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Websites come in three different levels: cookie cutter, semi-custom and bespoke (full custom) … but, which is better?
Bespoke websites are a unique reflection of your values and vision as they allow for you to truly show your own personal tastes and flair. Cookie cutter websites are, by nature of things, quick and easy things to put online and have a generic and non-unique feel to them (not to say they can't be customized or branded, just that they are … not-as-unique-as-they-could-be). So I ask again: which is better and offers more value to both customers and agencies?
The answer: neither and both.
In truth, neither is a better solution than the other in the grand scheme of things. Be it money, time, creativity limits, or simply the availability of people to work on the project, there are limits of what can be done.
Rarely do businesses want something fully custom and 100% bespoke. An overwhelming amount of time they want something that fits their brand well while staying affordable.
So yes, it does truly come down to money most of the time.
Let's use cars as a wonderful and apt analogy. Are Ferrari and Lamborghini
better cars than the average Honda? If we look as luxury, comfort (sometimes depending on the model), high speed performance, and asthetics: well yeah, in general those million dollar cars are better.
But are they better for taking the kids to school every day? Driving through a snow storm? Picking up groceries and doing all your stop-and-go daily driving in traffic? What about price wise for the average American? Nope. Not only is it unafforable, even trying to afford it would be bad for the person. On top of that the maintance cost isn't 'fun' either. Getting around in any high performance Hyper Car in an average metropolitan city would also rather suck (hint: ever try going up or down one of those parking ramps in the city?)!
The same can be said of websites.
Bespoke websites are great when there's a true need for a custom solution for the purposes of:
A cookie cutter (or even semi customized but not fully) is great for:
- Testing an idea quickly
- Having something online with a small budget
- Putting something online when the bulk of your prospects go to you through means other than a website
- When your website isn't important to your business (where you simple need it to look 'good enough' or in other words "non-embarrasing")
- Simply don't see the value of investing in custom
- Don't have the budget for custom
- When out of the box and existing solutions do the job well (or even well enough)
A cookie cutter website can be made for between $500 and probably $5000 (or less). Bespoke websites rarely have a high end limit but usually would start at a minimum of $25,000 and quickly go up in price.
Of course, the pricing above may not be accurate from your experience nor for your use cases nor in your country or industry. Website production prices vary wildly and different greatly from vendor to vendor.
The 'true' price of a website is whatever the client is willing to pay (and you're agreeing to accept) be is $10 USD or $1,000,000 and anything above and beyond or in-between.
Thus: neither cookie cutter websites nor bespoke is better or worse than the other. It's a case of "if the shoe fits" ... meaning: the right tool for the job.