The benefits of bespoke web Design for your business have such a positive impact on you, your business and your customers/clients.
There are so many websites on the interweb and you as a business need to stand out from the crowd. Using a theme or builder won’t do you justice, nor will it make it easy to come out on top of your competition.
What you need is a bespoke web design.
Some of the key points in this blog post will cover the process you get and the relationship opportunity you get whilst having a bespoke web design developed for your business.
Let’s get to it!
The very first thing you get when having a bespoke website designed is the process you get. This is because when you work with an agency, they will have a set process in place.
This process makes sure that the website you have designed and developed is the best it can be for you and is totally unique for you.
It also makes the whole process a breeze for you, making the complicated things simple.
The process is generally broken down into manageable sections, here goes. The following process is what we at Canny use for you
If you would like to read more in-depth about our website design process, check out this nifty blog post on just that.
Website discovery session
The website discovery session is designed so an agency can learn more about you and your business, your website goals and marketing objectives, website visitors, what actions you want your visitors to take.
The website discovery session is the first step in forming a relationship between you and the agency. It is also the key to the success of your project, this is because it gives the agency great insight into your business and starts to get that ball rolling.
Once the ball is rolling, it’s time to move onto the next step. Wireframing and web design.
Wireframing and web design
Once the website discovery session is complete, the wireframing and web design can begin. This is where all the ideas for your website start to happen.
Once initial ideas and concepts have been discussed, the wireframing will begin. The website wireframe is designed to keep everyone focused on function, how users will use the site (user flow), rather than the form of the website (the fancy pants design).
Upon completion of the website wireframe, it will be explained to you giving you the reasons behind it. Any feedback can be given here and it’s the perfect time to do so before things get too far in.
Once you are happy with the wireframing, web design can begin. This is the high fidelity mockup of your website based on the wireframing.
Again, this is the perfect time to submit any feedback (what you like and don’t like or what you don’t understand).
Gere as Canny, as your website project progresses – we design, deliver and iterate meaning you end up with different paths to choose from and options to explore.
Once you have picked and chosen your options and are content on a final design (happy with the direction), the next step is to bring your website to life.
Bringing your website to life
This is where the developers get to work and start coding out your website. The steps prior to this are absolutely crucial in making sure this process goes as smoothly as possible.
This is because your website needs to be coded in a way that works with the design and works for you and your customers.
For this to happen everyone needs to be on the same page, you, the agency.
Here at Canny, we use WordPress to build out your websites. This allows you to easily edit and update your website. We also provide you with a nifty training session. This will also make any part of your website that may seem scary, a walk in the park.
The end result of the website design process makes sure you get a fully bespoke website that’s unique and works for you, your business and your customers.
It also sets the basis for forming a long-lasting relationship.
If you decide not to choose a bespoke website design, you may not get a fully bespoke website design process like the one above.
Let’s say you chose a theme to use off a marketplace. By choosing a theme, you and many thousands of people are also choosing the same theme.
For a theme to work for the masses, it needs to be designed and developed with “generic” in mind.
This means when the theme was designed and developed, the wireframing and design process would have been catered around the many different business types and target audiences making it generic.
You also will not get the opportunity to form a relationship with real people (the agency), but instead the marketplace and the “support” they provide.
Tailored to your business needs
A tailored website is what you need. Themes do not offer this, nor do packages.
Tailored means three simple things:
- Just what your business needs
- Goal and object oriented
- Uniqueness – Unlike themes or packages
Just what your business needs
What we mean when we say “just what your business needs”. We really mean just that.
You see with themes, you get everything thrown at you at once. You get many different page templates to choose from and get every feature and plugin under the sun.
Themes come with many features and plugins to make sure they work with a wide target audience (the many businesses that are using them).
Because of this, using a theme has the potential to seriously slow down your website and your site will look similar to other sites using the same theme.
Having a tailored website made for your business means only the page templates you need are created and used, any extra functionality that’s needed (such as SEO audits) can be added. There’ll be nothing added that won’t get used.
Goal and object oriented
The overall direction of your website will be based on your business goals and objects.
Let’s use an example to make this clear.
Say you were setting up a business to sell, you’d need an ecommerce website. An ecommerce site needs to allow your customers to buy from your website whenever it’s convenient. It’s also important that your ecommerce site sells without creating friction or complications for your visitors.
This means the website would work differently than a brochure website.
Let’s look at the primary goals and objectives of an ecommerce site:
Make a sale
- Get users on the ecommerce website
- Show them products/service they want to see
- Entice the users to purchase the product/service
- Make it easy for them to make the purchase
From here your ecommerce site needs to be sales driven. It should have a featured product hero with clear and concise call to actions. It should also allow the user to skip the single product page (add to cart then view cart), reducing the steps needed for the customer to make a purchase (skipping out on additional information – the single product page).
Comparing this to a brochure website. The brochure website would be information driven. Have a hero featuring the key product with a clear and concise call to action. It should also provide links to the single product page explaining more about the product.
This page would be the key step in the conversion process, as the user needs to see more information before they get in touch. An example of a brochure style website could be a design agency.
They could have the three services listed out on the home page, then these would go off to separate single pages explaining more about that service.
As you can see the goals and objectives have a big impact on how your website behaves.
If you’d like more information on this topic, check out this blog post on 10 of the best business website design tips.
Because a bespoke website will have what your business needs and is based on your goals and objectives it will be tailored to your needs.
Made with your customers in mind
Because the agency understands your business and customers (from the website discovery session), your business website will be designed with your customers in mind.
One area that is researched extensively is marketplace research
This means websites that are designed and developed for a particular purpose, meet the needs of the purpose down to a T.
One important thing to mention here is different people behave and act differently from one another.
These different groups of people expect websites they visit to behave in a particular way.
When having a website designed and developed, it’s important to know which group of people your business is targeting (your target market) so that the website can be made in a way so that your target market can effectively use your business website.
The main element when designing a website that’s going to be suitable for your business and it’s target market is user experience.
When having a bespoke website made, the user experience will be well defined, meaning it’s suitable for you and your target market.
User experience is how people interact with your website and the overall experience they have when interacting with your site.
User experience can be as something as simple as a call to action location or colour, or the right alignment of a menu.
If a call to action is in the wrong place, people may struggle to realise it is actually a call to action, or if the menu icon (to open the off-canvas menu) is in the wrong place, people may wonder where the menu is on mobile.
You have probably experienced this type of frustration yourself when browsing a website “where is this page, or how on earth do I access my account, or even delete my account, or have just completely missed the call to action).
Having a bespoke website makes sure the user experience is on point, meaning your users won’t experience frustration or miss anything when using your business website.
If you use a theme or builder, you may end up placing an element in the wrong place or make it the wrong colour which will have the negative impacts we just talked about.
Ease of use
It isn’t just your customers who benefit from the user experience that a bespoke website provides, but also yourself.
Because the agency is working alongside you throughout the website project, the agency learns about you.
By the time of development they know how you behave and what to expect, so the developer from this point onwards can make the website editable/updatable how you’d expect.
The developer can make the admin panel work around how you like to get stuff done.
In WordPress, there are many ways to set up the back end (the admin panel) and the front-end (your website). One way that works for one person may not work for you.
With themes you don’t get this type of optimisation, you get what the theme builder dictates or how the theme developer has set up the backend. In short, it has not been made for you.
We have heard it and you’ve probably heard it “it’s a struggle to update anything on my website.
A bespoke website has optimal UX, ease of use and is optimised to make SEO actually work.
If you are struggling to update your site, you are going to be spending time-fighting with it just to update it. You don’t want that.
The process, tailored to your business needs, made with your customers in mind and ease of use all contribute towards getting the structure of your website just right.
If you’d like to know more about getting your website structure just right, check out this blog post.
Updates and Scalability
Who doesn’t updates?
When having a bespoke website made for your business you’ll more than likely be working with an agency, in the long run, developing that healthy relationship.
Before we start to perambulate this section we’d like to mention one little thing, “my web developer has disappeared”.
This does really happen.
The last thing you want is for that to happen to you. What happens if you update your website (could be a major Woocommerce update) and it breaks your site? You are going to be stuck.
If you are working with a professional web agency, this won’t happen.
Updates range from simple website updates such as WordPress or WooCommerce to updates that require source code updates (your template files that make up your webpages – scary stuff if you don’t know what you’re doing).
Working with a professional agency will take every ounce of that weight off you.
Here at Canny, if you are on our hosting, we take care of you – we update and maintain your website as well as deal with any other drastic changes).
This leads to the next point. Scalability
Your bespoke website needs to grow as your business grows.
As it scales, it needs to remain fast and efficient. This means not every feature is added at once (like with themes). But instead, features are added in time as your business grows.
At Canny, we call this phase two.
It ensures you get what you need when your bespoke website project is complete and ensures your website can scale as you grow.
Phase two elements are pre-planned out and are in line with your business growth.
An example could be a content marketing plan that’s implemented upon launch of your website and people start to read your blog and in turn, start to get conversions through the blog.
It’s all well and good having a website that can easily have features added when needed, but it needs to be efficient at doing so.
If your website is properly planned out and has the correct structure from the ground up, scalability will not be an issue.
An example to explain this point could be increasing the range of services your business provides.
If your website structure has been set up correctly, the templates that are currently used for your services can be implemented for your new services with relative ease (slight modifications can be made to differentiate between the different services).
If you haven’t read our blog post (linked earlier) on how to get your website structure right, be sure to check it out. It’s the basis on allowing your website to be scalable.
Content influences the design of your website. A design that works for one specific set of content might not work for another.
Content is extremely important in order for your website to work and your website needs to be effective at presenting this content.
To make sure your website design will work with your content, it’s generally good to get some content from the very beginning.
This means during the initial design stage your web designer can create a design that works with your content.
If you are a startup you and have no content you can look at similar businesses (your pesky competition) and generate some content based off theirs. This is much better than coming up with random copy just for the sake of it. At this stage, you probably don’t even know what pages your website will end up having. So, looking at other businesses website content will be such a big help.
If you are having a rebrand you can simply use the content from your old site as a basis for your rebrand.
The disadvantage of having no content before the design process means your designer will end up working with their own filler content and this content may be different from the actual content you end up producing.
But a professional agency can cater for these changes, so there are no worries if you can’t develop the content.
On the contrary, if you are working with a theme, keep in mind the theme will be designed for generic use and it won’t be totally bespoke for your content.
Key points to include:
Your content will have keywords in it that search engines pick up.
When people search for key terms, the keywords in your content will be picked up by search engine and any page on your website that has the keywords will be ranked in the list of results.
If you have a bespoke website, you will more than likely have a content plan to go with it.
Having a plan in place means the correct content is used. This is an important step because your target market search for specific terms in search engines – you want your content to match what your target audience searches and you want them to visit your website.
The last thing you want is to generate content for the sake of filling up your webpages.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language used to structure your webpages. It’s what your web browser reads and presents.
A bespoke website means bespoke HTML – this is because the design of your bespoke website is unique, therefore uniquely structured HTML is needed.
A professional agency will make sure this HTML is up to standards in terms of accessibility.
Accessibility means how easy the website is to navigate and make sure that everyone can use the website.
If the HTML is of poor quality, this can impact things like the navigation of your website, if the navigation is poor people simply won’t use the website as they’ll get frustrated when they can’t get to where they need to be.
If people leave your website for reasons like the above, your bounce rate will go up. The bounce rate goes up when people visit your webpage and leave after a few seconds.
It is absolutely crucial that the HTML structure is right in order for your website to be usable.
Because your website is unique and is targeted towards a specific target audience. Your site needs to behave how your target audience expects. The HTML is the fundamental step in making sure your website is structured to how your target audience expects.
If using a theme, a “generic” structure of HTML will be used meaning it’s not tailored towards your business. It’ll have the same navigation principles as any other site using the same theme.
On Page site optimisation
SEO is an ongoing process. Having a bespoke website means continuous on-site optimisation can take place.
Some things on-page site optimisation includes are:
- The content of your webpage
- Good content supplies a demand (helpful for your target audience)
- Good content is linkable (content needs to be linkable – people need to be able to link to it – in order for search engines to rank it)
- Title tags
If you have a content plan in place your content will be able to supply the demand.
Having a bespoke website means SEO software can be installed properly (within the template files themselves) and not by a plugin.
This means the minimum amount of code is used to implement SEO software. This includes Google Analytics and HotJar.
Off-site page optimisation
Off-site page optimisation is another crucial element that ensures the success of your sites SEO and legitimacy.
Offsite SEO includes things like backlinks (linking back to your website from different sources).
If your content is trustworthy, people will begin to link to your website for others to access and read.
Search engines will use these backlinks as indications of the linked to (your website) content’s quality. A site with “high value” backlinks will rank better than a site with fewer backlinks.
Remember when we said earlier if using a theme you get every feature under the sun? Well, a theme will more than likely have a plugin for Google analytics.
These plugins have additional code that is just not needed when in reality a few simple lines of code can be added within the page templates.
These plugins increase the overall file size of your website, in turn, increasing loading times.
If you are working with a professional agency, they can add such features for you with a minimal amount of code.
Some things work and some things do not. You may think one idea you have works, but in reality, it simply won’t.
The first thing to mention here is that when working with themes you may end up positioning an element or changing the colour of it just because you like how it looks. But in reality, it doesn’t work.
The same goes for the designer working at an agency, they may come up with a design, but in reality, it just doesn’t work for your business.
This is where feedback comes into play. It is crucial feedback happens between both parties in order for a design to be totally successful.
When working with an agency, they will make sure communication is as simple as possible. They will also always be there for you on demand, unlike when working with a freelancer or marketplace. This is because an agency can cater for this (they have a full team for you to talk to).
Different parts of the team will communicate with you at different stages of your website project. For example, you’ll talk with the designer during the design stage and the developer during the development stage.
It isn’t just the feedback between you and the agency that’s important, but internal feedback (feedback between the different team members).
A bespoke website that matches your brand.
The advantage of having a bespoke website when it comes to your brand identity means it can easily fall in line with your brand identity.
This is because your website is designed and developed ground up for your business.
If you were to pick a theme or website builder, this would have predefined structures and styling that is aimed towards a generic target audience.
This can really damage your brand’s reputation.
It can damage your brand reputation because any predefined styles of the theme may be different to your brand guidelines and over time as more and more people use your website, they may see these styling inconsistencies and the similarities between your business website and other business websites using the same theme.
You may also get other web designers or developers, even agencies, looking at your website and they will instantly tell that your site is using a theme.
When having a website designed and developed you want to make sure it is tailored, unique, made with your customers in mind, is able to scale with you – it needs to work with your business as it grows. Otherwise, if it does not, it could lead to people not using your site, thus, damaging your brand image in the long run.
If you’d like to read more information on the cons of using website builders to build your website, read this post.
Now for the last benefit of having a bespoke website design made for your business. Relationship.
Here at Canny, we value partnership over profit, we cannot stress this enough. We won’t pie you off once your website project is complete.
This is where the phase two elements we mentioned before come in.
We can continuously work with you to improve how your website performs and to make sure the content you are producing is of standard (our content plan can seriously help you here).
We don’t just give you a bunch of content to output – we give you content that has value to your business and your clients.
Forming a long term relationship has a seriously positive impact on you, your business. Over time we will get to know each other better and we get a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of your business.
At this stage, you can even start to turn to us for advice, kind of like a sounding board for new ideas.
For example, let’s say you want to try a new landing page layout (switching it up a little), you can turn to us and present your ideas – if you are unsure of things, one thing that can be done is A/B testing .
This is the perfect way to find out if one thing works better than another.
If you are unsure of what A/B testing is, it isn’t as scary as it sounds, it’s really just comparing two different things (webpage layouts) and seeing what performs better.
For example, having two different locations of a button – one location might perform better than another.
Because we have a good understanding of you and your business at this stage we can advise on what will work and what will not.
What this means is that in the future when you have a new idea/concept or need something changed, you don’t have to worry about finding another agency or freelancer to do the work for you.
Also, just think about this. If you have a project completed by someone who then has no contact with you upon completion, that person (could be a freelancer or another agency) will lose touch with you and your business.
They won’t know what you are struggling with or what you are currently excelling with, you will have to get on the same page with each other there and then.
And getting a solid understanding of something doesn’t happen overnight.
Forming a partnership goes back to creating a fully bespoke website for you and your business.
Forming a partnership isn’t just all about work though, if you are working with an agency you can even go to them for a bit of chit chat (even let some steam off).
Here at Canny, our clients sometimes pop in and we have a chit chat around the table.
This is the time where you can get your problems off your chest and be provided with solutions.
It doesn’t just have to be in the office though, we like to visit clients on-site and talk to them over video call (have you up on the big screen at the table).
Conclusion: The Benefits of Bespoke Web Design for Your Business
As you can see, you get plenty of benefits when getting a bespoke website design for your business.
These benefits included:
- A solid web design process
- A goal and object oriented website that’s tailored towards your business
- A website designed with you and your customers in mind
- A website that’s easy for you to use
- A website that can scale as your business grows
- A website design that’s content focused
- A website that can efficiently be search engine optimised
- Receive feedback throughout your website project
- Receive support when needed
- The opportunity to form a relationship
If you go for a theme or theme builder, the chances are you are going to get none of the above, you’ll be making the site yourself and turning to the internet for help.
You may even find yourself needing to turn to a professional to help you out.
To give yourself the best start with your web design project, check out our post about writing a great web design brief. This should help put you on the right track.
Or, if you are serious about having a bespoke website design made for your business, check out our web design services.