What’s The Difference Between Bespoke And Off-The-Shelf Websites?

All businesses, whatever their size and purpose, need a web presence in 2022. Customers can now make an online search of any product or service they are looking for, even if they intend to actually purchase or access from an in-person location later on. Therefore, a professional and easy to use website is a no-brainer.

When searching for a business website solution, it boils down to two choices: have a bespoke site designed and developed by an expert, or use a pre-built template to make the site yourself. For those on a limited budget, it may be tempting to go for the DIY route. Here’s a look at the difference in functionality between these two options.

An off-the-shelf website can be put online in a few hours, even by someone with no coding experience. Certain items, such as logos and images, can be put in place with a so-called ‘drag and drop’ function. A low-cost site may also give you some limited choice as to colour palettes and fonts.

A range of devices are now used to access the web, from phones, to tablets, and laptops and desktops, so anyone deciding to use a template should check out have it looks across all platforms. The site should not simply shrink to fit different sizes of screen; the layout and readability of the site should adapt to suit the device it is displayed on.

An off-the-shelf website will struggle to make a visual impact in a saturated market, as they tend to have a generic feel. You may find it is impossible to make your own brand identity display as you wish, and the flexibility of the design is severely limited.

Template sites which need to display much more than small amounts of information will need various plug-ins to make them functional. This adds to the cost of the site, and the time and level of expertise needed to maintain. It can also make the loading speed slower, as third-party plug-ins tend to be clunky and code-heavy.

On the other hand, a bespoke, or custom website is one that is designed uniquely for the purpose of the business. It can be developed from HTML5/CSS3, or from a template base, such as Word Press or Magento.

The customer journey will be at the heart of a custom-built site, meaning that it will be rank highly in internet searches, have an easy-to-use navigation system, and have fast loading speeds. The site will look exactly as the business wants it to look, with no compromises. This helps the business to stand out in a competitive market.

Finally, a website that is designed and coded by a team of experts will benefit from the highest safety and security standards. Even if they are working on a template-base site, they will customise the add-ons to make them unique. Template sites which rely on open-source code and third-party add-ons are a known target for hackers.

Therefore, although the initial investment needed is greater, a bespoke website is a must-have for a forward-thinking business in 2022. If you are looking for a white label WordPress agency, talk to us today.