There are many ways to build a website today. It can be as simple as using a free website template provider or as elaborate as writing your own HTML, Java, Python, or other type of web development code. Depending on your budget and level of investment in a website project, some of these methods may be better than others. For the majority of public figures, small brands, and other websites that only require the basics, website builders like Squarespace and Wix can work just fine. While these templated website builders can offer adequate solutions for those looking to stick with a pared-down, attractive site, they are often too limited for businesses or brands looking for more dynamic options. If you need anything that website builders don’t offer, or expect your site to grow into something more unique in the future, the best option is to take advantage of custom website building services. At MLT Group LLC, we help companies and brands create innovative, high-functioning websites with our services for SEO marketing, design, and complete web development in Minneapolis, MN.
MLT Group offers comprehensive marketing and design services, including SEO strategies, digital marketing campaigns, web and graphic design, social media marketing, and video production. Our mission as a third-party marketing firm is to help clients achieve their content goals and sustain long-term success as an online presence.
The number of website builders available to a wide range of individuals, brands, businesses, and content creators has grown exponentially in the last five years. Template-based website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify make building a quality website attainable for those without coding skills or a budget they can use to pay a third-party website builder to create from the ground up. These sites have many benefits, and they’ve been integral to thousands of small businesses establishing their online brand.
As of 2021, Squarespace has about 3.8 million subscribers with a starting price of $16 a month for personal sites, and Wix has about 200 million subscribers and offers a free template program in addition to their more expensive upgrades. Website builders like these are great systems for building nice-looking, simple sites that can incorporate basic e-commerce with added costs.
If these capable systems are available for such low pricing, you may be wondering why any business would utilize custom websites that are built either in-house by their own marketing team or built by a third-party builder. Despite their many benefits for quick, low-cost, and generally well-designed sites, these template systems have significant drawbacks for brands that want to give themselves room to grow into prosperity.
The Benefits of a Custom Build
When it comes to quality web development for your business, you shouldn’t have to waste time or money on a unique website that fits your brand’s aesthetics and offers peak performance. Even if you own a small business, it’s worth it to invest in a custom website that you can take with you as you grow your brand, instead of using that energy and expense now to create a template-based website that will limit you down the road.
Templates Limit Design and Future Growth
Custom websites are not limited by the template system that website builders like Squarespace and Wix use. The templates those builders use are generic outlines that, while they offer some customization options, often end up resembling many other sites out there. If you rely on website builder templates, you could even have a site that’s similar to one or more of your direct competitors. Website builder templates also limit the functionality of your site in addition to the aesthetic design. Most of these templates don’t allow growth for added marketing tools like multi-faceted blog integration, distinctive e-commerce systems, and custom calendars.
Custom Sites Have Better Integration
Custom websites can also integrate with almost any service that has an API (Application Programming Interface). Some website builders do allow for basic integrations of services, but these are very restricted capabilities. Again, the templates will limit your ability to integrate new features and tools into your site. If you are using one of the many website builder templates and you attempt some integration, it could jumble your entire site. Custom sites are built to work with all exterior integration via APIs, so you can continue to make your online presence more dynamic with a richer site.
Custom Sites Have Better Mobile-first Designs
Another benefit of a custom site is the ability to completely control the way your website looks on a desktop or a mobile device. Every website should have full functionality on both device screens, since most people access sites on both platforms today. The largest issue that website builders have with mobile device translation is handling content blocks. As text, images, and other content sections are relayed into a mobile setting, they tend to stack and jumble in ways that are difficult for users to process. A custom site can go beyond the simple translation of a desktop website display into a mobile device. Instead of mirroring into a mobile format, custom sites can contain two distinct programs for the larger landscape screen of a desktop and the smaller portrait screen of a smart phone or other mobile device.
Website Builders Limit Multi-Development and Staging
Website builders like Wix and Squarespace do allow you to build your site, make changes, and see the final product before it’s published for the world to see, but those development stages and detail work-outs are much more limited than when you build a custom site. Custom-built websites can spend much more time in multi-tiered development environments while each aspect of the site design is staged, tested for functionality, and meshed with each other. Since custom sites often allow for greater complexity and higher system capabilities, this development and staging time is a critical component of the quality control process.
Custom Sites For Web Development Can Grow with You
The simplicity, ease, and cost of a website builder might look like a good option for where your business is now, but what about how your brand will grow in the next five or ten years? Your website’s functions should be able to grow with your company and continue to allow space for new marketing tools, e-commerce abilities, design features, and more. We can’t always predict the new technology that will be available in the future of web design, but custom sites built today are created on a foundation that’s set up for long-term growth and the integration of new internet rules, web design systems, and brand changes. For most small businesses, a website builder template can help you create an online presence now, but custom sites will give you that space for now and for the future.
Benefits of Custom Websites
There are many other reasons why a custom website is more beneficial to businesses of all shapes and sizes than website builder systems like Wix and Squarespace (including the fact that the accrued costs of a website builder subscription often equal the initial costs of a custom website set up), but these are just a few of the most significant points of interest.
If you’re considering working with a third-party marketing firm to build a custom website after reading this, we can help. MLT Group offers fully customizable web development in Minneapolis, MN, including building a custom website. Contact us at (507) 281-3490, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online today to learn more.