Websites have a limited shelf life and for lots of different reasons they sometimes need to be replaced. When companies have skilled staff in house, it can be tempting to purchase a template and allocate this project internally. There are three words for this approach, don’t do it! There are many reasons companies consider going down the template website path. Limited resources, time, money and skills. In theory, these are all perfectly legitimate reasons to consider this option, however, based on our experience in practice the outcome is rarely successful. At best, the result is a half built website and a frustrated team. After sinking a lot of time and resources they end up allocating the project to a website company and having to start all over again.
Engaging with a specialist website company to build a custom website site, means that the project is allocated a dedicated Project Manager. This is the person that will champion your cause with the designers and developers to get your site built within the negotiated timeframe. Engaging a good website company ensures that the project will receive the attention and support necessary to achieve a great result, within the budget and timeframe required.
A company’s website is required to reinforce organisational branding and build brand recognition. Although it sounds simple enough, it takes specific expertise and skills to achieve this. A great example of this is Active Safety, where OneClick incorporated design elements from the company’s branding right through the entire website. Websites also need to grab user’s attention through attractive design, clear brand proposition and calls to action. Easy navigation and pathways through the site are a must for site users. Custom designed websites are malleable and facilitate options to create a unique experience for site visitors. A positive user experience means they are more likely to come back and that’s the whole point. A website design company can map out the user experience (UX) and wireframe the website right from the start, ensuring all business process and UX design needs are detailed and delivered.
Modern templates often come complete with responsive design built in. However, this is a very generic approach and may not display company specific content very well. It is more likely that content will need to be designed around the template and that could be a very frustrating and limiting experience. It would be like buying size six shoes for size eight feet and trying to squeeze your feet in. Working with a custom design company allows for individual page type fine tuning and optimal responsive page display for all content.
Just like website design, search engine optimisation (SEO) moves along at a rapid pace. The requirements for achieving strong organic Google rankings change as frequently as Auckland weather. Custom designed websites can ensure that the latest SEO principles are embedded in your site structure and your account manager can educate the team on how to control this independently and leverage that process moving forward.
Companies are different and often have unique variations around processes and functions that work for them. When a template platform with generic functionality is used to build a website, the business will be required to adapt processes to fit the standard template. Should extra functionality be required, then it’s simply not an option. The advantage of working with a skilled website design company is that the website will be designed to fit the business as it is. Extra functionality for specific processing is not a problem, this can be added as required and updated as the company evolves. The website can also be integrated with other areas of the business, for example sales orders from the website going straight through to the accounting system. When a company requires functionality that is not standard and requires some development such as integration with CRM or ERP systems, a client portal or web-based application, the only way to achieve this is by engaging with a website design company with experience in app design and integration.