— April 25, 2018
There is a slew of questions that needs to be answered when building a new B2B website. One of the major questions that needs to be addressed before starting the web design process is whether you will have a custom website built or whether you will be using an existing template design.
In this article, I examine the pros and cons of custom B2B web design vs. template websites.
Custom Web Design
Whether you are a marketing driven organization or not, a professional custom B2B website design is a must-have for any company looking to preserve or improve their brand credibility and is focused on closing new client deals.
- Customization– The sky is the limit with custom built websites. Fonts, imagery, video, content, graphics, layout, animation, motion, number of pages, layout, sitemap – with a custom B2B website design you are able to customize every aspect of your website. This ability to customize ensures your brand is being showcased accurately and in the best light. Rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with a template, a custom website enables flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to achieve the goals of the website.
- Great for SEO– Search engine optimization (SEO) is more than just picking the right keywords for a page. Great SEO impacts nearly every aspect of a website. A custom website design allows you to plan, write, design, code, and analyze according to SEO best practices.
- Functionality – With the right tools and web development team, you can attain any type of functionality you need to appeal to your target audience. Maybe your website requires an integrated candidate tracking system, or a product gallery a website visitor can sort through, or even personalized, location-based home pages. The desired functionality can be achieved through a custom B2B web design.
- Control + Ownership – One of the major benefits, although not initially obvious, is that your company can control your website’s hosting and can choose your preferred hosting provider. You own the domain, design, any custom videos, graphics, and imagery. Having control over those design assets and intellectual property enables your firm to protect your brand.
- Time– Building a custom website can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year depending on the size of the website. Find out why great web design takes so long.
- Cost – Custom B2B web design and development can be a significant investment for a business. However, when you weigh the benefits of a having a website that is a professional 24/7 sales tool and the revenue generated from website leads, it’s often well worth the cost.
- People – Building an effective brand-building, lead-generating website requires many professional disciplines including design, marketing, writing, SEO, development, project management, etc. Due to the cost and time investment, many companies decide to hire a B2B web design agency to handle a custom website project.
Businesses that are at their infancy or in the start-up stage, don’t have the people/time/resources, or haven’t completely defined their service/product offering yet are the best candidates to take advantage of a website template solution. A template website is a pre-designed web page(s) that a user can add their text and images to. Templates are often available for download and use by multiple individuals or brands.
- Time – A template website can be created and launched very quickly. As the commercials show, it’s a plug-and-play solution so you simply select the template and plug in the necessary content and information.
- Cost – It’s affordable since the designed template exists in a library. Template website designers make their money on repeated purchases of their template.
- People – Many people can figure out how to create a website by themselves using tools like Wix or Square Space.
- Customization – There are certain customization options, but often you are limited in the customization of the website. Template websites may allow for choosing from various color schemes or layouts, but you won’t be able to dictate exactly how the website looks.
- Bad for SEO – These solutions aren’t built for SEO, they are built so all users can easily update a template. The template may include a few SEO options, but without hiring a web development expert, there is no guarantee that the architecture of the website (which has a large impact on SEO) follows current SEO best practices.
- Control + Ownership – Many website template solutions don’t allow you to control your own hosting. Rather, they require you to pay an ongoing subscription fee and when you stop making payments, your website is taken down. Additionally, you don’t own the website design since it is a template.
Building a new website for your brand is an exciting endeavor that comes with a number of decisions that need to be made. The first decision is whether to go with a custom B2B web design option or an off-the-shelf template website. It depends on your company’s resources and objectives.