Custom websites are amazing but custom website development is expensive. Discover why a semi-custom website development gives you the best of both.
Most websites are the same. They may not look the same, but under the hood, the base functionality is similar. This is the 80:20 principle in action. Eighty percent of the underlying structure is the same. It’s the other twenty percent that makes a site unique. A semi-custom WordPress website takes advantage of this. The majority of the foundation elements are prebuilt. We add functionality and adjust how the site looks, as required. A semi-custom website development project is a straight forward project. It will be less expansive and take less time to build.
How does Red8 Approach Semi-Custom Website Development Projects?
We built our own page builder using our experience building custom WordPress websites.
The code base is not heavy and bloated. There is just enough technology to deliver common layouts. We didn’t try to anticipate every possible scenario. The code is built so we can change it without much effort. As a result pages load fast and adjustments are easy.
We then went another step. We reverse engineered our page builder into Sketch App symbols. Now we have a Sketch App Design-Build System that’s available to interested designers. They can develop their custom designs faster using the page builder’s functionality. This doesn’t mean that flexibility is limited. It’s a semi-custom WordPress website. We can add functionality and adjust the design as each project requires. But the underlying structure is prebuilt, so most of the cost is for what’s new.
For example, the Nevada County Tech Connection website was built using our page builder. Compare this to Grande Wood Designs’ website which was also developed using our page builder. They don’t look the same at all.
What are the Benefits?
There are two main benefits:
- We can build a semi-custom WordPress website for a smaller budget
- It is also an efficient build, much quicker than custom website development
We can do this because the underpinnings are prebuilt. Our development team requires less time to get most of the site, at least the structure, up and running. Then their attention and the budget is focused on what makes the site unique.
If the website requires new functionality, adding it isn’t difficult. We built the foundation so that we know where stuff is.
The same is true for the styling, for how the site looks. We structured the style sheets so we can make changes efficiently. Design adjustments aren’t a hunt and guess exercise.
What is the downside?
The main risk is going overboard. The temptation is to add all sorts of functionality to the website. This isn’t cost effective. Rather than forcing the page builder to bend in unintended ways, build a custom website. If the website has many functional requirements, custom website development will be more efficient.
We sometimes see the opposite. The website is quite simple and the client isn’t design sensitive. In this case, even semi-custom website development isn’t efficient. The best path is to find a prebuilt theme and make slight adjustments. This would be more cost-effective.
How high is up?
How much does a Semi-Custom WordPress Website cost to build?
As with most things, it depends. In general, semi-custom website development will be $8,500 +/- 20%. It could be more than this, it could be less, but in most cases, the cost to build will fall in this range. A simple design with limited functionality will be on the minus side. A complex design with extra functionality will push the budget up.