Custom or DIY? Is a Custom Website Worth it?
Category: Website FAQ
These days we are spoiled for choice when it comes to building websites. There are hundreds of companies that give users the power to build their own websites. So with that said, why is it even a proposition to get a custom website built?
Here are some points to consider when deciding if a custom website is the right choice for you.
Whether you are an individual or a business, chances are you have competition. You strive to set yourself apart from your competitors by providing a better experience for your customers. This is typically in the form of better service, higher quality products or local support for example, but many miss the mark when it comes to the online customer experience.
A DIY cookie-cutter website, while better than no website at all, typically does not help you stand out amongst the rest as they are based on templates and themes that are free for anyone to use. This means that your website most likely looks like thousands of others with no real differentiation except content and branding.
At Custom Code IT we believe in building websites that represent you or your business. No two websites that we build are the same and for good reason; no two of our customers are the same.
Who owns your website? An important question that everyone who builds a website should consider. If you use a DIY service to build your website, what happens if you’re no longer happy with your provider or want to move on for some other reason? It might be quite difficult to take your website somewhere else because, while you might own your content and branding, you might not own the infrastructure or tools it was built on.
A good custom website should not have this problem. At Custom Code IT, the website we build for you belongs to you and only you. We provide fantastic support and managed hosting solutions but you are not tied to us in any way. You have the power and control to make these decisions for yourself.
Your website should have the ability to scale to meet demand. Nobody likes the idea of losing money or customers because their website was inaccessible due to high traffic. Conversely, you don’t want to be spending extra money to cater for high traffic all year round if it only happens for a month or two per year. Many DIY website services do not give you the flexibility to scale your website on-demand.
A custom website running on the correct infrastructure will be able to scale up and down almost instantly. Custom Code IT offers a variety of hosting options so you have the ability to select the correct plan for you.
Speed and Location
Website speed and location go hand-in-hand. A trap that many people fall into when they take the DIY path is not knowing where the server hosting their website is physically located. If you are running a website targeted specifically to Australians, a server in the USA somewhere will be slower than one located in Sydney. This is less of an issue when utilising a good Content Delivery Network (CDN) but this is not always an option.
Custom Code IT will work with you to understand your expected users and ensure that your website runs as fast as possible.
Accessibility and Best Practices
Accessibility still does not get the attention it deserves and is something that most DIY website builders don’t even acknowledge, let alone conform to. Properly implemented website accessibility assists people with various disabilities (like vision impairment) to use your website.
If you are a business you should consider this very carefully. By not implementing accessibility best practices, you’re effectively discriminating a portion of your users which could land you in legal hot water.
Custom Code IT takes accessibility very seriously and strives to build all websites to at least WCAG level AA.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation is part skill and part “Black Magic” as it is a constantly moving target due to the forever changing ways that search engines rank websites. Good SEO takes time and a solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately many of the DIY site builders do not allow to see the inner workings of your website to allow this fine level of configuration.
Custom Code IT provides SEO out of the box and provides continuous improvements as part of our support plans.
Website security is another critical component in running a successful website. Security keeps you, your business and your customers safe. Even if you’re not storing user passwords or information, a security breach could take your website offline for weeks while it is fixed. DIY website builders implement some security which is fantastic but it’s really not enough for a professional website and is typically not something that can be configured.
Maintenance & Support
Who will take care of the following website maintenance tasks?
- Perform backups, test those backups and store them
- Provide reporting on website traffic, analytics, uptime etc.
- SEO optimisations
- New feature implementations
- Code audits
- Security audits
- Server updates
- Website package updates
There’s much more than the list above that goes into managing and maintaining a good website and DIY site builders don’t offer many of these services.
Custom Code IT doesn’t expect you to have the time to handle this level of maintenance which is why we offer support plans to all of our customers. With our support, the only thing you have to worry about is running your business which is the way it should be.
To be clear, there is definitely a place for a DIY website. Such services wouldn’t exist if they didn’t fill a market need. They offer a great way to quickly build websites and get yourself out there. But it’s important to understand some of the shortfalls in choosing a DIY solution depending on your goals.
Custom Code IT is here for you. If you have any questions or would like to talk about your next website or software project, get in touch!