There’s no question about it, the internet is the future for all companies big and small. Companies that don’t offer their services online are likely to get replaced. When even the government has shifted most of its services online, you know it’s time to move. For any company, building a website and optimizing it for search engine results should be a number one priority if they haven’t already. In this article we are going to cover an important question – Is it worth investing more time and money for a custom-developed website over a WordPress website?
What is a custom-developed website?
The name should be pretty self-explanatory, but since you asked nicely, we’ll take a look. Creating a custom website is all about building a website that’s tailor-made to your requirements. The capabilities and functionality of a custom-developed website are limitless. However, building a website in this manner will require a great deal of technical knowledge. Companies usually hire web developers to build a unique website that satisfies their requirements.
Let’s talk about WordPress websites
Simply put, WordPress is an open-source Content Management System or CMS tool that makes it easy to manage trivial aspects of your website without needing to get technical. The process of building a WordPress website isn’t very difficult and while a company will still need to hire developers, the cost is likely to be more affordable because of the lower skill requirement. However, as we will see, WordPress websites are quite limited in their capabilities, and there’s a reason the overwhelming majority of sites developed with WordPress comprise simple blog sites.
Why you should prefer custom-developed websites
1. Uniqueness, Adaptability, and User Experience
If you check out WordPress sites regularly, you’ll notice that except for the text, the layouts start to seem familiar! This is because, when you create a WordPress website, you have to choose from an array of pre-set themes. Once you’ve chosen a theme, you will be bound to its design and elements for the rest of your website’s development. While there are a number of themes, there’s always the chance of your theme matching that of other websites or even that of your competitor. Wouldn’t you rather avoid that? You don’t want your customers to feel like you’ve plagiarized another website. With custom-developed websites, you can ensure originality in design.
With WordPress websites, you’re not just limited by customization options; your website will also not be able to flexibly accommodate changes to website functionality and design. With most templates, the most you can do to tweak a WordPress website is to change things like fonts, text sizes, colors, and layouts. Due to all the bulky databases, codebases, and additional plugins you will inevitably end up using, WordPress website loading times tend to be slow. Page speed and responsiveness are crucial to any website and lack of these can detrimentally affect user experience.
2. Functionality, Security, and Maintenance
When you’re working with WordPress, complex features and customization won’t be easy to implement. The theme you end up choosing can turn out to be very limiting functionality-wise. Custom websites allow you to break free from template designs and leverage your creative freedom. With a custom website, you can introduce any new functionality and integrations into your website without worrying about plugin incompatibilities. WordPress lacks several features which are listed below.
- Web Caching – The included WordPress cache is not powerful enough to handle heavy traffic and cannot be relied upon. You will have to look into additional plugins, some of which cost a fee and tend to be outdated.
- Custom User Roles with permissions – WordPress only has 5 user roles and their permissions cannot be modified. A custom website will give you better control over who can do what.
- Social Media Integration – For websites centered around content creation, native integration for popular web services like Twitter and Facebook is essential to improve engagement with their audience.
- Site Statistics and Search – Visualising your website’s traffic can help you understand what content clicks with your audience. This feature is not inbuilt with WordPress. The built-in search feature is also very lacking.
While some of these features can be added or extended via plugins, this will end up slowing down your website substantially.
WordPress being open-source is more vulnerable to exploits and security measures aren’t as stringent as with custom solutions. A recent WordPress data breach affected over 100,000 websites. WordPress is one of the most hacked content management systems, with more than 70% of installations being vulnerable to malicious hackers. Some other compromises with WordPress websites are Maintenance and Support. With custom websites, you get more flexibility with hosting solutions and direct support from the agency you enlist or the developers you hire.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
Custom-built websites tend to be favored by search engines like Google and are a far superior choice for digital marketing, primarily because the SEO elements can be better incorporated natively onto a custom website They usually rank higher with search engines than ones built with templates using WordPress. This can play an important role in gaining leads and conversions on the internet. The SEO tools that come with WordPress are very limited in their functionality and anything beyond that will require additional plugins which pose security and performance risks. A custom website gives you full control over the code and a good digital marketing agency will take advantage of this to construct a website for you that is SEO-friendly from top to bottom.
The main downside to custom-developed websites is the cost. Hiring professional web developers and designers can be expensive. For those who want a trivial website and aren’t too concerned with user experience and conversions, a WordPress website could be a cheaper alternative. A custom website has to be developed from scratch, and while this might be expensive, statistics show that you can expect a far higher rate of interest than from a WordPress website. Stick with custom websites if you want to build your unique brand and make your websites look and work just the way you want.
Check this additional resource to learn more about custom-developed websites vs WordPress websites. After going through the pros and cons of both options, make an informed decision. If you have any comments