Website Builders vs. Custom Web Design

E-commerce is a rapidly growing market across the web. As the industry grows, so does the competition for customers. Besides expanding product offerings and prices, the best way to stand out from the crowd is to have a standout, custom web design – and a DIY site won’t cut it in today’s digital marketplace. Build your e-commerce site the same way you would build a brick-and-mortar store – unique and customized for your brand. If it’s easy to navigate, looks good, and draws the eye, customers will appreciate your business more than a generic digital storefront. Most web users are not web designers.

It’s easier to appreciate well-made sites than construct one. Establishing a presence online can be a challenge for the uninitiated. Unless you are a web designer, there are two main options for getting a website online – template sites and custom web design.

Template-Based Web Design

There are myriad choices available for “do-it-yourself” web design. These services, such as Squarespace or BigCommerce, allow you to build a website quickly and cheaply. They operate mainly by allowing users to select from a series of templates or themes from which they can base their website. Template-based websites and services have a low bar of entry for getting a website up and online quickly at a low cost. This simplicity is part of the reason these websites have been so successful for e-commerce businesses. Sites like Squarespace, for example, even come with e-commerce tools. There are also a variety of different theme choices available to customize a website – although inexperienced web builders are boxed in somewhat by the available choices on the market.

Dedicated e-commerce site builders and tools such as Shopify and BigCommerce are widely popular because of ease-of use and user experience. These services offer solutions for analytics and improvement, as well as diversification through the use of plugins. Users benefit from a variety of options with little overhead.

Custom Web Design

Another option available for e-commerce design is purchasing a website from a custom designer. Purchasing a unique web design comes with a higher overhead than using a preexisting theme from a website builder, like WordPress. However, it guarantees a unique e-commerce store and user experience – something that template web builders cannot offer their customers.

Ordering a custom website creates a completely original experience for your business and customers. A designer will make exactly the website that your business needs, meaning you will not have to reuse a less-than-perfect solution that someone else has already made. It also means you can communicate what you’ve always imagined for your site for a designer to create. Customization does come with a higher price tag, and it’s true that adapting a custom website is not as straightforward without a dedicated webmaster and some technical know-how, but the benefits are enormous.

The Right Site for Your Business

The main benefits that website builders offer is quick and easy use, and a lower upfront cost. The issue with this model, however, is that paying less also means getting less. Utilizing a preexisting theme on a website builder service, for example, boxes your company in should you wish to grow your site and store. The website itself is also hemmed in with options because of this. It is also worth noting that using a website builder’s theme means using the same theme as many other e commerce stores (and blogs, and portfolios, and more). In a saturated market, this does not help your brand’s efforts to stand out from the crowd.

Hiring a custom web design service, on the other hand, means your website will truly be one of a kind. Your website will have a unique brand that competitors cannot match, and that distinct and appealing look will stand out in customers’ minds – particularly if you are selling in a crowded market. A custom web designer can also optimize your website for SEO – search engine optimization – a marketing tool designed to increase your website’s prominence on the major search engines. Utilizing SEO efficiently increases publicity with internet shoppers. Optimization couldn’t be more important when few web users venture beyond the first page of a Google search.

The only major downsides to custom web design are cost and time, but it’s entirely possible to have a website up and running while working on a custom store that you can replace an older website with. Cost is another factor, but the reality is marketing investments for e-commerce is the most important expenditure of all. The industry is growing in customers and companies, and it will take everything to stand out.

About Imagine Monkey

Imagine Monkey is a web design company operating out of Orange County, with proven experience and skill in e-commerce web design . Our team is committed to creating the perfect website for your small business, unique and appealing with customer interest and maximum benefits for your business. Reach out to a professional web designer today to see how our skills can match your business needs.

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