Custom WordPress development: 5 reasons why you should do it.

wp custom development agency

Let’s start with a secret: we are a custom WordPress development agency.

OK, you may say think we are a UX company, and you’ll be right. We specialize in UX Research (UXR) and UX Design (UXD) as well as User Interface Design (UI or UID). That’s a fact.

But it does not contradict the first sentence. It just adds to it. Or, in other words: We are a UX company that is also a Custom WordPress development agency. Or a Custom WordPress Design Agency, which uses the tools and disciplines of UX.

  • And why? Well, for the following reasons:
  • We are not away from the major trends in design and development.
  • WordPress is by far the best CMS around
  • We believe in open source
  • We work with the WP community in building new versions of WordPress (simply put, if you use WordPress just because, you’ll be using features that we have worked on or helped develop)
  • And last but not least: we have built more than 1000 WordPress sites!
Not only a custom WordPress development agency: we give back to the WP community
Here you can see the areas of WordPress we help to develop: accessibility, design and core code. And we’re really proud to help with that and give back to the WP community!

Reason 1: Custom WordPress Development pays for itself

Like investing in UX, investing in a custom solution for your site pays for itself. Maybe not at the same pace as UX design (which is between $ 10-100 per dollar invested), but it’s still a nice difference.

You may be asking yourself, why get a custom WordPress development when I can do it myself? Or hire a WordPress designer or developer to use a purchased theme?

Well, there are many reasons why a custom website will always be superior to a pre-built solution. It does not matter if it’s WordPress or any other website building framework.

The most important thing to remember is WHY we need a website. If it’s for a hobby, of course you can do it yourself, you do not need custom development.

But in most cases, you want to make money with it.

You will probably have a business plan and goals. Probably some KPIs you want to achieve

And here is the difference: whatever you “save” in costs will be paid for in lost profit.

This is business 101, so I will not go into it further as it’s not the focus of this article.

However, let me say that this is objective data. There are very few possible scenarios where this is not the case. In fact, I have never heard of a case, I am just open to the possibility.

Worse, the lost gains accumulate every month, so in a few months what you saved is already a loss.

Read on to understand the reasons behind this argument.

Reason 2: You need traffic to your website

A compelling reason: how are you going to sell if you do not have customers? And how will you have customers if you do not have traffic?

I am sure you’ll agree that both questions are fundamental to any online business.

However, it may not be clear to you how WordPress custom development will help you with this. After all, if customers do not know your website exists, it does not matter if the design is customized or not.

And here comes the explanation: there are various means to get traffic to your website. You can pay for advertising on social media or search engines. Or you can even place offline ads on billboards, in newspapers or magazines.

But you’ll probably want free, consistent, organic traffic.

After all, who does not love a free meal?

Take a look at the image below: Let us say you are interested in getting people who search for “mesothelioma cancer lawyer” on Google to come to your website. If you have to pay for it, each click will cost you a little over $400.

Custom WordPress development helps you with SEO
This is the Average CPC (cost per click) for some keywords. Imagine getting free traffic instead of having to pay for it!

Of course, this is an extreme case. The cost for most keywords is usually between $7 and $30 per click.

But … wouldn’t it be much better if it was free?

A custom wordpress design can start from $3000. In the extreme case, we would achieve it with only 8 free clicks. In the most common case, we would need between 100 and 400 free clicks.

Those numbers can be obtained in ONE DAY. I repeat, in case it is not clear: ONE DAY.

Let us look at this graphically. For this example, let us make it very simple: you make a one-time investment of $3,000, you expect to get about 10 visitors per day through organic SEO that grows by 5% per quarter, and you get an average of $10 per visitor. Of course, none of these numbers are realistic. Growth is usually logarithmic and you’ll have additional expenses as well. But we compare to the “finished” user case with the same data so it helps us visualize the data.

Investment in DevelopmentExpected TrafficROI p/month
1st Quarter$3,0001,000$1,000
2nd Quarter1,020$2,020
3rd Quarter1,040$3,060
4th Quarter1,061$4,122
1st Quarter1,082$5,204
2nd Quarter1,104$6,308
3rd Quarter1,126$7,434
4th Quarter1,149$8,583
1st Quarter1,172$9,755
2nd Quarter1,195$10,950
3rd Quarter1,219$12,169
4th Quarter1,243$13,412
TOTAL$3,000$84,017
In this user case, you can see how a custom WordPress design will recover the investment in 3 months
Effect of custom WP development in site groth
Same data as in the table above, only that in graphics.

Now, let’s see the “off the shelf” WordPress themes case (you can also replace “off the shelf” with WIX, Canva, Squarespace, etc). We’re taking the same 1/30 figure that is common to most ready made WP themes when compared to custom developed themes.

Investment in DevelopmentExpected TrafficROI p/month
1st Quarter$1004$300
2nd Quarter$04$304
3rd Quarter$04$308
4th Quarter$04$312
1st Quarter$1004$317
2nd Quarter$04$321
3rd Quarter$05$326
4th Quarter$05$330
1st Quarter$1005$335
2nd Quarter$05$340
3rd Quarter$05$345
4th Quarter$05$350
TOTAL$300$3,888
In this case, the website owner “saved” $2900. But it took him 3 years to make the same that takes 3 months in the previous case

And what is the role of Custom WordPress Design?

The answer is very simple: a custom development allows much better SEO, much better speed, much better conversions, much better semantic code, much less junk code.

On average, a custom website is up to 15 times faster than one based on purchased templates, and has up to 30 times more chance of outrank to other sites that don’t take care of technical SEO.

Which is the same as saying: there are 30 times more chances of reaching the first page of Google than your competition will have (assuming they do not use a custom website).

Or in other words: if your competition has 10 visits, you will have at least 300 (actually it is incorrect since the progression is logarithmic, so it is more possible that the number is closer to 3000, but let’s leave it at 300 to simplify the numbers).

Interesting, right?

Of course it is!

It is because of things like this that we can build sites that generate millions of dollars in a few months. With lots of research, good UX ideation, a good business plan, and flawless technical execution.

Would it be possible to do this with a purchased theme? Maybe. I don’t know of any case, but who knows …

Reason 3: Website builders are not for everyone

At the time of writing this (March 2021), we can say that web development is quite widespread and democratized thanks to different tools and frameworks.

But … is that web development?

Well, it depends.

Today anyone can build a website with an application like Canva or Wix. With these tools “you don’t need” a developer or a web designer. You can build your site yourself with little or no help. At most, you may need to

Sure, it is very easy to see that there are no major companies that use the aforementioned tools.

So, you do a little research and you find WordPress.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress comes in two versions, or “flavors”: hosted (the .com version) and self-hosted (the .org version that you must install on your own web server).

The .com version ranges from free to $ 45 per month for the most complete version with e-commerce. At a lower price, less features, obviously.

The .com version in its paid versions is very good, but not as good as the self-hosted version. But in this case we “save” the cost of the developer. So it is worth considering.

As for the self-hosted version, it is the version that is downloaded from wordpress.org and that we must then host on our server, for which we need a web hosting package on a UNIX / Linux server.

WordPress Web Development: Image of custom code for WordPress theme
Custom WordPress Development for one of our clients

Although this can be a little scary for newbies, servers usually have control panels that … well, CONTROLLING aspects of the website in a very simple way. Almost all hosting companies have tutorials and help for every action and it is very easy to find information on the web, so this is not really a big problem.

Once we have our hosting, we need to add the domain. In this regard, it is possible to have both the domain and hosting at the same time with the same company. However, this is only possible with hosting companies that offer shared servers. You will not find a big server company (like Amazon, Digital Ocean and similar) that offers domains.

If we already have hosting and domain registered, we can install WordPress. WordPress can be installed in 5 seconds. Literally. That’s not an exaggeration (well, it might take someone 6 or 7 seconds ;)).

But here is the important part. WordPress, in both versions, uses themes. There are tens of thousands of free ones. But there are also paid themes that have a better design or more features.

What’s the problem with themes? Well, the official WordPress themes are very easy to use, but their look is very “blog-ish” (although that’s somewhat put into perspective now with the Gutenberg editor). So you start looking for themes. First you start with the free WordPress themes, and then you usually look for themes with more professional designs and with lots of features.

Have you figured out the problem yet?

The level of complexity is increasing. And the level of frustration increases, because no one can achieve that “great web design” that we saw in the demo of the WordPress theme.

What happens is that we forget some important things: The design was made by a designer who studied for years and has years of experience. And the theme was developed by a programmer or WordPress development company who also have years of study and experience.

And besides, all the demos were planned exactly to look like this, with the exact content for each paragraph.

For the vast majority of users, some of these conditions will not be met.

Reason 4: UX based design improves your workflow

custom WordPress UI admin
Here’s the UI for an incredibly complex site with multiple relationships. There’s no way an editor can make a mistake! Specially since this site ranks #1 in 100+ high value keywords, getting 10,000+ high value customers A DAY (lot of info hidden for privacy, just displaying the UI)

This section has a lot to do with the user experience, specifically what is related to the user flow. In this case, not only the user flow of the users who visit our website, but also the administrator users or stakeholders.

Even though WordPress is an excellent and very powerful tool, that same power makes the vast majority of its users add plugins just because they can. Many times they are completely unnecessary or are even part of the WordPress core.

Another problem, perhaps the most common and most serious: most users have no knowledge of IA (Information Architecture). And they are not supposed to have it, it is a very specific UX discipline that requires a lot of knowledge and study.

Now, that lack of knowledge has an effect on users. Again, both for users who visit our site and for administrator users.

The former can have a very complicated user experience that often leads to them not being able to complete the task, or getting lost on the site and not knowing how to get back to where they were.

This is one of the main causes of “cart abandonment” or “abandonment rate” in any eCommerce site, and in the case of WordPress it is no exception. But not because WP is bad: simply because WP cannot predict the level of knowledge of the users.

And the level of knowledge of the end user is related to what the admin user created: a user experience with a failed user flow and a random information architecture.

But it is also a problem for the user flow of the stakeholders (admin, editors, authors, etc).

Suppose we have a site that has a nice design, made by a professional web designer. The designer provided us with a style guide, so now we can make the site consistent: headings go one way, text another, images have a certain style depending on how they are used, and so on.

So an editor writes an article and always applies the same styles, over and over again in all posts. If he does it wrong, he loses consistency and everything looks bad. Goodbye to the beautiful design that a talented designer made for us.

Another user case: suppose we have a site where the information must be clearly segmented into taxonomies and hierarchy levels.

What will most users do?

The answer is: create countless categories and countless posts for those categories. And in some cases add tags.

This is the best possible scenario.

There is also another option: create parent pages and then child pages.

This is the worst possible scenario and one that sooner rather than later is going to fall under its own weight.

In all the mentioned situations, a customized WordPress design will generate that the user does not have to worry about the content. If the image is in such a place, it will always be the same. If you use an H2 or H3 header, it will always be the same (unless you decide otherwise). The same with the text, multimedia and any other element of the site.

And the same thing happens with the information architecture: custom WordPress development allows us to define the taxonomies that we really need, with the fields that we need, with as much process automation as possible.

So, in one case, we have an anarchic website, with a random structure where users cannot complete tasks and we have lost profits that are increasing day by day.

On the other, a site that works perfectly, saves us many hours of work (just for fun: calculate the value of your work hour and let’s say you save 10 hours a week. Do the math and see how much you saved)

Quite a difference, right?

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    Reason 5: you can use a WordPress development agency

    As I said, we are a custom WordPress development company. And of course, we’d love to have you as a client.

    Having an entire infrastructure behind you that is professionally managed is a huge relief. This technical infrastructure allows you to devote yourself to what you should really be doing: focusing on your business and making it flourish, without worrying about details that take up a lot of time.

    Ask yourself this: Do you have time for all the technical details of your website?

    This is just a small sample of what you should be taking care of:

    • Server
    • SSL certificates
    • Plugins updates
    • Security updates
    • Backups
    • Content creation
    • Updating to new versions of WP, including updating themes to keep them functional.
    • SEO
    • Marketing Funnels eCommerce features and the list goes on and on …

    OK, maybe you can say, “What will you say as the owner of a custom WordPress development agency?”

    And it would be very reasonable.

    Now let’s look at the following: WordPress is the most used CMS in the world. More than 39% of all websites that exist in the world use WP. That number represents more than 400 million sites. Among them are some of the most important websites in the world.

    With this information, let me ask you a question: If what I’m telling you isn’t true … then why aren’t there websites built with WordPress that haven’t been customized and are successful? Or that they do not have a development agency behind them? We’re talking over 400 million sites here, there should be some, don’t you think?

    The answer is obvious. and it’s contained in this page!

    Conclusion: Be honest to yourself

    Do we want a website as a hobby? We can do it by ourselves, it won’t matter if it doesn’t work well or if it doesn’t look great.

    Do we want the website to make money? Well, the answer is quite simple: hire a specialist. Otherwise, the only thing you are going to do is waste time and money, sooner or later you will end up surrendering to the evidence and you will do what you should have done at first.

    And how do we know that it is so? Simple statistics. Around 70% of our work for small clients and startups comes from clients who thought that programming and designing a site in WP was very simple.

    Thanks to that we have already built more than 1000 WP sites.

    Simple statistics.

    The corollary of this tip would be: do not overestimate your ability, and dedicate it to making money with what you know.

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