There is no doubt that it’s necessary for your business to have an online presence in order to capture the attention of prospective and current customers. While social media is certainly a good idea, it’s not enough. Every company, no matter how large or small, must have a website in order to be taken seriously. It’s not just about putting together a quick site, however. The way your site looks and functions is a direct reflection on your business and it should be well thought out.
One of the things to consider is whether to use a pre-made or a custom theme. There are a plethora of free and paid theme templates available for the most popular content management systems (CMSs), but there are definite drawbacks to using them. By contrast, a custom theme gives there are 7 benefits of a custom CMS theme that should be considered by web designers and business owners alike.
Disadvantages of Pre-made Themes
The fastest and least expensive way to build a website is to use one of the pre-made themes available through a CMS. A custom theme, on the other hand, will take weeks to design and implement and it will cost significantly more. It’s quite common for smaller businesses with limited resources to opt for the cheaper, quicker pre-made template just to get things going. The problem is, there may be hundreds of other non-related businesses and even competitors using the same theme. Saving a few dollars up front can have a detrimental impact on the business’s brand image by creating confusion among prospects and customers.
Key Benefits of a Custom CMS Theme
Beyond the difference in pricing and creation time, there are some key benefits of choosing a custom CMS theme over one that’s pre-made.
Every business is unique. Even companies that operate in the same industry and offer the same basic products and services are not exactly alike. Differentiating your company from everyone else is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Therefore, your website needs to be as unique as your business. The only way to ensure that is by using a custom theme. It will give your site a tailor-made appearance that exudes professionalism, trustworthiness, attention to detail, and creativity.
Pre-made themes are designed to appeal to the masses. The designers of these themes try to include as much functionality as possible so that users have some level of control over the configuration of their site. This causes the site’s load time to be extremely slow. Visitors won’t stick around to wait and Google’s algorithms will pick up on it and the site’s ranking will fall. A custom theme only contains the functions that are necessary. That means the site loads faster making visitors and Google much happier with it.
Flexibility and Scalability
One of the major downfalls of pre-made themes is that they aren’t very flexible or scalable. The needs of a business and its website change over time and a theme that can’t grow with it is a liability. For example, if the site’s traffic dramatically increases and the theme can’t handle it, customers will be lost and business will suffer. A custom designed theme, on the other hand, can be created with growth in mind. This allows the company to add functionality as it’s needed without having to start all over from scratch.
pre-made themes, as mentioned previously, come with a ton of features designed to appeal to as many people as possible. The problem with that is all of the administration functions for those features are crammed into the back end. It’s incredibly difficult to wade through all of the settings to find the right ones and to make adjustments. A custom theme only contains the functions that are necessary for the admin without all the bloat. That makes the webmaster’s job much easier, faster, and more efficient.
A hot topic of conversation surrounding business websites is security. Google has said they’ll put precedence over sites that with SSL over those that don’t. Beyond the benefits of ranking higher in search results, security also comes into play on the back end of a website. An open source CMS can leave customer and company data vulnerable to theft and alterations. A custom theme with high levels of security in place ensures data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
In the not so distant past, optimizing a website for mobile was an option. These days, it’s an absolute necessity as over 75% of U.S. and more than 50% of worldwide internet users use mobile devices. What’s more, Google’s Mobile-First Indexing ranks mobile sites higher than web only sites. While most pre-made themes are mobile-friendly, this isn’t always the case. It is far better then, for a business to use a custom theme that is designed with mobile in mind.
Achieve Business Goals
The main reason for building a business website is to accomplish a specific task or goal. Whether you’re all about building brand awareness, selling your products or services, or generating leads your site has to perform flawlessly. A custom theme that is based on your business’s goals is imperative. If you’re restricted by the limits set by a theme design that you’re trying to make fit you’ll struggle to get where you want to go. It’s tough enough to outdo your competition, so why make it harder?
As a business owner, you have a multitude of decisions to make every day that will either lead you to success or failure. You’re well aware of the fact that you need a web presence that attracts prospects, generates leads, and maybe even converts some sales. After reading this, you also know that you can’t just grab a pre-made CMS theme and expect it to perform all those functions. If you want to maximize your website’s reach and accomplish your business goals, you need a custom designed theme. It will set your business apart from everyone else and give you a major advantage over your competition.