When it’s time to invest in a new website, there are a lot of decisions to be made. One of the biggest choices ahead is whether you should select a pre-built website theme or work with a designer to create a unique design customized to fit you and your brand.
Why choose a pre-designed theme?
The positives for choosing a theme are obvious: Lower cost, shorter development time, and a bevy of options to choose from. You have the chance to explore how different templates look and feel before committing to one.
However, there are downsides to consider as well: The customization options for themes are limited, the templates aren’t built with your specific needs in mind, and any number of companies could be using the same theme. A “one size fits all” approach does not always create a unique, impactful experience for a user.
So why invest in a custom website?
While the cost and development time may be greater, there are a number of reasons to consider a bespoke approach.
The web is a crowded place, and it can be hard to cut through the noise. Your website should serve as a strong expression of your brand and help you stand apart. From the big things, like impactful imagery and easy-to-scan page layouts, down to small textural details and animations, it is essential that users enjoy using your website and want to come back to it. A customized approach helps to make sure all the elements throughout your website work in tandem to delight your audience and reinforce your unique identity.
Tailored to You
Form should follow function, and a custom design builds every aspect of your site around the expectations of your audience and how to best present your specific content to them. A user expects to be able to find the information they want within seconds of landing on your website and a visual approach thoughtfully tailored to their needs will help guide them. Crafting a unique, memorable and intuitive experience will leave users with a positive, lasting impression of your company.
Ensuring that your website is easily accessible to users with limited hearing, movement, visual or cognitive abilities is an important concern. There are a number of considerations that come into play when making decisions about information hierarchy, typefaces, text sizes, color choice, hyperlink treatment and more to ensure that your content is fully accessible while still effectively expressing your brand. A custom approach allows for finer control over those decisions from the start rather than trying to retrofit elements within a theme.
What’s the future going to look like?
Your website is going to grow and change over the years as your company and the expectations of your audience evolve. A custom approach allows the designer to take your specific needs into account when planning what flexibility and contingencies the layout will require to accommodate future growth while maintaining a clean, visually pleasing appearance.
Overall, website themes are designed to fit a lot of needs, but they may not always be an exact fit for your needs. If you have a strong brand identity, complex content or simply want a website that stands out, a custom design may be the right solution for you.