At Get Interactive, we specialise in building custom websites. We are often asked what customisation can add over a standard theme website. On this page, we explain to you why we don’t offer a standard template website, and why you shouldn’t settle for one either!
The differences between Custom Build websites and "standard" Wordpress websites
The alternative to a custom website is a website built with a standard theme or template, also called builders. Examples of well known builders include: Elementor, Divi and Beaver Builder. Websites using these builders are relatively inexpensive and can often be put online in a short period of time. Sounds ideal, but this one-size-fits-all mentality comes with its drawbacks. These include a lack of flexibility in design, redundant features that can negatively affect the speed of your website and you have to deal with the certain security risks.
In addition, it is difficult to align a standard theme or template website perfectly with your corporate identity and the (online) strategy of your company. With a custom website, you get a website that specifically meets your needs.
The benefits of custom websites
So there are some key differences between custom websites and standard theme websites or templates. Here are the most important ones:
- Site Speed (and SEO)
- Ease of use
We cover all these points on this page, so you’ll know if a custom website is the solution for you!
1. Fully customised
The biggest advantage of a custom website is already mentioned in the name; the website is completely customised to your needs and goals. A layout that perfectly suits your business, functionalities that are tailored to the activities that are relevant to you, and no unnecessary plugins. The layout is also designed to take into account the target audience and user behaviour, and it perfectly matches the chosen corporate identity and strategy. Unlike templates, a custom website is unique, and therefore perfectly tunable to your needs.
The investment for a custom website may be higher, but in the long run the benefits will lead to better conversion, brand image and additional sales or contact requests.
“If you want a website specifically tailored to your target audience, it is important that the layout and navigation be customizable to your needs.”
2. Custom websites are (often) faster
Template websites are built using a one-size-fits-all mentality; they contain the most commonly used components and logic suitable for the average website. However, these may not be relevant to your website or target audience at all, yet are still running on the backend. Custom websites are therefore often significantly faster because, unlike template websites, they contain only the components needed for your business.
No one is happy with a slow website. If your visitors have to wait too long for a page to load, chances are they will leave your website early. Research shows that if the waiting time for a page to load is longer than 2 seconds, it will have a negative effect on your visitors and they will tend to leave early. But even if the difference in speed is not drastically noticeable, you will still benefit from a faster website. The faster your website, the better your performance ranking will be for search engines like Google. A faster website will certainly be noticeable in your SEO performance, user experience and conversions. Visitors do less on websites when page load times delay their interactions with the website.
|A quick word on SEO: As mentioned, a theme or template can affect your SEO-ranking. If you are using a theme that uses bad plugins or contains poorly coded HTML, this can cause your website to rank worse for search engines and could have a negative effect on the search results. If themes are well designed, they basically have no negative effects on SEO.
3. Security risks with template websites
By using custom or tailor made solutions, your website contains fewer individual components and software, because it is built with unique code. This is different from template websites, where similar components or multiple plugins are constantly used across multiple websites. This means that if a hacker has hacked one website template or theme, other similar websites are also immediately at risk for the same hack. Because of this, it’s a lot more rewarding to try to hack a template website versus a custom website with unknown code. Hackers are thus constantly looking for weaknesses in commonly used website themes and templates, which poses security risks.
“Template websites often contain more (and standard) components, which is very appealing for hackers.”
4. Sustainability of custom websites
Many standard website themes are not regularly maintained or supported over time. In addition to security risks, this can cause the website to become less and less functional and lag behind. Where your competition with a custom website keeps renewing, you are now stuck with a website that keeps getting outdated, while being dependent on a theme builder you have no personal contact with. For a cheap price tag, you lose the flexibility to continue growing.
You may also want to add a new style or feature to your website that doesn’t fit your default theme. With a custom build website, it is easier to continue building and making improvements. Because all components are selected and created specifically for your website. Overtime, you can be assured that they will continue to work well with each other and no parts of your website will fail due to an outdated plugin.
5. Easy to use, for both you and your visitors
The perfect custom website not only looks good, is interactive but is also easy to navigate. Template websites often use a couple of standard menu-structures that are suitable for a wide audience. However, if you want a website specifically tailored to your needs, target audience and style, it’s important that the design, layout and navigation are fully (and easily) customisable to your needs. By building a custom website from the ground up and according to your wishes, you ensure that the end result matches perfectly to your needs.
But also at the backend, custom websites are of added value. By offering only the features that are relevant to your business, you don’t get drowned out in the cumbersome menus and endless and often redundant options that template websites usually provide.This makes customising your custom website a lot more accessible than with a template website.
The difference in costs is often the biggest reason for choosing a website based on a standard theme or template. These websites are significantly cheaper than custom websites; after all, they have only been developed once and can now be mass deployed. Setting up a custom website obviously takes some more time. But the time and cost savings must be weighed against the disadvantages and limitations of a standard website based on a theme or template. While there are clients where a theme or template will do just fine, our experience is that they often lead to higher costs and inconvenience down the line.
A website should never be a goal in itself. Successful companies not only use their website as a business card, but also as an extension of their service and for improving their competitive position. Strategy, target audience and customer journey are crucial to achieve these goals. If a standard website (despite its attractive price tag) is not suitable to support these goals, you are wasting time and money unnecessarily. With customisation, we build your website from the ground up and around these goals. The investment is higher, but in return you get a unique and perfect website for your business.
In a nutshell..
A WordPress website can be built in two ways: with a custom design or with a theme. The difference between these two options is as follows:
- A customised WordPress website is a unique design created specifically for one particular website. This means that the website’s design and features are specially designed to meet the client’s needs and achieve the website’s objectives. A custom design can cost more time and money than a theme, but it can also offer more flexibility and customisation options.
- A WordPress theme is a template or pre-built website layout that can be used to build a website. Themes are available in different styles and with different features, so you can choose a theme that suits your target audience and goals. Themes are often cheaper than custom designs and can be set up faster, but they offer fewer customisation options and can be less unique than a custom design.
In general, using a theme is suitable for smaller websites or for people who want to set up a website quickly without spending a lot of money. Custom designs are more suitable for larger, professional websites that require specific features or need to be unique and eye-catching. It is important to consider what best suits your goals and budget before making a decision. We can help you make that decision.
What do our customers think?
As you can tell, at Get Interactive we’re big fans of custom solutions, and we hope you now have the information to make an informed choice. But what about our clients? What do they think?
We provided IVRM with a custom website
Demi from IVRM,
“Everything works so much easier than with the old website. It’s clearly structured on the backend, you know exactly what to do and have clear blocks instead of “Elementor-like” difficulties. The new custom website is more structured with a clear menu. It works so smoothly now, and you see the results right away. It definitely motivates me to work on the website.”
Interested in a custom build website?
Want to know what our customisation can do for you? We design, build and maintain tailor made WordPress websites. Feel free to contact us, we are happy to answer all your questions.
Curious about our approach? Take a look at our working method!