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Bespoke vs WordPress

Fact: The best bespoke websites are designed and built around individual business needs and processes

Many of our websites are bespoke but we're often asked, “What is a bespoke website and why should I pay extra for one?”

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Three colleagues sat on sofas around a coffee table review and discuss an image during a design meeting.

Bespoke design is not bespoke development

A bespoke website is not just a website with a 'unique' design – that is a bespoke design and is absolutely not the same thing. Design is just what the website looks like. It is likely built on an off-the-shelf platform like WordPress or Wix.

This is a problem in the industry itself, created to confuse customers into thinking that they're getting something totally bespoke when actually it's just the design that's bespoke (even then templates are often used, so be very careful).

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Every single aspect of a bespoke website is tailored to the needs of a business with the ultimate goal of generating revenue (or contributing to the business objectives, whatever that looks like), while saving money in the long-run. Of course, a bespoke site will likely cost more, but it is an investment or asset that will generate ongoing income.

Is a bespoke website that is designed and built for you always better than an off-the-shelf solution like WordPress? No. If you have no special requirements and your website isn’t causing you any headaches at all, then a simple, boxed solution could be right for you.

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What is bespoke development?

Bespoke development is a site crafted to do exactly what you need it to - great for businesses with unique procedures. On the other hand, an off-the-shelf website, such as a WordPress website, is limited in how far it can be customised without incurring the same (if not higher) costs as a bespoke site. And don’t forget, all the plugins used need updating and can break.

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Have you ever used a system, some software or even an object that was OK, but just didn’t quite cut the mustard? You probably had to improvise slightly to get it to do the one thing it was missing that was crucial for you, and you wish you could speak to whoever built it and tell them to add what you need.

A bespoke website or system overcomes such problems by working in tandem with your already established procedures and methods without adding complexity - ultimately saving time and energy in the long-run - and this is why it must be considered as investment.

The top 4 advantages a bespoke website can offer:

1. Business process alignment

What is this? Every business is different and unique, despite any similarities. Why? Each one is run by an individual(s) who thinks differently; what works for one may not work for another.

A competent web developer or agency will listen to the way you do things and ask about the processes you have in place first, so that when they build your custom website, it accurately mirrors these. This means instead of you having to change your process and add procedures to fit around the needs of a limited website, the website dovetails into your business; even making it easier in some cases.

2. Automation

There is a misconception that websites are mere ‘pages of a book’ and all they do is put images and text together and show them to users (oversimplification we know, but you get the point).

The reality is pretty much anything can be done with code. In fact, a website could be used to control your house if you wanted it to and had the applicable software to integrate with (see next point). It would be impossible to list all the possible processes a website or even web application could automate. But here's how some we've helped clients:

  • Automated staff and client satisfaction surveys with response and feedback score collation, including downloadable PDF feedback reports, reducing time spent sending emails and adding up numbers.

  • Ability to add/manage products, images and details to their website, reducing time spent editing products one at a time.

  • Application forms with unique functionality, saving hours spent filling paper forms out and reducing the possibility of data breaches.

Whatever digital tasks you have, they can likely be automated. Consider how much the task is currently costing you. Could automating it save you that time (money) and enable you and your staff to focus on more important and valuable areas of the business? The automation could be as simple as removing the need for an administrator to print/open a form and enter it onto another system.

3. Integration

This naturally leads on from automation. Why? Because integrating your website with another system can save considerable administration time. Many applications and pieces of software have what’s called an API – think of it as a way for a website and another system(s) to have both one-way and two-way communication with each other. Common integrations are:

  • Warehouse systems: Enabling orders placed online to be sent to the warehouse system automatically.

  • Stock control systems: Allowing for real-time stock levels and automatic unpublishing of products as they go out of stock.

  • Email subscription lists: On request, users are automatically added to a mailing list.

  • Accounts software: For the automatic creation of invoices, revenue reports etc.

  • Finance providers: Users can apply for credit on their order with the website knowing the order is paid for if accepted for credit.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: User's details and behaviours can be added automatically.

  • Delivery options: Presenting users with real-time prices for delivery as well as delivery slots/times.

4. Duplication

Summing up the previous two points, anything your business is doing, the website can do for you. By integrating and automating processes, you and your team can spend the saved time driving the business forward, making more sales or perhaps negating the need to hire that extra pair of hands. For example, rather than having to print off an order, manually enter it into the warehouse and/or accounts system, and then update the stock system, it's all done simultaneously when the customer places an order online.

The purpose of this article isn’t to persuade you to buy a bespoke website; you may not need it. But have an honest and serious think about whether your business might benefit from it.

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Don't know if a bespoke website will complement your business?

Our team of designers, digital marketing experts and talented developers love creating websites that are tailored to your business. We want to hear about your project. If you'd like some help, drop us a line, or fill out the contact form.

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