One of the biggest debates, for a small to medium sized company about to have a web design done, is whether to have a bespoke website design or buy an off the shelf website. In general terms, off the shelf is slightly cheaper and bespoke incurs a more significant cost. So, is there really a reason to go bespoke over package, when you just want to sell a few products?
In general terms, the answer to this question is “depends on your business”. In more detail, the answer needs some dissection.
For instance, your business right now might only be selling one or two items. But that doesn’t mean it will remain so. If a business is intended to grow, it might be wiser to have a website designed with the capacity to grow with it; or at least to track down an off the shelf package where expansion capabilities are built into the system.
If a website is needed to interact with an existing company database, you might also find that the slight price increase incurred by having one bespoke built is a good idea. This is specifically true of product databases, where individual fields might need to be built into the content management system on your site but it also illustrates a wider point of interest.
Off the shelf websites require all businesses to shoehorn themselves into a predesigned format. In most cases, this simply means leaving off some of the built in functions or having to put up with a mismatch between less important database fields and the CMS built into the site’s back end. But even this can prevent your finished online home from giving a truly professional rendering of your business’ brand and personality.
For instance, as a customer, if you find a site where some of the links are dead ends or where there appears to be functionality that doesn’t have an obvious application in terms of the brand or the site’s intended uses, then you don’t feel overly confident about the quality of the company that owns it. It’s like walking into a restaurant where some of the tables haven’t been cleared or where there aren’t enough cutleries to go round. You will probably get fed but the experience is likely to be clunky or in some, otherwise, inadequate.
The bespoke website design, on the other hand, is tailored to the precise needs and personality of a brand. Plus, you can specify a bunch of built in functionality that is geared towards expansion at a later date.