Create Custom Coded Websites Instead of Webflow and Builders

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

Join me at the forefront of web design and digital marketing innovation. I am obsessed with web design, business philosophy and marketing performance.
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Investing in custom coded website design goes beyond a beautiful design and cyber security. Features like site speed, custom integrations, and enhanced user experience are just one of the main reasons why brands invest in custom websites. Custom Coded Websites are more expensive, but their profitability is exponentially larger than their investment. Let us explain how you can reap profits with custom-coded websites. Book a call with our experts to see how you can maximize your web development investment with your business.

Meticulously custom-coded websites marked the dawn of the internet. A Customizable WordPress dashboard with its polished interface was still far from the horizon; there was only a simple text editor. And although it took a lot of time and energy to create websites in this way, the code was clean and efficiently executed. By the time the internet entered almost every home on the planet and became the go-to source for information, there was a growing necessity for businesses to establish their online presence. A few things happened that announced the revolution in website creation:

  • People wanted an easier, faster, and cheaper way to build websites
  • Web developer tools such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage were invented
  • The world of web design evolved from simple text, links, and pictures to alluring interactive layouts

The emergence of drag-and-drop builders, themes, and plugins made the website creation process much simpler and, therefore, cheaper. Web designers and digital marketing agencies started offering more affordable websites, a practice that most business owners found very attractive. However, as our Chicago web development agency reveals in today’s article, this shift came with its own kind of hefty price. Builders and tools like WebFlow stifle the growth of companies that won’t compromise on their profit margin.

Table of Contents:
custom coded websites

The problem with themes and website builders

When people first started using themes and builders, search engines lacked indexing capabilities and advanced machine learning. During that time, those DIY tools actually served their purpose. The World Wide Web has come a long way since then. Today, search engines are more intelligent and efficient with the ability to crawl pages, so websites built on themes and plugins are proving to be problematic for businesses. Here are the most usual issues with these sites.

Slow Page Speed – A Major Turn-Off for Visitors

Picture yourself surfing the web, searching for information, or trying to find that perfect product to purchase. You click on a website page link, and then you realize it takes ages to load. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Slow-loading website pages can be a major turn-off for your visitors, and it’s something you should avoid at all costs.

All the flashy look aside, themes and builders are packed with codes that slow down the entire website. An abundance of nested elements requires extra processing power to render the page, so the more elements the website has, the slower it loads. Having lazy, slow-loading website pages directly impacts:

  • Your organic search rank
  • Your cost per click in paid search
  • User experience
  • The amount of time that visitors spend on your website

These components, in turn, impact your SEO and PPC campaigns since you are spending more money on inefficient methods. Furthermore, the longer it takes for your website to load, the more likely people are to bounce from your landing pages instead of converting. 

Vulnerable to hacks and malware

While website builders may seem like a convenient and cost-effective solution for creating a website, they come with many drawbacks. One significant disadvantage of website builders is their increased vulnerability to hacks and malware.

Many third-party themes, both free and paid, were made by developers as side projects. They neither have the time nor desire to maintain them. And third-party themes need constant updates to address vulnerabilities. This leaves websites outdated and susceptible to malware and hacks. Hackers aim at those kinds of websites and attack their weak points to access crucial information such as credit card numbers, customer data, and so on. The risk is simply way too big for any serious business to gamble with outdated themes and put the trust and privacy of their customers within reach of internet criminals’ hands.

Website editing systems also rely on shared code bases and templates, making it easier for cybercriminals to find and exploit security loopholes. Millions of people use such platforms worldwide, and a single vulnerability discovered in the template or plugin can potentially affect thousands of websites built on the same platform.

Not ready for Core Web Vitals

On August 31, 2021, Google introduced an important algorithm update, a set of standards used to rank websites and evaluate user experience. They named it Core Web Vitals, and it consists of three elements:

  • Largest contentful paint (LCP), which measures loading performance
  • Cumulative layout shift (CLS), which measures visual stability
  • First input delay (FID), which measures interactivity

The lower your site scores for each signal, the lower it will rank on the search engine results page. Each website builder has a unique code that you most often cannot access at all. As you can’t fine-tune your website when it struggles with performance, you are out of luck, and you are either stuck with it or in need of a completely new one. Builders are already falling behind search engine standards. And as engines are becoming more advanced, builders are bound to lose the pace even further. Aware of this, more and more businesses turn to hand coding and custom website options.

A dull way to display your credentials

The footer of your site harbors an extreme amount of untapped potential and has exceptional importance for website ROI. Intuitive and well-structured website footer design aids in creating a premium user experience since it contains all the necessary data and links that serve your visitor as well as your end goal. Your website footer should be organized in accordance with the type of business you are running. With website builders, you get the opposite – a generic-looking footer that neither serves its purpose nor it’s fun to look at.

Custom-coded websites are the solution

Even in the rapidly evolving digital world, there are still tried and true ways that passed the test of time. And custom-coded websites are one of those evergreen things. Having an eye-catching website front-end is what every business owner desires. However, how that facade is backed up on the back-end side of your website can make or break the experience that users have while interacting with your business. Here is why custom-coded websites are the way to go.

Websites load incredibly fast

When it comes to website performance, speed is crucial. And custom-coded websites have a distinct advantage over template-based solutions when it comes to loading times.The things that a third-party theme can do with tens of thousands of codes a professional developer can achieve with just a few hundred techniques. This way, you get a website that is not overcrowded with redundant elements that take a toll on the page speed. Clean, efficient, and organized code, such as the one that Sage WordPress theme provides, is easier for Google to work with. Due to this, your website enjoys a higher ranking spot on SERP, scores higher with Core Web Vitals, and provides a better user experience.

When hand-coding, developers can optimize each part of the site, including code snippets, images, and special-function buttons, reducing unnecessary bloat. This results in faster load times and a more streamlined user experience. In contrast, website builders and web design editors often come with bloated code and unnecessary features that can slow down your website.

Custom web development also offers the advantage of following efficient development life cycles and project planning goals. By focusing on speed and performance from the initial stages of web development, you can build a site optimized for speed without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics.

Responsive web design

Today, making your website look and function well on various devices and screen sizes is crucial. Custom-coded websites excel in delivering responsive web design. Whether your end-users reach you via desktop or mobile devices, you’ll present them with a seamless and uniform experience since custom-coded websites are equally responsive on all screen sizes. When you opt to build custom websites, your web design work is tailored to your specific needs and requirements. This level of customization allows for better control over the layout and appearance of your site on different devices. Unlike drag-and-drop template layouts many website builders provide, a custom approach ensures your site looks and functions optimally across various platforms.

While page builders do offer mobile websites, they can’t match the amount of responsiveness you get with hand-coding. With mobile devices accounting for more than half of global website traffic and also rapidly catching up in terms of mobile vs desktop conversion rates, responsiveness is something that a serious company mustn’t compromise. It is also one of the essential signals Google uses to rank your website.

SEO and PPC friendly

Combining fast page speed with a responsive design results in an SEO-friendly website with enhanced quality and quantity of organic traffic. Also, relevant landing pages increase your Google Ads Quality Score, which in turn boosts your PPC campaign performance. Custom-coded websites allow you to fix performance issues and actively work toward better Core Web Vitals scores.

By building a website with custom website code, small business owners can tailor their site’s structure and content to target specific keywords and phrases, optimizing their site for search engines. Customization also ensures that the website remains compliant with the latest SEO best practices, as you can easily add content, modify tags, and make other adjustments when necessary. And with custom-coded websites, it’s much easier to add Google Analytics and other tools that allow you to monitor your site’s performance and make data-driven decisions.

In contrast, web designing software systems and website builders often come with pre-set templates and layouts. This can limit your ability to optimize your site for Google and other search engines entirely. Also, these platforms way too often generate bloated code that can negatively impact page loading times, hindering both SEO and PPC performance.

Better overall security

When it comes to online presence, ensuring the safety of your website should be your top priority. Custom-coded websites offer better overall security compared to template-based website builders. One of the primary reasons for the enhanced security in custom-coded websites is that they’re built from scratch. This means that web developers can tailor the code to address specific security concerns and protect end-users against potential threats. Enterprise WordPress development should ensure a highly secure and scalable solution for your business. In contrast, website builders often use generic templates and content management systems that are widely accessible, making them more susceptible to hacks and attacks.

Moreover, custom web development allows for a more selective approach when integrating third-party plugins and tools. You can minimize the risk of incorporating poorly coded or insecure components into your website. On the other hand, website builders heavily rely on third-party plugins to provide extra functionality, which often compromises the security of the site.

Final thoughts

The low cost of a website is perhaps the only thing that can make third-party themes and drag-and-drop builders attractive to business owners. But there’s a catch. Though it may seem like a cheap investment at first, having a builder-based website will end up costing you more in the long run. We at Alpha Efficiency can assure you that low ranking and conversion rates bring nothing more than missed opportunities.

We can agree that hiring a developer that promises to build you a website for just a few hundred dollars sounds very tempting. But, if your heart is set on meaningful business results that provide a chance to grow and scale, a custom-coded website is what you ought to invest in. The chances are that the competition that outranks you on search engines already has one.

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