Why a Custom WordPress Website Pays Off | Captain Coder

Why a Custom WordPress Website Pays Off

Episode # 090 / Marisa VanSkiver / April 17, 2024

four people in a work environment are collaborating together.

Imagine a website that perfectly integrates with your marketing strategy and drives more leads. Does that feel impossible?

It can be hard, especially when today’s trend seems to be cookie-cutter themes and everyone’s websites look the same.

But what your website looks like matters. According to Stanford University, 75% of people judge a company’s credibility based on its website’s design.

Do you want to risk your reputation and sales because you took a shortcut with a popular template?

I didn’t think so.

Ditch the theme everyone else is using. A custom WordPress website is an investment that delivers significant ROI through improved SEO, web accessibility, flexibility, security, and a unique brand experience.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • The ROI of a custom WordPress website
  • How its advanced security protects your brand and customers
  • And the power of a unique online presence

The ROI of a Custom WordPress Website

Let’s be blunt: you should pay more for a custom website, even in WordPress, than you would if you hired a company to put a site together with a popular theme.

Although I’ve seen companies charge outrageous amounts to build a site using popular drag-and-drop plugins like Elementor, custom takes a different approach and skillset.

But what you pay for you’ll get back.

Custom WordPress Improves Your SEO

As a coder who’s worked with a ton of these themes and builders, I know the kind of code they create on the back in.

It’s not pretty.

How you code a website, the structure and elements you use, they matter. You need to have to follow certain best practices to make your website SEO-friendly or Google will understand it as well.

Is this a bit technical? Yes, but that’s also why it’s called “technical SEO.” That matters to your rankings.

With a custom WordPress site, we have better control over the code that’s created, using the features Google and other search engines want to see to improve your search engine optimization.

This clean code also uses a better structure than anything I’ve seen popular themes create and runs faster, too.

You can have great SEO with a website that’s built in almost any type of platform, but if you want to take it to the next level, you need to have more control.

Accessibility is Easier with Custom WordPress

My favorite reason for a custom WordPress website? It’s much better for your web accessibility.

Just like clean, lean code aids with SEO, it also means we can write that code to improve web accessibility.

Better web accessibility helps you to create a website that reaches all of your audience, is inclusive, and increases your brand trust and awareness.

Unfortunately, web accessibility is only now becoming an important factor for many businesses (Title II of the ADA just passed). That means that many off-the-shelf website solutions (and many of the companies that build websites), don’t think about it at all.

I’ve been coding accessible websites since 2013, so I know exactly what needs to be done to follow WCAG standards and accessibility best practices. This means that we’re putting that into every site we create and it’s far easier for me to control that when we’re building a custom website.

It also means that I can do the technical things – like using semantic HTML – to ensure that the websites we’re creating are accessible.

Your Website Grows With Your Business

Perhaps one of the most important things when you’re creating a new website is to consider where the business wants to grow to in the next few years.

A website is an investment in your business and its online presence, and that investment can and should last more than just a couple of years – if you do it right.

Many of the themes and other builders are created to work with any kind of business. That means they use heavy code and have a lot of features you’ll never use.

Unfortunately, it can also mean that they might not have the features you’ll be looking for in a year or so.

When you invest in a custom WordPress website, your website developer can think through and prepare for those changes, and better connect more advanced features seamlessly down the line.

I can’t tell you how often I’m able to do some prep work when initially building a website so that it’s quicker and easier to add more advanced features later (like eCommerce solutions) when we plan for it upfront.

This will save you so much time, money, and frustration. Honestly, I’ve seen the worst-case scenario of needing to change an entire theme because it just can’t do what you want it to (I’m helping a client transition from a theme to a custom website right now for this reason).

Your Website Security Matters

Do you want to protect your brand and your customers? I’m pretty sure you just nodded yes. Of course, you do!

In my 13 years of working solely with WordPress, I’ve dealt with far too many hacks and security breaches. These hacks range anywhere from injected code (so you’ll see links to malicious sites on your website), or redirecting your entire website to another one that will try and install malware on your users’ computers.

Do you know what they all had in common?

They used popular themes.

Reduce Your Vulnerability

Let me paint a quick picture for you. If you can download a WordPress theme for $60 (or your agency can), then so can anyone else who wants to learn how to break into the literal thousands and millions of websites using that theme.

Look, it’s no secret that WordPress is a hacking target. It powers 43% of all of the websites on the internet and it’s an open source technology. But the real key lies in the themes that so many people are using and installing on their websites.

In the last few years, I’ve seen several of the largest options have breaches and issues that had to be addressed immediately.

Want to know how many of the websites I’ve built custom have been hacked?


Am I an amazing coder? Well I mean, yes, but the real advantage here is that my code source isn’t out there available on the internet for someone to download and look for weaknesses. It also powers far fewer websites out there which makes my customers’ websites less of an attractive target.

Will that always be the case? I can’t say that for sure, but it’s a simple step that allows my customers to be better protected.

Better Compatibility with Plugin Updates

There are a lot of web developers that create themes and plugins for WordPress. All too often I see these same developers try to break core WordPress functionality to make their thing work.

What consequence does that have for you later?

When it’s time to update WordPress and other plugins, things can break.

Sure, a custom theme can be coded to be more seamless within the WordPress ecosystem, but you’re also reducing your overall need for plugins in general.

Most of the websites I create use a set of 10-15 plugins that are the same on every website we build.

That means that we’re able to have fewer points of entry through bad plugins and keep everything updated without worrying about the site breaking (cause yea, we all know that that happens).

The Power of a Unique Online Presence

Do you want to invest thousands of dollars into a website just to have it look like all of your competitors?

Yea, I didn’t think so.

I’ve seen agencies that built basically the same website over and over again and called it unique. That happens especially when they use the same WordPress theme or Squarespace template. They’re not approaching your business like it’s the unique powerhouse it is, but just another customer who’s paying them for a website.

If you want to get away from the cookie-cutter look, you need a website that reflects your brand all the way down.

And let’s be real – your website is the only piece of your online marketing that you have 100% control over. Why are you giving away that control to look like every other website?

Get Customized Functionalities & User Experience

Beyond just looking different, you have a unique vision for how you want your users to be able to interact with your website.

You can get more control over the functionality of your website, how people interact with you, and even the experience they have when they visit your website when you go with custom.

Your customers’ experience matters whether they’re meeting you in person or visiting your website.

Allow it to reflect your unique brand and deliver the great experience your company is known for.

Custom WordPress Boosts Your ROI

Do you want to get the most of your website and have it make money for your business?

It’s time to invest in custom.

When you ditch the bland, boring cookie-cutter themes, you’ll be able to create a better experience for your users, rank higher on Google, improve your web accessibility, reduce your security risks, and so much more.

Honestly, what are you waiting for?

If you want to know what a custom website can look like for your business and how it can bring in traffic and revenue, then it’s time to book a clarity call. Let’s get you some design freedom and watch your online presence thrive.

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