By Andre Gwilliam •

Why Custom-Built Websites Give You More Control

Our specialist web development team here at Parallax understands what it means to have control of your own website. Today, most websites are supported through a Content Management System (CMS), giving businesses real-time access and allowing them to update their website content with ease.

We’ve found it’s often the case that fledging businesses and start-ups have less prior knowledge when it comes to designing and developing their company’s presence online – that’s where exploring the option of a custom-built website comes in handy. But finding the right platform is not without its pitfalls.

Take WordPress – the hugely popular online open-source blogging engine. It seemingly offers up a quick, easy and cheap route to setting up your new website. However, you need to consider the level of control a platform such as WordPress gives you later down the line – you might not be able to make serious design changes to your website at a later date. There’s a lot to consider, so we’ve put together some helpful tips as to why a custom-built website is the way forward.

Custom-Built Websites Give You Control

With a range of technical capabilities at our disposal here at Parallax and with our unique CMS service called Expose, we’re able to build custom websites keeping both SEO and design in mind. One recent example is the website we developed was for edenYale – not only were they really pleased with the overall finished product, our flexible CMS helps future-proof their online identity.

The content on your website should not only be engaging for people to read, it also needs to be optimised so it’s responsive for the search engines to crawl, helping it to rank for relevant key terms specific to your industry. Having a clear sense of your target audience, your competitors and your overall business aims can help us to develop an SEO friendly website for you. Furthermore, custom-built websites are completely separate from the mass of sites powered by WordPress.

As of December 2017, WordPress powers over 74 million websites – the figure now is likely to be even more. That’s a lot of websites. You have to ask yourself, is my website really that secure? Do you feel comfortable knowing that when you want to make changes online, there are millions of other domain users with similar templates, designs and the same blogging tool? It’s important to note that – thanks to a security flaw within the operating system – WordPress version 4.7.1 was targeted for a cyber attack that resulted in lots of content having to be removed. From a business and users’ perspective, this wasn’t good news at all.

Taking back control over the content you upload, edit and design on a custom-built CMS is a much better business decision for both the short and longer term – we believe so anyway.

Your Device Matters

Whether a potential customer wants to enquire about your services on a mobile device or desktop, having a custom-built website gives your audience the option to browse on both. You simply need to ensure your site is visually appealing and intuitive to navigate, no matter what device people are browsing on.

If you’re promoting your website and exploring paid advertisement on social media, it’s even more likely most of your users will connect to your website through a mobile phone. The e-commerce world continues to see a rise in mobile phone web sessions and purchases, so prepare to be visited on both platforms.

Templates Can be Problematic

If in the future you decide to completely change your website’s design and develop a new one, having a custom-built website in place will make this much simpler. Custom-built websites are great for evolving businesses – they grow as you grow. If you’re finding you’re stuck in the routine of using a particular template, this could prove problematic for you later. Having the choice of being able to update your website in real-time should not be underestimated. Website-building platforms such as WordPress offer some flexibility, but only to a point. The effectiveness of those websites is fervently debated online and it’s generally agreed custom-built websites are much more user-friendly, engaging and direct.

Bringing Value to Your Customers

Your customers don’t just want to invest their time and money in your products – they want to feel connected to your brand. Ultimately, you get to decide what business image you want to convey, but with a custom-built website, you’re given the choice of designing your website the way you want. It can be developed specifically to support your brand and modified in a consistent way as you continue to change.

The thousands of templates out there can easily cause confusion in your decision making. The truth is, most aren’t all that different from each other. The limited functions of platforms such as WordPress can hold you back on visuals and usability, quickly losing their value.

Our experienced developers here at Parallax understand precisely how and why businesses need to change the way a particular section of their website looks – and quickly. When, for example, new issues crop up on a WordPress site, a developer might only be able to fix or update those problems to a point. You may even end up running your website on an old version of WordPress because the updates haven’t supported your template, which is problematic both for progression and from a security standpoint. You may end up realising you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

E-commerce

As a business grows, so do their products and services. You may even branch out into offering your customers the option to purchase directly online. Custom-built websites offer a more organised and flexible approach for an e-commerce business. And as they’re hosted on a dedicated space rather than a shared one, it’s less likely you’ll run into issues that adversely affect your site.

Whatever happens, you won’t be thrown in at the deep end. If you’re simply exploring the idea, our team would be happy to meet with you to explore the avenues that are best for your business online – if you have any questions, please get in touch.