You can’t dig up a road with a hammer and chisel. You can’t drive your family and tow your boat back from the cottage in a Ferrari. As with many things in life, there are certain things that you do, certain tasks you undertake, where you need the right tools for the job. The right tools, although often more specialised are better catered to the tasks they’re developed for and inevitably will add value long term.
Websites are no different, and in many cases even more important. For example, let’s look at a typical retail scenario.
Why getting it right is so important
Lets say you have a brick and mortar store selling hardware, tools, home supplies and furnishings etc. Potential customers will wander in, grab a shopping cart, browse your store, looking for what it is that they came in for. If your store is badly organised, sections aren’t signed very well, it can be frustrating for the customer but inevitably, that person will ask a member of staff to help them find something. The time and frustration involved in leaving that store, getting in the car and driving to a competitors store is far greater than sucking it up on this occasion and buying the item there, with some assistance.
If you were to replicate that scenario online, the outcome is likely to be extremely different. If the potential customer arrives at your online store, and due to the restrictive website you have in place, the visitor is struggling to navigate to find the option they are looking for, they have no one to ask, no one to one to help them find that item and make their purchase. What they do have however, with just a few clicks of their mouse is a whole world of other options available to them.
You obviously wouldn’t want to give your potential customers a bad experience either in store or online, but the repercussions of getting it wrong online are often much worse. People that use online facilities typically have higher expectations that their life will be made easier and have much less patience than people who use offline facilities. They will turn their back on your website in a heartbeat, if it’s not catered to their needs.
This is essentially why I like to custom code WordPress themes (and non WordPress websites), because you have far greater control over every aspect of the website, you can cater it to the unique needs of a business and it’s audience.
The more complex the website, the larger the website, or the more information it has to offer, the greater the need for this additional control by creating something custom.
It’s all about matching the needs of the website with the most sensible approach, both initially and for the websites future and growth.