What is a bespoke website?
If well made, they are uniquely designed and developed, highly functional, attractive websites that shun the standardised templates millions already use. Whilst there are plenty of open-source, set formats at your disposal online, these tools often have their limitations. The beauty of bespoke websites is that they are specifically tailored to your business, from the design to the Content Management System (CMS).
The main benefits of choosing bespoke
Tailored – having every aspect of your website tailored around your business, from the look, functionality, security and managing tools means the database code isn't bloated. Instead it is streamlined, being built around your specific requirements. A 'one size fits all' solution has extra code built in as standard, much of which is often unnecessary for most businesses, resulting in a website that can be slow to load, and less able to fit the needs of the business efficiently and effectively.
Search Engine Optimisation and social media – in the digital age we live in, SEO and social media are of vital importance for attracting the right audience to visit your website. With bespoke websites, these elements can be built-in from the outset. Site code can be effectively catered to improve contributing SEO factors, such as page loading speed and mobile-friendliness.
E-commerce – bespoke websites can be built around your sales goals, to target the right audience by creating a shopping experience specific to the customer. With control over the design and functionality, the site is created with the user in mind. A bespoke built website can also “speak” to third party software through APIs – and if the API doesn’t exist, an expert developer can create a solution that will ensure that your new website can communicate with other essential business software, creating a streamlined solution. With template sites, the more you stray away from the set formats, the more issues can be found in terms of design and usability.
CMS – with the freedom to organise your CMS in the way that suits you best, you can have it sectioned and searchable for enhanced ease of use for yourself and your team – your built up CMS only needs to include what you are going to use, without excessive buttons that'll never be applicable. Ordinarily, the developers who build your bespoke CMS will offer ongoing support and training if needed.
Unique vs. WordPress
Unique – your bespoke website can be as individual as your business, with personalised features and functionality to suit you and your users, freeing you from the restrictions of having to follow a set format. Bespoke is the way forward to give your website an 'edge' over competitors. There are an abundance of different systems and software that can be integrated into your bespoke website, if desired.
Plus, a bespoke site enables you to own your website – a site built using a template solution, or with third party or open source software, can never be fully owned by you or your business, meaning that if you wanted to move the site away from the company that built it, you would either have to pay a hefty “release fee” or start again from scratch.
With around 30% of sites today powered by WordPress, it's the world's most popular online web building platform, and is a particular favourite with hobbyists and small businesses. If you want your website to be used as more of a business tool, bespoke would be the better choice, particularly if your business is larger or solely online. WordPress can be well suited to simpler, brochure-style sites that don’t require a lot of demanding functionality.
However, WordPress can present recurring problems:
Security – as the core files are released free of charge, hackers can exploit this, meaning it needs to update regularly. Bespoke websites are often more secure, giving you more protection from common vulnerabilities. On WordPress, one website being impacted can then have a domino effect, putting other WordPress sites in danger. Bespoke websites would need to be directly targeted for weaknesses, which would normally be a much lengthier, more difficult process, which is ultimately less appealing to hackers.
Auto Updates – these are a necessity due to the appeal WordPress presents to hackers, but regular auto updates can result in the breakage of plugins and themes, leading to new security holes for hackers to exploit.
Plugins – whilst you can install WordPress plugins with ease, it's never guaranteed that they are written correctly, or that they won’t be conflicting with what is already implemented on your website. Inexperienced WordPress users might add multiple plugins, which can slow or break the site along with producing further security risks.
Costs - Whilst initially WordPress might seem like a quick, cheap and easy solution, in the long term, it can become costly, especially if it is continually managed by an external source, along with the monthly price of web hosting and domain adding up. With a bespoke website, you pay for the functions you will utilise.
All in all, bespoke websites are recommended if you want a unique website, built to suit your business that is secure and future-proof. Whilst WordPress has its pros and cons, it can be a viable option if you want a smaller, simpler site.
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