Web design has advanced a great deal during the lifetime of the World Wide Web. The first webpages were programmed in HTML and usually consisted solely of text and an occasional image. HTML evolved and programmers implemented more tools for websites, such as visitor counters and multimedia players. As demand for websites grew, demand also grew for website templates. Even businesses without HTML expertise could build websites.
There are now 1.6 billion websites available to search online. Unfortunately, websites built from templates, no matter how nice they look, do not stand out against the high volume of competition. Here are five elements that can — and should — be customized when you’re investing in a custom website design:
Custom Page Layouts
While it is often missed by most customers, page layouts unify a website. In layman’s terms, the page layout is the visual positioning of the elements of a page. Often, page layouts repeat throughout a website, adding to the website’s overall look and feel. This website branding is often selected to match the business’s print branding, including the colors, fonts, and designs used in its other marketing material. For example, a retailer’s website may use certain page design elements used in its print advertising to create a unifying brand. Keep in mind that branding contains the elements used by customers to recognize a business. By incorporating a business’s branding into its page layouts, the business builds its brand regardless of the content appearing on those pages. This brand-building often cannot occur with template websites. Rather, it often requires custom made websites from custom web developers.
Many websites rely on clip art and stock photographs and video for visual assets. Custom web developers often have connections with photographers, videographers, and graphic designers to create unique visuals for websites. Aside from avoiding the “that doctor looks like a model” or, worse yet, “I’ve seen that doctor before” problems that come from using stock visuals, website visitors will appreciate the effort that goes into using custom visuals.
Many businesses do not realize how much copy goes into a website: from photo captions to product and service descriptions to employee bios, websites use a lot of copy. Although business owners often wear many hats to save money, they are often too close to their own business to describe it effectively. Almost everyone has had an experience of visiting a website and wondering “what does that business do?” even after reading its “about us” page. Often, this problem is remedied simply by outsourcing the copy to a third party who can learn about the business and write copy from the outsider’s perspective.
Custom Specialty Needs
Almost everything is possible with a custom built website. A navigation bar that changes shapes or colors as the pointer moves over it? Popups that appear and disappear as the webpage is navigated? If it can be imagined, there is probably an experienced custom web developer who can create it.
Aside from visuals, however, are the inner workings of the website. Companies often provide customer portals on their websites to allow customers to access account information, make payments, and schedule appointments. This often requires creating an interface with the business’s internal software and databases. Custom web developers not only have experience with creating a website that functions as a marketing tool, but they are also computer programmers who can tie custom built websites into the other software used by a business.
Tailored to Mobile
A custom website development company can optimize a website for viewing on a mobile device. Mobile traffic is essential to a business’s online strategy since over half of the traffic to a business’s website comes from smartphones. Optimizing a website for mobile is not just about shrinking the display size. Since smartphones often use mobile data networks, the page loading speed is often a critical consideration for displaying websites on mobile devices. Moreover, navigation must also be considered since touch input is often less precise than mouse or touchpad input.
In sum, a custom website development company can provide many services that are not available with template websites. Custom page layouts, visuals, and copy, as well as the features specific to a business’s needs, can help a custom website stand out. For more information on the benefits of a custom website design, contact the developers at Studio98 today.