Learn what is a bespoke website development and why in today’s digital world is a must have for any Irish small business and startup.
Since the mid-2000s, there has been a revolution in web design that has allowed people of all backgrounds to try their hand at creating websites without having a background in either computer science, graphic, or web design.
Websites such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace (5 website builders for dummies in 2021 ), and a host of others have all made it easy to drag and drop elements so that within a matter of hours anyone can have a basic and reasonably presentable website up and running.
While this is certainly something to be applauded, the truth is that while an off-the-shelf theme, may serve your needs at the beginning of your online business journey, it will never feel quite as good as ‘the other guy’s site’ that seems to have something you can’t quite put your finger on that makes it more professional and attractive overall.
Going It Alone – DIY Web Development
You may have had the experience of going it alone and trying to add even more customizations, elements, widgets, and plugins to your site only to see its performance metrics decrease. Slowly, what was once an elegant enough design, turns into something of dog’s dinner, to put it charitably.
It happens to the best of us. And this is where the difference between a ground-up bespoke design differs from either a basic customization or a straight off-the-shelf template that you take from the WordPress marketplace or any other online outlet for basic website frontends.
What is Bespoke Website Design & Web Development?
The new model of empowering users to create their own websites is really wonderful, there will always be a significant difference versus a true ‘bespoke’ website design.
Imagine you sign up for a Wix website and you have numerous template themes to choose from. Once you make your decision, you go ahead and make changes such as where to place your email sign-up box, what colours you would like to use for the background, and so on.
All of these changes are great, but if you decide you need something more specific, such as changing the location of a menu bar, or adding in another menu bar to the side, for example, not every theme will allow for this.
Maybe you have chosen a theme that only allows one menu or perhaps the shape of the menu box doesn’t quite match your company brand. For this kind of change, you may need to dig into the code and if you are not a coder, this can be a very risky business.
In effect, if you choose a customizable theme, you won’t know what kind of in-built limits it has until you run up against them.
In the video below you can learn more about why I don’t recommend Wix as a content management system.
Bespoke Website Vs Customizable Website
A true bespoke website development, on the other hand, will be designed exactly to your specifications, down to every last customizable widget. If at a later time you need to make further changes, you already have a relationship developed with a developer who will know how to quickly and easily code the customization you need.
If you suddenly decide that you need a Halloween themed look at short notice, your developer will be able to quickly make those changes as against engaging in a futile battle with an allegedly ‘customizable’ but in reality, largely static, off-the-shelf theme.
Bespoke means unique. Customizable, leaves you at risk of having a website that is essentially the same as every other small business owner who stumbled across the theme you chose. You can be sure that every large successful business has a bespoke design and that, typically, is what makes the subtle difference between your plug-and-play site and their highly brand and customer-aware, custom-built bespoke design.
What is WordPress Web Design?
WordPress has changed the way websites are created around the world and anybody can get started with them. Just like any other website builder, you can pick a ‘ready-to-publish’ theme that can be up and running in minutes. By comparison, WordPress will give you much more options, even as a non-developer to customize and make the site your own.
The WordPress marketplace for themes and plugins is vast and if anything, it can be overwhelming to the new user and a very common problem among beginners is that they add in far too much functionality, also known as plugins, to their site, leaving it slow to load with things that often are rarely, if ever used.
While WordPress is accessible to the beginner, this is not to say that some of the biggest websites in the world aren’t running on WordPress. The platform is so robust and offers so much customizable functionality as well as the ability to edit the underlying code, that businesses of any size can run on this platform with websites that are to all intents and purposes, bespoke and made to order.
If you choose to go it alone on WordPress then of course your site may well meet your needs and be very presentable. But if you want your bespoke website development to really pop and stand out, you will need to craft it to the individual needs of your industry and niche.
A good developer will take the time to listen so that you can stand out from the competition by providing a unique customer experience for your clients in both the presentation of your goods and services as well as at the point of sale.
This is where a WordPress site developer can make all the difference. The job of creating a unique, custom WordPress web design that stands out from the crowd is something that only a skilled and responsive developer who knows how to listen to the client can do.
The huge advantage of WordPress over building a website from the ground up is that your developer can meet your needs much more rapidly and robustly than if they were to try and re-invent the wheel with a ground-up development. This would most likely involve a team of developers and lead to a result that is not better than a highly customized WordPress site created by a much smaller team or even by a single developer.
If there is a problem on your site that impacts your customers, you can contact your dev and have any fix or changes implemented as quickly as possible. With an off-the-shelf solution, you may have no recourse but to wait for a software update or new plugin that has both the functionality that you need as well as compatibility with the theme you’ve chosen for your website.
Needless to say, a bespoke website development on WordPress will be much more cost-effective than building from the ground up and there is no reason why a talented individual developer with deep experience of the WordPress platform and marketplace won’t be able to provide you the same quality and professionalism of a much larger website, but at a fraction of the cost.
So before you decide how to go about setting up your brand new website or upgrading your old one, let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
Advantages of a Bespoke WordPress Website
• Easily customized to your specific target audience
• Optimized for Social Media and SEO
• The world’s largest marketplace for functionality
• Highly robust platform running millions of sites
• Cost-effective vs a ‘ground-up’ build
• Rapid response to customer changing needs
• Built-in security
• There are great optimized Irish WordPress hosting companies
• Competitive advantage over your off-the-shelf competitor
• Built-in robust backup protocols
• Easily scale as your business grows
• Each website can be unique – bespoke website development
• 100% control over the look and feel
• Easy to set up when you have the right developer
• Site loading times optimized from day one
• Mobile and tablet friendly in the original design
• Ease of navigation with your specific customers in mind
Disadvantages of a Bespoke WordPress Website
• You need a developer to create it
• Additional functionality may cost money
• Advantages of an ‘Off-the-Shelf’ Website
• Cheap or even free
• Do-it-yourself option
• Great for simple portfolio or brochure websites
Disadvantages of an ‘Off-the-Shelf’ Website
• If there is a problem, you are on your own
• Limited functionality
• Difficult or impossible to customize
• Difficult or impossible to scale
• May be less secure
• Platform may not be robust
• Redundant code that slows your website down
• Code redundancy can hurt SEO metrics
• Looks the same as every other website
• One-size-fits-all site navigation
• Questionable mobile/tablet friendliness
• Slow response time to changing customer needs
Guess Who Else Loves WordPress?
Just because it is start-up friendly doesn’t mean that WordPress isn’t one of the most robust platforms in the world. There are many examples here are my top 3:
Yes really. All of these huge companies use WordPress because they know it’s safe, reliable, and inherently SEO friendly with a host of built-in features that Google and other search engines love. If you still don’t believe me then visit this website and see what it will tell you about the link.
A professional bespoke website development involves many tasks, planning and coding. The output is always effective and unique.
Why Hire Me?
If you are ready to scale your business, if you want to stand out from the competition, or even if you are just fed up with going it alone, then talk to me.
I am an experienced Dublin based freelance web developer, WordPress and SEO specialist. You can see my extensive portfolio of work, clearly demonstrating both my technical expertise and my ability to hear what the customer needs – learn more here.
I know what works to make a website unique, efficient, SEO friendly, scalable, and secure. I also know how to listen to what my clients tell me, to ensure that every project is a win-win collaborative effort to bring traffic, sales, and success to small and large businesses alike.
I take pride in my work and your final product will be delivered on time, according to budget, and only after everything has been approved by my stringent quality control protocols.
Whether you are starting out with a single-page brochure website or are looking to wow your audience with a 20-page blog, I have the solution. If you have any questions or want to discuss how I can help your business grow online today, don’t hesitate to reach out, I am always happy to talk.