If you are looking to build a new website and approach an agency, chances are their suggestions for a backend structure will revolve around common names like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and so on. They can build you beautiful, completely original websites on these platforms, these agencies claim. Their insistence brings up an important question: if the goal is a customized presence, why not go with a custom system?
If you ask that question, of course, you get a variety of answers. But what are underlying reasons behind these answers? Keep reading to find out just why most agencies simply don't custom build websites for their clients.
1) They Believe The Hype
No matter where you look, brands and agencies sing the praises of CMS systems like WordPress and Drupal. Marketing and web development professionals at agencies, who consistently read new content to keep their knowledge base up-to-date, are naturally exposed to these praises. As a result, it becomes easy to buy into the hype.
In truth, evaluation of individual CMS systems is almost impossible on a broad basis. The usability and veracity of these comparisons and evaluations differ greatly based on your individual needs. Yes, WordPress is great if you want to build your own blog. But what if you are looking for more complex applications? In that case, a different solution may simply be better.
But breaking down research and analysis can be difficult, and most agencies simply don't have the time or resources to conduct their own breakdowns. Instead, they simply repeat what everyone says: pre-built systems are great! The truth of that statement is another matter entirely.
2) They Are Looking For Profits
We won't be too cynical about this underlying reason for staying away from custom website builds, but it bears mentioning nonetheless: the profit margins for agencies tend to be higher when building a website based on a pre-existing template.
Think about it: building a website from scratch, including the CMS and the front end, takes considerably longer than simply building a few customizations on top of a template. With just a few changes, a website with the same basic functionality can look entirely different.
Website clients don't actively see the work put into building a website, so to them, a website that looks and 'feels' differently will be worth equally as much regardless of how different the backend is constructed. The difference comes in the deeper functionality and the website's ability to help you solve your unique business needs. But you won't find out those subtleties until later in the process, at which point, in many cases, the agency has already been paid.
3) They Don’t Have The Skill Set To Build Custom
Finally, this is probably the most significant underlying reason for agencies who don't build custom websites. Without the knowledge and expertise needed to stand up a website from scratch, they prefer to rely on pre-existing templates instead.
Consider starting your website code from a blank document, and then contrast that with simply modifying some CSS and HTML code on an existing template. The first requires significant amounts of both skill and vision, while the latter relies mainly on more basic, functional skills.
Most agencies, especially if their services are more marketing geared and less development oriented, focus more on the front-end, the design aspect of your website. As a result, the development process gets neglected, which is why template-based website systems like WordPress come in handy for these agencies. They allow them to build you a beautiful website without needing the expertise required to build one from scratch.
So next time you ask an agency to build your new website and they try to sell you on template-based systems, consider the above. And when you're ready for a truly custom website that is built specifically for your needs and specifications, contact us.