If you are looking at having a website designed for you in Singapore, you may have noticed that web design companies all charge different amounts for their services. Why is that? The answer is there are many elements that affect the price of a web design, but one major one is if it is a customized website or a custom website.
Those two things sound almost identical so how can they be so different to make such a difference in price? Well, prepare to learn.
What Is a Customized Website?
Customized websites firstly use an open source platform or commercial content management system such as WordPress or Drupel. They are then based on a pre-existing template that gives your website its general structure and appearance, along with pre-made plugins and add-ons such as social widgets and forms.
Using this existing template, the web developer will tweak the design by selecting pre-set options that change the look and feel of the site, along with potentially changing some basic CSS and PHP to better match your brand and specifications. Often, focus on content is emphasised.
The upside of this is the template being used would have been well-tested before release and proper on-going function is pretty much guaranteed. It also decreases the amount of labor needed, therefore reducing both the time taken to have your site made and the cost to build it.
However, this approach does give you more limited options and less freedom with the design layout because it relies on the structure of the pre-existing template. You need to be comfortable with these constraints when having your website designed.
If you are comfortable with those limitations, then this is a popular choice because it allows your website to be produced quickly but inexpensively.
What Is a Custom Website?
A custom website, on the other hand, is usually built on top of a framework, but, unlike the customized website, the design and coding are all completely built from scratch. There is no pre-existing template; these elements did not initially exist. The actual content management system it is built on may also be modified to better suit your needs.
This is a good option if you’re after a very specific, desired look or if you want certain interactive elements or functions. You may even want the website to interact in a certain way with third party systems or want something that can’t be achieved using a more limiting customized website.
A custom website increases labor and the time it takes to produce your website (and therefore cost), but you are rewarded with greater freedom and control of your design. Keep in mind that long-term maintenance costs may be increased on a custom website due to potential new updates on the framework becoming incompatible with your specific design.
When choosing a web designer, make sure they explain the limits of the project from the get-go. You should know from the start whether you are paying for a customized website or a custom website. If you are expecting fine control of every aspect of your site but the designer is expecting to install some widgets and change some colors, it may end up costing you more money in the long run if your requirements don’t match.