4 June 2021

Why custom web development is cheaper than off the shelf website builders?

Custom web development is tailor-made and is specially created for your brand, product, or company, with your target audience in mind. Each one of the features such as layouts, fonts, and colours is developed personally to create a compelling online presence for your brand.

Off the shelf website builders, on the other hand, are readymade websites that offer pre-made templates for your website. Also known as WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) builders, these builders speed up the development process. They give you a drag & drop user-friendly interface while simultaneously also giving you a professional, polished product at a fraction of the time and expense.

Here are a few factors that will help you differentiate and choose between the two:

1. Features.

In order to build your website, it is crucial to employ features that resonate with your business and target audience.

Custom web development allows you to uniquely create your website and personalise every single aspect of it.

Off the shelf builders, however, offer a range of templates and features to choose from. These features are generally very common and offer limited scope for customisation as per your needs.


2. Clean code vs Bloated code.

The simplicity and ease of creating websites in WYSIWYG website builders come with a price. Using them can be a terrible choice for any serious, long-term business. While the final website may look amazing on the front end, the code behind the scenes that powers it is usually chaotic, to say the least.

This often results in having a webpage that loads significantly slower or even displays or functions incorrectly in one or more browsers.

Creating a custom webpage can be a slow and laborious process, but it ensures that your code is generally clean and efficient.

It enables developers to produce cleaner codes that make the webpage load more quickly, display properly on all major browsers, and rank better in search engines.


3.SEO – Search Engine Optimisation.

When drag and drop website builders employ non-semantic codes or heavy markup, the bloated codes can undermine all your SEO efforts. Custom build websites, with the use of cleaner codes, allow the user to use fresh keywords, enabling them to amp up their SEO.


4. Accessibility and control.

Custom web development gives you complete control over the customisation of every aspect of your website. You are free to use any feature you want, and you also have the power to optimise it at its best.

You can play around with fonts, colours, photos and copy to set your site apart from others.

Drag and drop web builders, on the other hand, provide you with limited accessibility because most of it is ready-made. Thus, the owner of the website does not have much to say or do in these websites.

There are limits to what the user can or cannot do, which can cause the user to regret it later.

They restrict the user’s potential to optimise the website as per their likings and their target audience’s needs.


5. Scalability.

Building a website via custom web development allows you to add to your site as often as you like. You can add new features every month, thereby making the website scalable.

Drag and drop website templates only allow you to manage your website to a limited degree.


Which is good for your business?

Choosing a website builder requires you to thoroughly analyse the needs of your site.

The decision should be based on problems you want the website to solve, the scalability you require, your budget, and the business goals that you want to achieve.

If you are looking for a simple website to explain what your business does, a drag and drop website builder will do the job perfectly for you. However, the lack of personalisation can make your site look like many other sites because of the pre-made templates that you will be using.

There are companies, whose profiles are more complex, and a DIY website builder does not entirely fulfil their specific requirements. To successfully run such businesses, it is advised to build a custom website and have a tailored solution that will never fail to fight the challenges of your business. Thus, for a more robust website, using custom solutions is recommended over a drag and drop solution.

Cost-wise, you pay for the ease that drag and drop website builders provide you with. The fee may be significantly lower as compared to a custom-built site.

It is important to note that initially, developing a custom website from scratch can be much more expensive than buying an already available template from drag-and-drop website builders.

However, custom-built websites can be cost-efficient in the long run. While the former requires companies to pay a certain licence fee, a custom website is entirely yours.

In the case of a drag and drop website, even though the initial cost of development is much lower than what it takes to build a customised website, it is important to consider how over the years it can start to stack up making you pay much more.

Licences must be renewed monthly, quarterly, or annually, making the total price of a website with limited options, cost you much more.

The development process of a custom-built website from scratch can take a couple of months depending on the needs of your business but once it’s done, it can save you a lot of time in the long term.

When it comes to maintenance, having a solution that can be fully customised means that any error or an issue that may occur, can be instantly fixed or handled.

Developing custom websites does require some serious funds, but in the long run, it would cost you much less compared to WYSIWYG, as you won’t have to renew any licence or subscription. It is like an investment that will pay off handsomely in the future.



Having a website that meets all your long-term goals is crucial.

If you are still worried about making the right decision, we are just a call away. Our team of experts at iSmart Apps will help you make the best decision. So, let’s get in touch, shall we?


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