Should I Pay For Website Development Or Use A Theme?

The internet has changed website development. Not that that’s big news or anything, but the reality is that the more it changes the more confused people tend to get. As a website developer, I’ve seen this first hand in the interactions I’ve had with potential customers over the past 3 years of being self-employed.

The rise of major players in the web design/development industry, and the fall of many small website development firms has also played a big role in this confusion. In this article I’ll try to clarify a few misconceptions and hopefully help you decide which route is best for you and your business.

What Is Custom Website Development?

Let’s start off by clarifying that both custom website development and themes require extensive web development. Both options require an individual or team of developers to take a design and create the code necessary for it to run. Both options likewise have many of the same obstacles to overcome when they’re are being developed including speed, cross browser support, mobile support, and ease of use.

Custom website development is distinct from a theme in that custom website development is not only the process of setting up a website for your business, but the process of finding your business’ unique needs and then creating a solution that is specific to those needs.

A web development agency that provides custom website development as a service will not only be able to deliver a nice looking website to your business, but will also take many things into consideration. They must first understand your business in depth, this usually happens after many visitations with you so that the agency can get an understanding of the product/service you offer. The agency must also have an understanding of your average customer and the process that the customer takes when making a decision to purchase from you. Once these steps have been taken the agency will work hard to build your business a comprehensive solution that will help your customers purchase from you.

In short custom website development is a multi-faceted process to provide your business with the best online solution possible.

What Are Website Themes?

Website themes are pre packaged website layouts that can be customized to the look and feel of your business. Themes are usually very affordable and can come with many options for layouts, colors, logos, etc. Themes can also be very confusing to someone who is not used to handling them because they’re created to be used by multiple people for multiple applications.

Does this mean that a theme can’t be used to meet your business’ online needs? Not exactly. Themes can be very broad in their application or very specific. In many instances theme developers will create themes specific to an industry to meet the needs of that industry as a whole. This can be very beneficial to your business because it allows you to get premium features that would normally be very costly to build in custom development.

Themes can also be very risky. Not all theme developers are experts, and in many cases themes can be done in such a way that they end up worsening the situation rather than helping. On the bright side you can always hire an expert web developer to setup and maintain your theme while still remaining on a friendly budget. The developer should be involved in choosing the theme, because as the expert he will be able to discern which themes are safe and which themes you should avoid.

Final Thoughts

Like I said before website development can be a bit confusing. Because of the success of search engines (namely Google) your website is the first impression that most potential customers will get of your business, so it is important to make sure that it helps them to buy from you. Whether you decide to go with a theme or custom website development is entirely up to you, your business’ needs, and your budget. Either way it’s important that you use a good developer who is an expert in this area. If you would like more information or are interested in custom website development or refreshing your current website with a brand new theme feel free to contact me!