Bespoke websites VS Template solutions

At Clicky, we pride ourselves on producing unique, hand-crafted and bespoke websites that meet our client’s requirements and truly reflect their brand.

As in any service industry, there will always be a cheaper and quicker option for buyers. Rightly so, clients are often inquisitive around the difference between template based and bespoke website solutions and indeed the impact this has on costs and timelines.

Why bespoke website development?

To explain the value proposition behind genuine bespoke website development projects and to help you make a more informed decision around the best option for your needs, we have summarised the pros and cons of each. Both options are most certainly viable but are very much dependent on your requirements, commercial goals and audiences. Below we have weighed up the reasons why you might consider a bespoke website over a pre-built system.

Pros of bespoke websites

  • Data-driven – Our strategy and insights team undertakes a detailed research discovery phase to completely understand your brand, your competitors and your target audience. The project is driven by real insight rather than assumptions.
  • Improved sales and ROI – Whilst a bespoke solution will undoubtedly come at a higher pricing point, it is important to consider the long-term ROI each option delivers. If your website is a leading source of leads, bookings, enquiries and revenue, it would be prudent to invest in a site that leads to amplified conversions. A bespoke website built after a research phase that focuses on your individual audience needs is much more likely to deliver greater impact more quickly and achieve performance longevity.
  • Security – Bespoke websites are more secure, reliable and offer a high level of security and hosting options. Security is planned specifically for your individual needs, rather than being predefined
  • Integrations – Bespoke websites allow you to plan and implement a tailored integration approach with any existing or new systems. Whilst this can be true for website templates, limitations are often imposed on the level of customisation that can be achieved
  • User journey – A data-driven site has a planned user journey and experience at the forefront of the development strategy, taking everything into consideration for the end-user. This allows you to have more control over the actions your customers can perform on your website, ensuring they navigate intuitively across the site to convert
  • Brand positioning – A tailored website allows for a unique and appropriate creative approach, that better reflects your brand style and guidelines. Template based websites often predefine the positioning, layouts and colours available with minimal design license
  • Differentiate from the competition – a bespoke website can help your business stand out from competitors in competitive markets, providing a unique and memorable experience for the end-user that positions the business positively and accurately amongst the audiences that matter
  • Flexibility – a bespoke design will offer a lot more flexibility in managing and maintaining your website, with customised CMS features to improve the efficiency of updating and administering the website

Cons of bespoke websites

    • Timelines – Project timelines are likely to be longer as almost every aspect is meticulously planned completely from scratch
    • Costly – The value proposition and the time dedicated by experts to deliver a solution that is completely tailored to your requirements inevitably leads to a greater investment requirement initially

Template website solutions

pros of template websites

  • Cheaper – Using a template will naturally keep overall costs down
  • Fast – Template websites are faster to produce which results in a quick project turnaround
  • Established formula – A template will have been used, tested and improved over many different sites, so for certain businesses in specific sectors, this can work well
  • Ease-of-use – Template sites cater to a large number of customers, and are easy to tweak and edit
  • Perfect for a facelift – Great for a site that has lost its modern touch, although it performs well, but would benefit from an aesthetics boost

Cons of template websites

  • Not fit for purpose – For the majority of our clients and their service provision, a bespoke website caters for each of their every requirement, which in turn accommodates their customer’s needs. However, limited integrations, a template website acts more like a brochure, which is great for some businesses, but as a whole does not deliver to the unique requirements of your target audience
  • Not data-driven – the user journey will be at it’s best, but lacking in personalisation as it has not been truly designed with the target audience at the forefront of the build – which could impact visitor experience
  • Less impact on conversions – if your site is your main driver of leads, bookings, sales or enquiries, you will need a highly efficient website that improves your conversion rate. A template may seem like a more viable option but will it deliver the metrics that matter?
  • Competition – How can you stand out from the crowd and establish a brand presence when templates have been used by many business and competitors already? A template build restricts you from adding your own brand voice and ethos.
  • Search engines – Most businesses want to be found in search results. Templates can perform slow and you will need an expert to ensure your pages are accurately tagged. Bespoke solutions mean you can ensure your SEO is giving you the best chance of being found by the searches relevant to your business
  • Security – watch out for hackers! Well known templates are a hackers dream so if your website contains customer data you will benefit from a bespoke website

What’s your verdict?

There are varying degrees of advantages and limitations involved with bespoke and template website solutions. Contact us for more information about our services or tweet @ClickyMedia to share your thoughts.

Written by Laura Hothersall

Agency Director

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