n the modern world, it seems inconceivable that any business would operate without some form of online presence. And although many companies have realised the power of social media by using it as a marketing platform to present their businesses to the world, that’s no longer enough to set you apart from the competition. That’s because almost all enterprises now have a social presence – no matter how small.

Enter websites. To really set yourself apart from the competition, the least you need is a website that displays your company information and that tells your potential customers who you are and what you do.

There are three main ways you can build your business website:

Website builder platforms (Wix, SITE123, 1&1, etc)
Open source content management systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc)
Custom websites professionally built from scratch and tailored to your business needs

Each of these comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, though today I want to discuss the top five benefits of using custom website development services.

1. Uniqueness

When using a website builder or CMS software, you’re generally given a ready-made theme to work with unless, of course, you pay to have one custom-built, though this can be expensive. This theme allows you to place certain elements on pages in preset styles and this can create an illusion of uniqueness, when you’re really restricted to the theme’s limitations. So, although you’re creating something using your own vision, it will inevitably look very similar to the hundreds, or possibly thousands, of other websites out there using the same theme.

With a Visit W3Schools custom website, there is no theme. The architecture of your website is built to your specifications and does not carry any limitations or restrictions on how the site will look. This means that no two websites that are built, look them same.

This uniqueness will also set your site apart from your competitors, allowing you to build your site around the customer journey and focusing the design and development on the narrative that your customers are most likely to follow.

2. Speed

A lot of website builders and CMSs come with a lot of built-in functionality. This is to cater for as many different users as possible, allowing these systems and platforms to target the biggest possible customer base. The problem is that every website created using these platforms comes with all of this functionality, regardless of whether it needs it or not.

This bloatware, as it is commonly known, can not only increase the complexity as a user but also affect the technical structure of the site which, in turn, can affect the time it takes the website to load.

Website load times are critical for your business, and can be the difference between landing and losing a customer, especially since users look at websites on mobile devices using mobile broadband. It’s such a big issue that Google weighed in through the DoubleClick platform, publishing a white paper on how speed affects publisher earnings, which indicates that over 50% of website visits are abandoned if a page takes longer than three seconds to load.

Custom building your website allows you to completely avoid unnecessary functionality and bloatware. In addition to avoiding unnecessary functionality, building each of the functions for your site allows you to optimise not only the functionality but also the design for these functions, further reducing load times.

3. Security

Website security has always been a hot topic on the internet. However, major security breaches in the last couple of years (Ashley Madison and Equifax are two prime examples), internet and website security has become a major focus for search engines, as well as consumers. It has gotten to the point where Google has set Chrome to automatically warn users if they’re entering any information on a form that’s hosted on a page that does not have SSL installed.

Even before this year, Google had been pushing for a web that operates under constant SSL, alluding to the fact that they may consider using SSL as part of their ranking algorithm. This, however, never seemed to catch hold, so instead of punishing website owners for non-SSL, they have put the risk squarely on the shoulders of websites who accept any form data over non-SSL pages.

Using an existing platform to build your website, whether it is a website builder or an open source CMS, opens your website up to vulnerabilities that affect all other websites using these platforms. This means that a vulnerability found on another site using that platform can be used to penetrate all other websites using that version of the platform.

Using a company that builds web software eliminates a large amount of these risks through two simple processes.

They should always develop with SSL in mind. This will lead to fewer issues later, as the entire site should be built from the ground up using SSL.

Their source code will be proprietary. They may use open source programming languages (PHP, Python, Ruby, etc), but their code will not be released to the public. This automatically decreases the risk of a breach, as the only way to find vulnerabilities in a custom-built site is through persistent penetration testing, which can be resource- and time- consuming.

Another important point here is that a lot of companies that custom build websites also host these websites for the customer (like we do), so a lot of the time, the hosting environment will be optimised for the security of the websites and applications that are hosted.

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