Almost every business needs an online presence—and that usually means having a website (and social media and a Google Business Profile and more, but at least a website). If nothing else, a website convinces potential customers that yours is an actual, legitimate business that really exists.
With special pre-packaged plans and templates, any business can throw a cookie-cutter website together quickly. But a cookie-cutter website suggests you have a cookie-cutter business that offers cookie-cutter products and services. Unless you’re actually in the cookie-cutting business (what’s up, Ann Clark?), that’s probably not the best approach.
Instead, why not try to establish an impressive and distinct online presence?
One of the simplest ways to do that is to hire a web development company whose expert developers can do it all—and that means writing custom code. Such ability is not always a given, especially if you’re considering marketing agencies with few (or maybe no) web developers on staff. They may outsource such work, which can lead to project management issues and higher costs over time.
A tailor-made website meets all of the unique needs of your business. If the company building your website doesn’t have the ability to fully control all aspects of coding, your website could eventually develop a number of costly problems, including security issues, problems with accessibility, poor website performance, and a lousy experience for customers trying to use your website.
The problem with templates and pre-packaged, one-for-all approaches is that no two businesses are exactly alike. A template may come close to providing what you need, but you’ll need to add a plugin to do something special. And before long, you’ll need another plugin, and another, until your website is bogged down by potentially dozens of plugins that slow down a website’s loading speed. And nothing causes users to click away faster than a slow-loading page. Even a delay of a few seconds can be enough to steer half of your customers away. (Slow pages also drastically hinder search engine optimization efforts and your website’s ability to rank highly in Google Search results.)
Brad Meiser, one of Rare Bird’s experienced developers, has worked with dozens of clients who’ve come to us after having a mediocre experience with another web development company. At those companies, Brad says, “the majority of their employees are less experienced developers or even non-developers that they can pay less to click some buttons to spin up a website that is 80% the same every time.”
In those relationships, he adds, a client might specify the important function they need from their website—such as integrating with the company’s custom ERP (enterprise resource planning) software—and learn too quickly that the firm either can’t create the necessary custom code or will charge a significant amount of money in order to outsource such work to more experienced developers. “If you just need a basic brochure-type site,” Brad says, “maybe that’s OK. When you need something custom-made, that model falls apart.”
So how is Rare Bird different? Our approach is to create a website for your business that is tailored to your specific needs. “We charge based on how long we think that implementation will take,” Brad says, “rather than selling you something that we’ve already created with a set number of features and either flat-out refusing to make major customizations or charging outlandish fees to add them on.”
Too often, that approach leads businesses to miss out on some of what they want and need in a website, or they end up paying a similar cost (and sometimes a higher cost) for an inferior product.
An investment in a web development company that writes custom code is an investment in the long-term success of your business. Over time, that investment can more than pay for itself. As legendary basketball coach John Wooden famously said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
Here’s a quick example of the value of custom code: We have a retail client that has a custom-built, in-house ERP to manage in-store orders. When they approached us for a website redesign, they wanted a custom e-commerce site—as we have done for many clients since 1998—but they also wanted to manage all of their products, categories, and vendors within their ERP and integrate it with the website.
“Traditionally, we would create a custom administrative panel to manage that,” Brad says, “but there was no reason we couldn’t meet this requirement. To complete the integration, I worked closely with their [on staff] developer to create and integrate the necessary endpoints to pull all of this data into the website on a determined schedule. With this implementation in place, inventory was managed all in one place so that if the last of an item was purchased in-store, it would automatically drop off the website. The ability to perform this integration gave us a serious leg up on the out-of-the-box e-commerce packages that can be purchased online.”
Your business needs solutions for problems you already know about. But our ability to write custom code means Rare Bird can provide ongoing support and maintenance for clients and identify problems you’re not yet dealing with. Because such code is unique, our developers can quickly diagnose and fix issues that arise, which ensures your website remains functional and up-to-date, a critical necessity in today’s fast-paced digital world.
By providing unique and customized solutions, we demonstrate our ongoing expertise and commitment to quality in web development. That’s one reason we have a strong reputation. If you want to learn more about how we can help your business, reach out today. Our code has come a long way over the last 25 years.