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Custom built or CMS site?

You can request any type of site from your web designer. There are custom built sites that a designer can build from scratch or there are content management systems (CMS) like wordpress, magento, squarespace and wix that a web designer can build using templates. Each CMS site is different and some work better than others for e-commerce sites but a web designer will be able to tell you which will suit your business.

There are pros and cons of using CMS sites for your websites, but there are also major pros of a company building you a custom made site too, so you have to think about what you want out of your website.

If you want complete control over your site once its live then a CMS might seem like the best idea. They are designed to be simple and easy to use so even the biggest technophobe will have no problems running the site after the web designer hands it over. The CMS sites available are usually built using a theme/template which can be customised and can feature plugins for features that aren’t as standard.

The content of your site will be easy to update and change on a regular basis with a CMS, and you can assign people different as users on the system so each section is run by the appropriate person.

The cons of CMS sites though are that they are limited to what is available on them at any time. So a plugin that is helping your site work well could stop being updated and eventually stop working with the updates on your site. You have to work with what is available for the site and some features you really want may be very difficult to implement. Also once a template has been found and the site laid out, it can be quite difficult to change anything like that.

A custom built site will allow you to be very specific to your needs. If you don’t need to have control of the site once its live, or if it is a site that will pretty much run itself, then a custom build site will be perfect.

The major benefit of a custom built site though is the loading time. CMS sites with plugins – which are what will be needed to generate the non-generic features of your site – take a while to load when people first visit them, which is likely to increase your bounce rate. A custom site wont have this problem and may help keep people visiting for longer. A custom built site is also more secure when it comes to storing personal information, so if you need an e-commerce site then you might be best going custom built for security reasons.

Of course the problem with custom sites is that there will be a lot of technical upkeep to do that you may not be able to do yourself, meaning you might have to employ someone specially to maintain the site or keep your chosen web design company company on for longer in order for them to update everything for you.

One of the most common requests web designers get these days is actually the best of both worlds. Its the request to create a custom made site as a theme and install it onto wordpress with the custom built plugins etc they have had to build for you. This allows them to get the website they want and be able to add and amend the content on it frequently.

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