to stand out from the crowd and to highlight the features that make it so unique, then you need a website that doesn’t come out of a box you pick up on the corner of www and .com.
Depending, however, on far you’ve gotten in your custom business website design search, there’s a good chance that you’ve discovered some rather unfortunate news: Web design packages from the top web design companies don’t come cheap.
And that jump from out of the box to custom can feel like going from a beat-up Hyundai to a Lamborghini – a little too much to take in all at once.
There is, thankfully, good news.
Custom website builds don’t always have to drain your business bank account. In fact, when they’re done right, they can actually put more money in your account.
But how do you know if it’s the right move for your business? How can you be sure that the investment you make in a custom business website design will pay off – and sooner rather than later?
Over the years, our team at FreshySites has learned a thing or two (or 2,000) about building websites. And, from our experience, we’ve come to understand which businesses really need the benefit of a custom design.
Want to know which category you fall into?
Here are the top seven signs you need a custom business website design according to the experts (us)!
#1. You’re interested in making sure your business and brand stand out in a unique way.
Running a successful business takes work. And, to make sure all of that work really pays off, then you have to find a way to stand out, attracting the right people at the right time.
With so much noise online, it’s more important than ever to give your customers a reason to enjoy their experience – and your website is how you do that. Even a working website with good design can fail in today’s competitive world.
To make sure your business succeeds, then you absolutely must do more than the average.
With the current trend attracting more and more business owners to fast and easy templates, going a different route can send the right message to your audience: Yes, you are different. Yes, you deserve their business.
By choosing a custom business website design, you can create and improve customer experiences that are specific to your audience and demographic. (Remember, the more you talk to your customer — not everyone — the better your business will do.)
Playing an active role in how your website functions and which features it includes can do wonders for engagement and conversions. And, while there are some features you can tweak with standard templates, there’s not much you can do that will really make a statement.
Your business website is your business. The more it embodies your unique message, perspective, and story, the better it will perform.
By optimizing each aspect of it with a custom design, you can craft a customer journey that will guide them from beginning to end, making sure they hit all of the right stops and notes along the way.
Sometimes these journeys are short, and sometimes they are lengthy, but only you and a custom designed website can make sure it’s perfect for your customers each and every time.
The big takeaway here?
The more unique and engaging your business website is, the longer your visitors will stick around – and the more likely they will become a converting customer.
#2. You’re confident that you understand the inner-workings of your business and your customer.
One of the few times it’s not a good idea to invest in a custom website design is when you’re still on the fence about what your business does and who it serves.
When designing a custom website, you need to be clear about each and every detail or the investment you make won’t pay off.
When, however, you have a firm grasp on your business and its ideal customer, then it’s time to personalize your website with a custom design. While you can get away with a template for a bit at the beginning (especially if you’re focused on saving money), there comes a time when you and your business start to mature.
And, when this happens, there’s no better time to start embracing this new identity than right now.
In fact, putting off a custom design and sticking with a “tried-and-true” template might just be what ends up preventing your business from actually taking off.
Yes, your customers can tell the difference between a template and a custom build. When done right, the custom build lets them know that you understand exactly what they need and want – and there’s nothing better than that for building long-term trust.
Once you know how your business works and what your customer needs, designing a custom website can elevate your brand above the competition, attracting more visitors and converting more sales.
#3. You know the importance of SEO.
Search Engine Optimization is no longer an optional marketing strategy.
Without SEO, your website will get buried in search results, which means you’re making it difficult (if not impossible) for your customers to find your business. When you recognize the importance of SEO, then you start to understand just how beneficial a custom website can be.
A free website or inexpensive template will never have the same SEO capabilities as a custom build. Never.
With SEO, every little detail matters. And the only way to get to those details is through a totally custom backend – one that is built for your market and specific niche.
When the framework of your website is designed for SEO, everything you do is more powerful – from the content you publish on your blog to the videos you post to your testimonials page.
Not to mention, you won’t even have to put much thought into your SEO strategy to start getting results. (It’s like the difference between having cruise control and not having it on a ten-hour road trip across flat farmland – you want the cruise control.)
Custom websites do SEO from all angles, including sometimes impossible-to-tackle front-end SEO.
By including keyword rich content into every single page, you can almost guarantee that your business gets found – no more throwing spaghetti against the wall marketing, crossing your fingers and hoping something sticks.
Your big takeaway here?
If you want your business website to be found and maintain its search results long-term, then a custom website design is an incredible investment – one that will pay you back month after month.
#4. You have big plans for your business and you know that where you are now won’t stay the same.
Most people getting into business don’t take the risk unless they have an attractive idea about where they might just end up.
This vision, no matter how far-off it might seem right now, will happen, as long as you commit to showing up and taking action each and every day. In most cases, it’s not a business that fails – it’s the person behind it giving up.
If you are committed to your business and you know that it’s just a matter of time before it starts growing, then a custom website can give you the adaptability you need. When it comes time to scale, your custom website will be able to handle the changes, making seemingly giant leaps and bounds feel as effortless as possible.
By approaching a custom website build with your long-term business vision in mind, you can create a site that is highly functional and adaptable.
Rather than feeling limited in what you’re able to do online, you’ll know that the capabilities you need are ready when you are. Just this knowledge alone can be enough to give you the motivation you need to stay inspired and to keep going (like an online, technical version of your dream board).
This type of adaptability also allows your website to stay current, changing with your world and delivering the customer experience your visitors want – without ever risking feeling out-of-date.
Want to promote your brand’s credibility and image? Then a website that is ready, responsive and made just for your business is an intelligent investment.
The takeaway this time?
A custom website helps you align your vision with your customers’ experience, making sure it’s adaptable and responsive with each and every change – whether one week from now or two years in the future.
#5. You value flexibility and understand that change is a huge part of success.
Just as you know that you have bigger plans for your business, you should also keep in mind that sometimes changes in your business are outside of your control.
To stay afloat in the raging rivers of entrepreneurship, you need to make sure your website can handle the waves. The benefit of having a custom website is that it’s much more agile, supporting your business rather than hindering it when it faces a challenge.
Business, as you know, is far from stagnant, which is why it’s so important that your website isn’t either.
If you want your business to be sustainable, then you need to make sure that your website is well-built and fluent in your niche’s unique demands. Building a serious business on a template is a risk; when you need it to adapt, more likely than not it will break.
And, trying to make it work while simultaneously running your business can be far more expensive than just making the investment in a custom website package upfront.
The big takeaway?
Whether you need to scale up or scale down, a custom website can give you the capabilities you need to stay (successful) in business.
#6. You understand the importance of appearances and you want to make sure you and your website look as professional as possible.
Online, people make decisions in seconds – sometimes even faster.
And, while it can be frustrating to believe that your business will be judged by how it looks, it’s even more frustrating to ignore the fact – and then watch your business fail. Once you accept the fact that the appearance of your business determines your success, then you start to make smarter decisions about your website.
A custom website design functions as well as it looks, making your customers feel confident about trusting you with their business.
You’d be surprised how many businesses lose customers just because they’re not giving off the right “vibe.”
Look at it this way: If you want to look professional for a meeting or event, you make an investment in the clothes you wear. The nicer and more considered the clothes are, the more professional you appear.
The same is true with your website.
While you can do a lot with an inexpensive template, you can only do so much. You’ll never make a $5 tshirt look as nice as a $300 shirt, especially when you start looking at the details. If you want your visitors to stay on your site, exploring the pages, and making a purchase, then you need to make sure all of the details convey a sense of professionalism.
A custom website design will always look more professional than a template, putting your customers at ease so they feel comfortable giving you their trust (and their money).
#7. You’re aware that website speed and security impact the success of your online business.
Although templates come with quite a bit of functionality built right in, they’re designed for the masses – not your business.
Depending on what you do with a website template, you dramatically impact its speed and its security. Sometimes you need a lot of functions, and sometimes you only need a few. Either way, the only way to make sure your website stays optimized is to build it custom for your needs.
Known as “bloatware,” lots of templates come with so many unnecessary features and options that they weigh down your website, hindering its speed and its security. Bloatware can also make your customer’s experience unnecessarily complex, taking away from the carefully crafted journey you want to create.
Another important thing to remember? The speed of your website impacts how it ranks. A slow loading website will not do as well in SEO terms as a website that loads immediately with all of its features.
According to Google, the speed of your website affects your sales dramatically – to the tune of 50% of sales being lost if your website takes more than three seconds to load.
And, when it comes to security, using a template or website builder can actually make your website vulnerable to attacks. A custom design, on the other hand, can offer the protection you need, especially as your business scales.
If you want a fast, secure, attractive website that’s built for SEO, then a custom website design is the only way to go.
Not only do you avoid unnecessary functionalities and bloatware, but you optimize all of the parts of the online experience that matter for your business and brand.
The big takeaway?
The more customized your website is for your business, the better it performs.
Although a custom website build might not be for every business, there are many businesses that can benefit from making the investment.
If you identify with any of the signs above, or if you’re curious about what a custom website would look like (and cost) for your business, then get in touch with our team at FreshySites!