Struggling to decide how to best represent your business online? With all kinds of custom web design options out there, it can feel like a minefield choosing the right platform to help your brand grow. One of the most common decisions facing business owners is whether to use Wordpress as a platform for their website, or whether to go fully bespoke and commission a custom web design to be built from scratch. Here, we’ll outline some of the key differences between these two custom web design options - helping you to decide where to invest and where your business is heading next.
Wordpress offers business owners the ability to easily design and launch a website using a template setup and hosting platform. The process is simple, reasonably cheap, and the designs are sleek and professional. There are quick rewards to choosing this route for your business - you’ll be online a lot faster and there’s a lot of support out there for how to get the most out of the Wordpress platform.
That being said, one of the issues of using template platform sites like Wordpress is exactly that - these platforms, at their most basic level, offer you templates that mean your website has a ceiling for its visual uniqueness, user experience, and functionality in relation to business needs. Custom web designers can of course help to overcome these issues, rebuilding and styling the front-end branding to help your business stand out from the crowd. Though even with custom web designer intervention, this route comes with its limitations - namely, ensuring your website remains secure and can be updated as your business grows.
Due to the Wordpress base code being open source, this means that the platform is a constant target for hackers and fraudsters. Open source code means that websites are accessible to anyone and everyone, and this is hard to keep on top of from both a business owner and website developer standpoint.
Wordpress sites also need constant plugin updates in order to be kept secure, and this process isn’t always straightforward. Plugin updates can often crash and break the layout or webpage, interfering with the original template or updated design and therefore requiring additional fixes and work - and these fixes aren’t always guaranteed. Finding alternative plugins to test is also very time consuming and will again result in additional hours for your custom web designer.
Not only this, but some plugins and features can stop working without warning or be pulled from the market with no notice. Some plugins also load content from external servers which has the potential to slow down your website if they aren’t matched to the speed of your website.
So overall, although Wordpress offers quick and instantly stylish results, maintaining an operating and growing business long-term through the platform can end up opening a can of worms that causes more problems than it solves.
Alternatively, investing more time and money early on into developing a completely bespoke custom website design commission offers you the ultimate flexibility of building functionality and visual appeal around your brand identity. Naturally, this design route is more expensive than opting for Wordpress, so can simply be out of the question for many small businesses who are still finding their feet - however, for those who are serious about their investment in business growth, the bespoke option shouldn’t be ignored for the sake of a quick win on Wordpress.
Firstly, unless a third party integration is involved there isn’t any need for a custom web designer to update or maintain any plugins in order to keep the site running at its best - all plugins are developed in house. This in itself means that most custom bespoke websites can run for years without the need for any technical or design support, providing the lead in time allows for the website to be built with care and attention.
Every single piece of code is also written in house, meaning that any bugs or glitches that occur can be addressed and fixed instantly. There is no reliance on third party plugins (which can completely dictate how your site runs and disrupt operations if they develop a bug!).
What’s more, bespoke websites can be updated or extended with new features or changes at any given time, without the need to rebuild the entire website or worry about integration limitations that some platforms (like Wordpress) can impose. Your website becomes totally flexible and can truly adapt to work for you. Even third party features can be integrated and styled to seamlessly match the rest of your branding and design - your custom web designer’s job becomes so much easier and the possibilities for where your website can go next are unlimited.
There are a number of factors that feed into every key business decision - and website direction is no different. Depending on your timeframe, budget, goals, and industry, you could be looking at a different outcome or web design solution in order to make your online business perform as you want it to. For many business owners, the Wordpress vs. bespoke website decision is one that people struggle with, and that’s exactly why it’s important to seek advice and think strategically about your project.
Kartogram has extensive experience both developing custom web designs and adapting existing Wordpress websites. Our team is always happy to answer any questions about either process and consult with you about which direction might be best for your growing business.
Contact Kartogram to find out more.