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Building a Template Website - Pros & Cons

Why Your Firm’s Next Website Should be a Custom Built Site

     -     Nov 20th, 2017   -     Web Design   -     0 Comments

There comes a time in a marketer’s career when they have the opportunity to redesign their firm’s website. This can be an exciting yet stressful time because other responsibilities and activities are placed on the back burner in order to dedicate the proper amount of time and attention required for a project of this nature. Beyond this, there are many questions to consider when preparing your website RFP including whether or not you want a custom or a template built site. This is often a confusing question for many accounting marketers because they don’t understand the difference. To simply, a template website is one that has been built by a third-party provider and the web company is simply customizing various pieces of it for use by your firm. A custom built site is one that has been designed from scratch, which includes both design and functionality specifically tailored for your firm and it’s needs. (To learn more about template sites, visit our recent post on the pros and cons of this approach.) Since the product often looks the same it’s hard to distinguish between the two. To help our friends, clients, prospects and others understand why they should custom build a website, FlashPoint Marketing has provided key points below.

Benefit of Custom Built Websites

  • Scalability – Even the most well designed and built websites need to be updated or changed at some point in the future, and it’s most common for a firm to want to enhance or create new functionality. As the needs of the firm change so do the needs of the website. Unfortunately, if your firm used a template site it can be difficult to make substantial changes without having to invest significant resources. In some cases, we’ve had to deliver the unwelcome news that it would be more affordable for a firm to simply start over vs. trying to enhance their template site. It’s not uncommon for a template site to be difficult to build upon and change whereas it’s universally easier to make changes to custom sites.
  • Maintenance – Most marketing professionals have worked with WordPress and are familiar with the platform and the plug in updates that are regularly published and should be updated. These are important in order to maintain site functionality or to ensure the latest security features are available to protect your site. If an update breaks a template site that has not been properly maintained by the template creator, your firm is out of luck. You will be stuck running an older version of WordPress which exposes your firm to increasing security risks as time goes on.
  • Your Site for You – One of the best things about a custom-built site is that it’s designed with you for your firm. The look of the site is completely unique and can match the branding, messaging and other important essentials of your firm . Remember, a template site is pre-built, so you are simply fitting your branding and visual assets into a generic template to make it your own. A custom website is yours from the start, so you are building the site from the ground up around your branding, value proposition and key messaging. The result is a “one of a kind” product that reflects your firm.
  • Enhanced SEO – Custom built websites are much better for search engine optimization (SEO) compared to template sites. Working with a SEO specialist that understands your industry, marketing goals and strategy is always recommended, and it’s important to note that site structure and layout impacts your firm’s ability to generate new leads. In a template site, functionality is often built in the fastest way possible with little consideration given to the SEO component. When building a custom site there is opportunity to carefully review SEO best practices and determine how/if they should be built into your site. This is critical because if the site is not built for SEO it will be difficult to attract qualified prospects to your site let alone build that element in on a template site.


Contact Us

There are many considerations that need to be made when redesigning your firm’s website. One of the most important is what type of site you will need and how it should be created. Remember, once the site is built you will be stuck with it, so make it a great one! If you have questions about custom built sites or are looking for a firm to assist with your next site redesign, FlashPoint Marketing can help! For additional information please call us at (720) 535-5047, or click here for email. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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