Custom Website Design & Development
In the simplest terms, custom website development means a website built from scratch. You start with an idea and define how it should look and work. Then the graphic design is created and coded into HTML. Any programming that is needed like database design and development and functional logic is programmed.
Comparing this to building a custom home where you hire an architect to design what it will look like, and then it is custom built. When it is done you have a unique house that no one else will have.
Custom Web Development Can Mean Different Things
Taking it a step further, and not so simple terms, there are many levels of what can be customized and to what extent.
Just like building a custom home, every step of the process many not need to be “from scratch”. You could hire an architect to customize a home plan that you already purchased for example.
A custom website to you could mean:
- The graphic web design is unique to your company brand.
- Or it may refer to the website is coded from scratch rather than with a website theme or template.
- It can also refer to the programming logic to build functionality that meets your unique business rules that can not be easily built into off the shelf software.
As a web programmer, my skill-set focuses on the logic and functionality of custom web application development services.
I code programming logic into websites to store data in an online database. Users can then interact to do things like purchase something online, login and view their member profile, or perform a search of content on the website.
Custom Website Services
Someone contacted me for a web development estimate. He was looking for a web programmer because he needed a custom website built.
I thought this was a good description to communicate his needs. I am a web programmer, not a graphic designer. I focus on web programming with PHP and MySQL databases to code functionality into a website. I plan out programming logic and design, develop and build web databases from scratch to meet unique project requirements.
Larger web design companies have teams of staff to target the design and marketing side of website development. They offer everything from brand identity, to graphic design, web development and post release website maintenance, marketing/advertising.
As a freelancer, I fill a niche for small businesses don’t have need to hire a full time web developer or the budget to hire a web development company. I provided custom web programming services to build database driven websites to small businesses and individuals.
What do you really need?
Most self hosted websites are custom or customized.
By this I mean, you start from scratch with a custom website. You create a design, design a database and code all web programming logic needed.
A customized website example would be where you start with pre-written code and modify it to meet your needs.
This could apply to the web design by starting with a template or theme and modifying to to meet your needs.
It could also apply to the code and functionality needed. WordPress open source software is a perfect example of this. If you need a or blog, shopping cart there is no need to “reinvent the wheel”. Code is already written and tested to do this. It just needs configured and customized to meet your needs. WordPress can also be highly customized to the point I would call it custom website development too. I have coded custom WordPress sites that have theme design created from scratch and features and functionality that you won’t see in any other website.
So whats the best solution, custom website or customized?
What is best depends on your budget, timeline and the requirements of the project.
Compare it to building a custom home, working with a builder with the option couple home plans, or buying a spec home already built.
Building a custom home involves hiring an architect to design your home plan, and working with a general contractor the specializes in custom homes. You need a significant budget and timeline to do this. How much does custom built cost? It’s impossible to say until you know specifics. No doubt hiring an architect and then custom building the house is going to cost a lot more than a spec home.
Unless you want your “dream home” or need very unique features, this is not a typical route people take. If you need something truly unique like showcasing a phenomenal view or functional like an elevator, you need custom solution.
It’s the same concept with web development. Most sites I build are some level of customized. It makes sense from a budget and timeline standpoint. I have built dozens of truly custom website solutions from scratch when it fits the needs of the project though. It depends on your needs, budget and timeline.