Everything You Should Know About Custom Website Design and Development

Web design (service) – What is custom web design?

Custom web design is a term familiar to any website design company, as well as web developers, designers and other professionals in the IT field. However, if you are not too savvy in this sphere, it’s not easy to understand their meaning. Moreover, people often misuse these terms or use them without understanding their sense correctly.

A lot of website design companies consider custom design to be slight adjustments to a standard WordPress template. They just change a couple of colors, or interface and graphic elements. This is not a custom development project in its traditional meaning. However, a client wouldn’t even think to guess that he’s been deceived, and pays the full cost of web development from scratch. Our website design company would like to explain the origin and value of such term for you to speak a common language with developers and prevent any deception when ordering any web development services for your business or personal needs.

What are the major benefits of custom design creation?

It is beyond argument that by ordering a unique design and development of your web page you will be awarded by getting a solution that covers your personal business goals and interests. The resulting website will fully correspond to your business structure.

On the other hand, by using common templates you will encounter a discrepancy between their capabilities and requirements of your business. Our website design company in Philadelphia often deals with such problems. For example, once our website design company was ordered to create a website for pizza restaurant, and asked owners, why there were no pricing for mid-size pizzas on their previous website. There were only prices for small and big sizes. The answer was not surprising: “We had no such option in the template we chose for our online ordering service, and there was no chance to customize it properly”. As a result, for a couple of years most of their clients from the internet were simply unaware that mid-size pizzas actually existed in that restaurant. Imagine how much their real ecommerce profit was off from their potential! There are dozens of such backlogs, and each one has its own impact on their business.

Considering SEO (search engine optimization) and rankings in Google, corporate websites designed from the ground up will be closer to the TOP in search results compared to template-based counterparts. It’s also better in terms of adapting an online service or website to the target audience. For instance, if you sell skateboards, first you need to consider developing the mobile version because your main target is going to be younger. They will visit your pages from mobile devices. If the website is targeted more at older age segment, a desktop version should be the priority. In most of cases it makes sense to develop a responsive site that will look and feel comfortable regardless of the device it’s visited from.

How to differentiate custom design from a standard template?

In order to make sure that design of your site is a real and unique design, check the following points:

  • The design has been created from scratch, and it’s specs are based completely on the specific needs of your company.
  • No templates or snippets from previous projects were used for your website design creation.
  • The result completely reflects all of the niche properties of your business
  • Your website is like no other, it looks unique and recognizable.

Why I often see articles like “Why custom design is dead”?

Individual design and development of a website is a unique creative solution that lowers the popularity of companies and firms that provide standard template-based solutions. For instance such commercial giants like WordPress or Wix post paid articles and research in order to convince potential clients that websites based on templates and site builders are perfect for their business. They engage famous bloggers and opinion leaders to translate their vision to public. Nevertheless, it’s just an attempt to mislead people.

Usually an individual design of a website is presented in these posts as an extremely expensive and time-consuming product that has no tangible advantages compared to a cheaper, standard solutions. It is an unprofessional point of view. Solutions like WIX are suitable only for a limited number of clients and only as a temporary alternative. If you want to get maximum benefit from your online audience, customize the design of your webpage.

Who needs and who doesn’t need custom web design?

It doesn’t mean that design created with the help of a template is totally unacceptable and cannot be used at all. Let’s consider the cases, where individual website design is a must, and where it makes sense to go for some template solutions.

At first, It’s impossible to implement by template means such projects as websites for advertising agencies, creative agencies, web development companies, software companies, furniture design studios and all firms related to art, creative work and advertising. You create something beautiful for your customers. That is why your own web page must be especially eye-catching and recognizable.

Banks and any organizations related to finance, consulting firms, lawyers – all “white collar” also need a unique design. The website that represents such type of business must look presentable, as people entrust you with their money, ask for advice in business, etc. And if you develop a web page using a template, it will look like you don’t have enough money for a serious project, and that means you’re not successful in your vertical. It seriously dents confidence in your professional success.

If you have lots of competitors, and your field is overcrowded, you need custom web design, too. For example, any highly competitive markets, e-commerce organizations, offshore sellers and etc. It’s important to you to stand out from the myriad of similar companies, stay on top and keep competitors behind is a must. Custom websites are a perfect way of creating a unique character for your own business and help to achieve your goals.

Note the sites for any service providers, especially services for business. For instance, Plumbers, AC, Damage Restoration, Cleaning, etc. Websites of service providers are very diversified, similar to the companies operating in this market. However, each company has lots of minor differences, and all of them should be properly displayed on the website. You need to look unique and simple at the same time, as busy people surf online from all possible devices. Responsive design always helps you with these problems.

Don’t forget about unique, exclusive services or products. If you sell exclusive loft-style furniture, bags from famous fashion designers or rich wood trunks that cost a few thousand dollars each, you cannot afford yourself having a website based on a template. It is like you would sell Porsche in WalMart. Your customers will not even understand such an approach. They are used to the best quality and comfort in everything.

And what about template-based websites? What kinds of sites can use this and why?

Any websites for short-term purposes don’t need a custom design. If you release a new product or service for a short time term, go for using a template. For instance, it can be a small website for an annual marathon in your city, etc. If your initial idea becomes popular and brings you income, then it will make sense to invest in this option.

If you decided to develop a website for your blog, you don’t need professional design, too. WordPress or platforms like WIX help you more. You will get the required solution with minimum expenses.

A template-based website is the best for a startup project. When you’ve only design your idea, research the potential demand, it doesn’t make sense to spend much on a website. However avoid showing a freezing template-based site with lots of bugs here and there to a potential investor asking for his money! It will not convince him to support your startup.

Websites for your hobbies and entertainments. For example, your dog’s photo gallery or the site about your wedding. Most likely you simply want to have fun or only present your site to friends on a big screen. For these, you don’t need a responsive layout.There are a lot of interesting solutions for quick development of such websites. It will look pretty good and have affordable pricing.

What else need you to know about custom website design?

If you use services of some local small and unknown studio, it’s better not to order this service. Most likely such a team will not have enough professional experience. You will get website that doesn’t fit your visual expectations and functional requirements. Sometimes a small company that wants to earn good reputation goes for outsourcing complex projects to third-party specialists, but it results in a higher custom design cost and longer development process. These projects should be implemented by experienced, qualified team of designers and developers, and it is more about serious companies with a proven reputation.

A Non-template design projects will take much more time for development compared to a template-based page. For Direct Line Development, a website design company in Philadelphia, it takes about 4-8 weeks from an idea discussion to complete project delivery. A client receives a result that is worth the time spent on development. Investments into affordable custom web design performed by our team are always paid off in the best possible way – our clients get new customers and growing profits for the long-term.

Speaking about the budget, unique designs are costly. However, in this case the individual design pricing is fully justified. If you divide the budget spent to 3-5 years of website usage, the price will not feel so daunting. Taking into account the attractiveness of high-quality, unique and user friendly website for customers, it is more than a reasonable investment.


Imagine that you ordered a nice suit online, and you will be wearing it every day during the next 3-5 years. It’s the most popular size and model. It will look good in photos, and it will have a very attractive price. But do you really want to wear such common, characterless clothes?

You’re not an ordinary person, and you may have some non-standard parameters or maybe you prefer blue, while others buy grey. Why should you adapt your taste and needs to all these standards and majority opinion? You have the right to be on top with your unique vision and mind, implementing your ecommerce ideas in the best possible manner.

Custom web design is similar to a suit that designers create completely to your preferences, and it will perfectly fit your body and style. The Direct Line Development, a website design company in Philadelphia is the right atelier to “tailor” a website that will completely fulfill your goals.