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The Nicely Built Blog

What’s Better for my Business: A Plug & Play or Custom Designed Theme?

If your expertise stops short of website-building, it can be a challenge navigating whether a plug & play website (customization of a pre-made Shopify or Wordpress theme) or a custom-designed site (a team of web developers and designers create a new theme from scratch) is best for your business.

There are a few factors to consider before making a decision, so we thought we’d write a mini guide to help you weigh the options!

First thing to consider: What are your business needs?

Think about your business - what are your immediate needs? Your website’s functionality depends on them. If the products you sell require special shipping, or require a certain functionality so that customers can shop them on your website, a customized platform may better suit your needs. (Nobody wants to be stuck in third-party-app hell!) If you fancy yourself a “DIY entrepreneur” without a need for bells and whistles to sell your stuff, plug-and-play sites are great because you have more control of visually merchandising your site without having to know code!

Second thing to consider: What's your budget for web design?

The amount of money set aside for your website can be a big determining factor of whether custom design or a plug-and-play website is better for you business. As you can imagine, a plug-and-play site would be more economical than one that’s been specifically designed to complement your business branding and accommodate specific needs. Our best advice here is to be realistic about your business needs and cognizant of your expectations. Opting for a cheaper solution could cost more in the long run if you aren’t clear about your needs or are unaware of what to expect.

Third thing to consider: How much branding do you need?

We’re just gonna put it out there - customization is limited with plug-and-play websites. Typically you can add your logo, change the website colors to match your own branding, and customize the site Typography using default Google fonts (or the like), but that’s about it.

With a custom site, you aren't limited to a small set of default options for typography and color. Your site better represents your company's brand with the use of a complementary color palette and font selections plus any supporting graphics or artwork to create something special.

Fourth thing to consider: How much time do you have?

Building a website from scratch takes a little longer to develop than adding your brand elements to a plug-and-play theme. Unsurprising news, we know! Again, always consider what’s best for your business. If you have the time to invest in creating something unique to your brand, opt for a custom site. If you’re ready to start now and ask questions a little later, plug-and-play site is a great place to start.

Looking for a new web home to call your own? We build nice ones. Let’s have a chat!


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