When Do You Need a Custom Website Developed

There are off-the-shelf website builders and templates everywhere. Wix, Weebly, WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify all offer websites you could get up and running, and looking pretty good, in a matter or hours or days – depending on your skill level, how many files you’ve accumulated to place on our website, and how much writing you’ve done already to make your brand unique.

But as your business grows, most people need a customized website. 

These websites offer advanced logos and branding, advanced plugins and tools and advanced business management tools – like those who offer shipping options, inventory management, and client databases. website developer picture

Custom website development is the process of creating a website tailored to your unique needs and specifications. It involves creating a website from the ground up, considering branding, design, functionality, and user experience. When you reach the point that you are generating so many sales that you’re spending all of your time keeping your doors open, and fulfilling orders or completing services, you need to hire a third party vendor, like SEO Design Chicago. 

We’re not the only company that offers these services, but you’re not also the only company that offers your goods or services. Strong companies know when to seek support. You may need our support when you hit one of the following issues:

The Need for a Unique Brand Identity:

One of the most compelling reasons to opt for a custom website is to establish and reinforce your brand’s unique identity Fruit of the Looms sells underwear. So does Victoria’s Secret. The difference? The founders of these companies figured out how to separate themselves into specific niches. And their websites reflect that they hired people (or outsourced the work to third party vendors like us) to make sure that uniqueness is reflected in a website’s design, word choice and e-commerce options.  While website builders and templates offer some customization options, they often come with limitations that can hinder your brand’s ability to stand out.

If you think your business or project needs a distinct visual identity, a specific color scheme with unique fonts, a custom website is the way to go. You can ensure that every aspect of your site, from the layout to the typography, aligns with your brand’s unique personality. Unless you have a tech background, and a knack for website design and writing, you should hire specialists, especially ones who have an established network of writers, developers and tech gurus. That’s what we offer – specialists we’ve vetted and whose work we stand behind.

Complex Functionality:

Some websites need tools – like e-commerce shopping options – and other websites don’t. For example, a website selling clothes needs to allow people to buy items online, and accept many forms of payment. You may also want to offer product recommendations when someone puts an item in their cart. After all, when someone buys a bathing suit, they probably need sunglasses and a towel. And if they don’t go through with the purchase, for whatever reason (the doorbell rings, the person’s mom calls or they balk at the price), you want to remind them of whatever they put in their cart the last time they visited. 

On the other hand, some sites that offer services don’t need all of those functions. Home repair businesses, massage therapists and hair salons should focus on allowing people to book services without having to make a phone call. 

While a basic website might serve your needs when you’re starting an online store, more complex functionalities might be required for certain businesses and projects. Custom websites allow you to build these advanced features from the ground up.

Some other reasons to customize websites for certain companies include businesses that need:

  • Client login portals
  • e-commerce platforms with specific payment integration
  • Virtual consultations
  • interactive web applications.


As your business grows, your website must adapt to accommodate the increasing demands of your audience and customers. You’ll need easier ways to add pages and products. And as your sales grow, so will your business needs. You’ll need digital tools to manage orders, inventory and employees. 

Generic website builders don’t help businesses grow. They help them start, but not grow.  You may encounter limitations on the number of products you can list, the volume of website traffic you can handle, or the customizations you can make as your business expands. Some website builders are just hard to use. WordPress, although powerful, is not the easiest content management system to learn. 

A custom website, on the other hand, can be built with scalability in mind. Your developers can design your website architecture to handle increased traffic, products, and functionalities as your business grows. We can also teach your employees and you how to handle your customized website, so you don’t need to pay us forever. 

Optimized Performance:

Slow-loading websites can result in high bounce rates (that means people leave your site right away because something about it annoys them) and poor search engine rankings. If you require a website that loads quickly and efficiently, especially when dealing with large media files or dynamic content, a custom website offers the opportunity to optimize every element for top performance. If you don’t know how to compress files on your own, and you don’t know what JavaScript is, you need us at SEO Design Chicago. 

SEO and Digital Marketing:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fundamental aspect of online visibility and attracting organic traffic to your website. While website builders often provide basic SEO features, they may not offer the level of customization and control needed to achieve optimal search engine rankings.

Custom websites can be built with SEO in mind from the ground up. Developers can implement technical SEO best practices, such as optimizing meta tags, creating a sitemap, and ensuring proper site structure. They can also build the site with the flexibility to implement advanced SEO strategies like schema markup and structured data, which can significantly improve your website’s visibility in search results.seo and digital marketing pictures

Security and Compliance:

Website security is paramount, especially if you are handling sensitive data, accepting online payments, or dealing with user accounts. Custom websites allow you to build a robust security framework, implementing the latest security measures and ensuring that your website is compliant with industry-specific regulations.

With a custom website, you have control over your security protocols, including encryption, user authentication, and data protection. You can also stay up to date with security updates and respond quickly to emerging threats, reducing the risk of data breaches and other security issues.

Integration and Third-Party Services:

Many businesses rely on various third-party services to operate efficiently. These services include  connecting with a CRM system, payment gateways, inventory management tools, or other business-critical software. When you have a custom website, you don’t need 100 different logins and a dozen different websites. We’ll create a one platform, one login, system for you.

Custom development allows you to tailor the integration process, ensuring that your website and the third-party services work in harmony, and you spend less time figuring out which tool does what. 

Content Management System (CMS) Customization:

While many website builders come with built-in CMS options, they may not offer the level of customization and control needed for your specific content management needs. 

Additionally, you can add custom features and plugins to your CMS, enhancing its capabilities to meet your unique content publishing needs. content managers

Data Ownership and Control:

When you use a website builder or template, you may be subject to terms and conditions that restrict your control over your website and its data. With a custom website, you own and control all aspects of your website, including the code, data, and hosting.

This means you are not tied to a specific hosting provider, and you have the freedom to move your website to a different server or host without restrictions. This level of control can be vital for long-term business continuity.

Tailored User Experience:

If your website’s primary focus is to provide a unique and tailored user experience, custom development is the way to go. Off-the-shelf solutions may not allow you to create highly personalized interfaces, navigation flows, and interactive elements that cater to your target audience.

Custom websites enable you to design the user experience precisely the way you envision it. This level of personalization can be a game-changer for industries such as luxury brands, high-end retailers, and businesses looking to offer an unforgettable online experience to their customers.

Website builders and templates are suitable for people looking for a quick online presence. But at some point, a custom website is not just a luxury but a necessity. When your brand identity, complex functionality, scalability, performance, SEO, security, integration, content management, data control, and user experience demand a higher level of customization, custom website development is necessary.  You can try to DIY it. But you’ll need a high level of tech skills, time and patience to do so. We may be able to do it for you faster and cheaper (especially when you factor in what your time is worth). Reach out to us a free SEO analysis. From there, we’ll assess your specific needs and goals carefully to determine if a custom website is the right solution for you.

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