Do You Really Have to Pay for a Custom Website?

A few months ago, I built a website to host my own network of podcasts and blogs. This would have been nearly impossible just a few years ago, considering my lack of coding knowledge. However, due to Squarespace’s no-coding-necessary themes and my experience working at Balcom, I felt like I could take on the challenge. 

To be honest, even working with a template, it was no easy feat. It required constant tweaking; a significant amount of Googling; hours of reading through forums and contacting other Squarespace users. Long hours did finally produce something usable, though my journey for optimization continues daily.

Today, with Squarespace, Wix, and other platforms providing free or inexpensive pre-built themes, you may be wondering why you should pay more (full disclosure: a lot more) for a custom site. And maybe you don’t have to – but before you click away, check out the pros and cons.

Custom Website

  • Pro: A unique site that fits your needs, personality and brand
    If you want a site that looks like no one else’s; if you need to talk to multiple audiences in different ways; or if you need special interactive features, like this symptom finder, you’re going to need a custom site.
  • Pro: You control the layout
    A layout designed specifically for your business allows you to direct the path a site visitor takes. This can increase your conversions.
  • Pro: Fast and personal customer service when you need it
    For a small monthly fee, your developer can continue to do maintenance on your site as needed, and may even host the site for you (hint: Balcom does), which means if something goes wrong, you only have to make one phone call to get it fixed.
  • Con: You’ll have to hire a specialist
    Which means the project will initially take longer and cost more. 
  • Con: A developer will need to keep the website up-to-date
    Not just updating content, but potentially updating theme files.

Pre-built Theme

  • Pro: A professional look with no coding or experience necessary
    Potentially saving you time and money.
  • Con: Do-it-yourself really means do-it-yourself
    If you run into trouble, the support system may not be as helpful as you would like, or you could spend hours searching for the answer yourself. 
  • Con: Limited layouts
    Options within the template are often set in stone, limiting the ways you can make your website look.

There is no standard, single-best-way to create a website. Every company or person has different needs. Educate yourself on the benefits of each to decide what’s right for you. 

Want an estimate for a custom website? Get in touch.

Blog Author: Eric Shulman, Former B teamer

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