Pre-Built E-commerce Websites vs Custom-Built: Pros and Cons of Each


Online shopping has now become a firm habit among Americans. To take advantage of these benefits, even physical shops can create websites to be present on the Internet and expand their customer base. But sometimes you face a dilemma: Should you have your own website developed by professionals or should you opt for a ready-made website? This article will shed some light on the subject so that you can make the right decision.


A customized website for e-commerce

A professional website is a customized website created by specialists in web design and web development. They can be a freelancer or part of a web agency specialized in digital marketing and development. Professionals are best able to quickly implement your wishes and even improve your ideas.

Many advantages can motivate you to choose this option:

  • Fully customized design
  • To optimized user experience
  • Fast loading of pages
  • Good SEO performance
  • Easy data collection and analysis

This is one of the biggest advantages of custom websites. With this option, there is no limit to the graphic design you can adopt. Whether it is menus, shapes, fonts or colors, you have complete freedom.

On the one hand, you can optimally integrate your graphic logo into your developed website. This is an important advantage because there will be a good coherence with your physical communication media and it will be easy for your target audience to recognize and trust you on the web.

On the other hand, your website will have a unique visual identity that fits perfectly with your target audience. This will strengthen your brand image and convey the message that your team is providing quality services. This will enable you to face your competitors on an equal footing.

A unique user experience

With a personalized website it is also much easier to provide a good experience for those who visit your website. You can make the best decisions on technical aspects like:

  • The size of the images
  • The pagination
  • Web Hosting
  • The server used

With various optimizations, the loading speed of each page will be the best possible. This improves the user experience and therefore the SEO. You can also choose the best locations for pop-ups and forms for your user data collection strategy.

Better SEO performance

The main goal of putting an e-commerce site online is to attract enough traffic so you can better sell your products. Professional programmers take this into account when designing their platform. You can therefore have light code, well parameterized metadata, a good structure for tags and content… It will be a good start to get a good position later in search engines.

Precise data management and analysis

For the proper management of your online store, you will need a lot of data specific to your business. A custom website can natively integrate the tracking of this data. It can be data concerning the best sales, the most consulted products, the stock status of your products… In addition to facilitating the management of your e-shop, the information you collect will also help you develop the best marketing strategy.

Weaknesses of a customized website

Although it is really advantageous, certain factors can make you hesitate if you want to have a professionally developed website. Above all, it takes time and money to realize such a project. The budget needed to design custom websites is usually higher than “already made” websites, especially for a complete and optimized e-commerce platform. In fact, many hours of work by a multidisciplinary team are required to achieve the desired goal within the desired time frame. Project management, full support, market research, and many other costs can accumulate. That is why it is crucial to use a web agency that controls project costs through processes that are both reliable and fast.

Pre-built sites, easy to implement e-commerce solutions

Pre-built sites are sites that are designed with templates. They are quick solutions for some e-shop projects.

An economical and easy to implement solution

Most CMS models are available for free on the web. If not completely, you will at least have access to basic features that are sufficient for small e-commerce sites. For more complete solutions, publishers offer additional features for a fee. In general, the costs of these additional features are lower than the expenses required for a custom site. In addition, to put a pre-built website online, it will not take many weeks or even months to get a satisfactory result – if you know what you are doing.

A large and accessible community

The models and CMS of the pre-built sites are widely used. You can therefore have access to many professional forums. So if you have a technical problem, you can count on the help of a large community. Sharing information can help you optimize the performance of your platform.

Pre-built site weaknesses

The two most important weaknesses are the impossibility to fully customize them and the security flaws that are frequent.

As you will have to use templates, your online store may look like other websites. This is not advantageous for your brand image. Moreover, the vast majority of these sites have large portions of source code in common. It is therefore not uncommon for a security flaw to spread quickly and make many sites vulnerable to hacking simultaneously. Finally, some non-professional models are not designed to offer the best SEO performance.

What to choose in the end?

It is true that pre-built sites seem easy to deploy and cost effective. However, they are more suitable for small online sales projects. To create a good quality e-commerce site that reflects your professionalism, use a web agency to develop a custom platform. As a bonus, your site will have better security, excellent ergonomics, and you will be able to configure it exactly according to your needs.

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