So many options.
But what’s right for me?
This is a common question nowadays.
With the likes of Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly just to name a few, setting up a website is as simple and cheap as ever. Anywhere between free and a couple hundred dollars a month (plus a few hours of work) will have your site up and running.
Yet, everyday there are people and businesses spending thousands, and tens of thousands of dollars, on custom websites developed for them.
Why in the world spend so much money on a website, when there are plenty of EXCELLENT cost-effective options out there?
But more importantly, should YOU invest in a custom site? Or is a turn-key options the right choice for you?
Keep reading as I simplify the answer, giving a real life example to show the gains a custom site can give you, ultimately showing you how to look at turn-key and custom solutions.
I hope you gain clarity.
Let us move away from the scary world of technology for a moment, and instead, picture yourself spending a day in the mall
Walking around, you see your favorite clothing store on the right. The outside of the window has a big sign that says “30% Off”, so of course you walk right in.
You could really use another dress for the summer, so you steer to the back right of the store, easily finding where the dresses are.
After looking for a few minutes, you are holding 2 dresses, a skirt and shirt that you saw on a mannequin, and of course you needed more socks (who doesn’t) so you grabbed a few pairs.
It is 30% off, after all.
You try them on, check yourself out in the large mirrors, decide what to keep, and head to the counter.
As you are waiting in line, you see some sort of cute accessory for $6.99 and pick one up. Once we’re spending might as well add a couple things, right?
You get to the counter, the lady behind asks “If your a member? Would you like to sign up? We just need your email? And of course you’ll get an additional 15% off…”
You walk out happy with your purchases and continue on with your wonderful day, excited to show your best friend all the wonderful things you got.
You walked in needing a dress.
But you didn’t just leave with a dress did you?
No, you considered getting 2 dresses, a skirt, a shirt, a couple pairs of socks, and some random accessory which you will probably never use.
And you came out happy!?
How does that happen?
Do you have a shopping addiction? (Don’t answer that)
Do you have no clue what to do with your money and therefore walk into random stores buying random unnecessary items?? (Again, don’t answer that)
Or Is it just random?
Do you think it was a coincidence that you found a couple additional things besides what you were looking for?
Well, let me ask you, do you think this multi-million dollar company resorts to luck and coincidence to get its customers to purchase more than they planned? Or do you think they may have put some real thought into how to make that happen?
The answer is obvious.
This company has put a lot of thought into how best to sell as much as possible.
And they accomplish that by understanding their clientele, and by setting up their store to cater to their customers wants and desires, thereby selling more stuff.
Let me show you what I mean.
Take for example the random accessories available while waiting in line.
They are specifically there because they aren’t an item you would normally use your time to buy.
But your stuck in line already, you have nothing else to do. Might as well check out that cute random thing that caught your eye
Or how about the fact that their are dressed up mannequins. Do you think it’s purely for design?
It’s not, it’s also there to upsell.
Because you may like the skirt on the mannequin, but you would have never thought to get the shirt with it. Seeing them together though, may change your mind.
The same thing goes with the layout of the store. It’s not random. It’s set up so that you can see various getups and decide to purchase an entire “look” instead of one individual item.
Things are organized based on which products compliment each other.
Reason being, the stores wants to influence you to purchase as much as possible.
And they spend a lot of time into creating a store that will accomplish that.
That was some wonderful information, but what in the world did that have to do with whether to get a custom website or not???
Sheesh, relax. I’ll explain.
The connection is simple.
The same way a store can just be a place to show the dresses you are selling, or it can be a thought out experience that creates the desired results for its business, so too a website.
And that is the difference between a custom website and a template website.
Custom means every part of your site was created to serve a purpose.
There’s nothing extra, there’s nothing that doesn’t cater to your clientele. Your site becomes an extension of your company, an additional, powerful, tool for your business.
A template site though is generic. It is built in a way that makes it as easy as possible for you to set up your website. Which is great, but that means there can be things that aren’t done in the best way possible.
It means that you don’t need to put thought into every little detail. Therefore things can be extra, missing, out of place, or just not used out to their full potential.
I can go on for pages and pages about different examples bringing out this point. But I won’t. (Mostly because my fingers are hurting by now, typing is exhausting. And because I think everyone gets the point by now)
I’ll just get to the practical application part.
Let’s get to how you should look at custom vs turn-key solutions.
In short, you have to evaluate what exactly you are trying to accomplish with your website, and ensure your website can express that.
Template sites most definitely can do that for some. And sometimes they most definitely cannot. Very often, you need a bit of both custom and turn-key.
But the important part, is having a custom attitude.
Identify your needs.
Then get a website that every part of it serves the purpose you need it to serve.
It’s very possible that you can find turn-key solutions that will perfectly fit some of your needs.
For example, if one of your needs is that customers can pay online, then there are plenty of turn-key solutions available that would PERFECTLY solve that need.
Practically every website platform out there has this feature available. So using these features is the same thing as getting a custom solution.
And that is the true meaning of custom.
“Custom means that every part of your site was created to serve a purpose”
It’s not about paying someone to build something from scratch. It’s about using your website to serve a purpose.
So, to answer my original question of “How To Know If a Custom Website is Right For You”
The answer is:
A custom website is right for everyone.
But sometimes your custom site happens to be a turn-key solution.
Hope this helped you gain clarity.
If you need more help using software to grow your business I’d be happy to help!
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