A Custom Website VS a Web Building Tool

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You may or may not have heard of website creation tools such as Squarespace (https://www.squarespace.com/), Weebly (https://www.weebly.com) or Wix (https://www.wix.com).

If are looking at your reflection in the monitor saying ‘SasSqua? Did he mean Sasquatch? I Weebly don’t know what the Wix this geezer is talking about.’ That is a good thing. Your innocence has been preserved. You see the above are “do-it-yourself” web building tools. Using “pre-built” templates, clients are able to create the shell of a new website online and fill in the gaps with their content. These tools are often presented as the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to creating a ‘great’ website.


Don’t get me wrong, the build-it-yourself website platform is an amazing feat of modern web development, making it easy for clients to construct and populate their own website.  They are inexpensive and ideal for clients like photographers, fashion designers or musicians. People that want to fill the gaps.

But if we’re talking about a website, a real website, that’s handcrafted and specifically focused towards your target audience, then maybe it’s not your best choice.  

Sure, if you’re one of those rebels who tries to fix the leaking sink with a Swiss Army knife because a plumber is a little pricey, then be my guest. But I’m pretty sure how the story will play out. A wise man once said ‘I pity the fool’.

Here’s why:



Our approach at Five by Five is a handcrafted, bespoke one. From the ground up. No templates, no pre-built sites.

Taking the custom route involves working with a professional designer. Their role is to solely focus on the UI / UX of the site. Having an educated creative professional drive the overall experience, and look and feel, will allow the website to present a consistent brand experience, A structured layout focused on conversions, and ease of viewer content consumption.

Ahhhhh structure and consistency. The definition of sanity for any OCD designer.

Hang on. What is UI / UX?

Good question, let’s clear this up.

UI and UX are elements that need to work in unison, the perfect couple, they need to be the Kanye to the Kardashian…(Future Outlook Pending).

UI =  User Interface.
This comprises of everything a user can see and touch, such as navigation, buttons, text, layouts, forms and images. Think of it as your shirt and pants, or skirt.

UX = User Experience.
UX is the thoughtful one in the relationship who buys the bunch of flowers for the anniversary. UX is all about how the end user feels and behaves. The user experience is a blanket term for the user’s overall experience with the website: what the user likes about it, how easily they accomplished their goals, moments of delight, building trust and consideration of any potential frustrations (You wore business socks to bed, cmon!).



Custom web design agencies know the web design process back the front. They do it day in day out and if they have done it for long enough, will know what works & doesn’t work.

Having this system and process in place will assist you, the client, in getting your shit together by forcing you to compile all your finalised content, helping clarify who your target audience is and defining what success actually looks like.  The agency will assist in collating your branding elements and maybe even organise a new photoshoot or web film to get rid of those god forbidden iStock images on your existing live website. Heaven forbid!

This processes and elements all play important roles within the eco-system that will become your new website and without solid guidance and direction, you’ll be going nowhere fast.



I hear you saying ‘really custom development is that necessary?’, The short answer is yes (assuming you are serious about your website).

Everything is built from the ground up. Only the code and elements that need to be there, are there. Your custom site should be a lean, mean, street machine. Developers only build what is required. Using this approach will allow the coder to focus on the required outcomes, resulting in a faster, lighter website, clean code markup, and a future-proof site which comes in handy six months down the track when you, the client, want to extend the functionality or make changes to various layouts.

It’s that simple If you’re going to build it, build it right the first time, right? You don’t try to customise a Hyundai Getz with Ferrari parts, why? Mechanics will loathe you and the thing will eventually fall apart in a blaze of glory Ricky Bobby.


There are two ways you can approach any sort of situation;

  1. Throw another coat of paint on it and she’ll be right’ approach, or
  2.  ‘Strip it back, prime the base, then paint four coats on that baby’.

Each approach has it’s their own unique outcome, what outcome would you want for your next website project?

About the author
Jon Hollenberg
With over 20 years experience within the web industry, Jon is an expert in online marketing and online growth strategies. Over the last ten years he has worked with iconic brands such as Qantas, Jeep and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary plus hundreds of other businesses Australia wide. Jon is a published author of "Love at first site - How to build the website of your dreams".
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