What is Custom Web Design?

G. Wiesen

Custom web design is the process of creating customized websites based on the needs and desires of a customer, often performed by artists, programmers, and web designers. Many sites on the Internet are created through the use of templates and result in websites that can often have similar layouts or visual styles. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for small businesses or private individuals who are not looking to spend a lot of money on a website. Larger companies, however, often prefer a site with custom web design that more effectively captures the business represented and the audience viewing the site.

Animators and other artists can use programs to create animated images or videos to welcome customers to the site or to highlight certain aspects of the webpage.
Animators and other artists can use programs to create animated images or videos to welcome customers to the site or to highlight certain aspects of the webpage.

These types of Internet sites are often created by web designers and graphic designers who create custom layouts, images, videos, and other aspects of a webpage. What custom web design usually attempts to do is create an Internet site that is unique and allows a business to establish a visual design and aesthetic that best captures the feel of the company or appeals to its target customers. A website for a company that primarily caters to women, for example, will often use colors, typefaces, and images that are found to be appealing to women to encourage them to visit the site. A site intended for teenage males to visit would likely incorporate very different colors and visual choices.

Custom web designers may work with a site's HTML code to create a unique look for clients.
Custom web designers may work with a site's HTML code to create a unique look for clients.

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The process of creating a website with custom web design can often take more time and money, as more steps are usually involved, than making a simpler site. This is often viewed as an investment by companies, however, as having a more exciting webpage can attract more viewers, which in turn can lead to greater profits or market exposure. While web designers often work with templates and simply insert a client’s information and visual preferences, creating a customized website often involves the talents of a larger team.

Graphic designers may be used to create banners, images, and the overall layout of a site that is being built with a custom web design. Animators and other artists may then use programs to create animated images or videos to welcome customers to the site or to highlight certain aspects of the webpage. These features can go even deeper and include altering some basic functions of the site, such as changing the cursors and pointers of users while they navigate the website, having interactive menus and events occur during viewing of the site and incorporating other multimedia features into the custom web design.

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Discussion Comments


@MrMoody - I’d think if you had a team of custom designers that things would go a little differently. It sounds like your friend is operating solo.

With teams, the project specifications are usually nailed down in print before the final deliverable is given to the customer. They also spell out the fact that any additional tweaking here or there will incur extra costs.


My friend is a graphic artist. He has developed custom websites for various clients, from small mom and pop shops to larger companies. It’s a very time consuming process and it does involve reflecting as much of the company’s brand identity as possible.

One thing that he notes however is that customers tend to be very finicky. They’ll agree on a certain design, and then later ask if you could add this thing or that thing or what have you.

While it’s possible, he points out that customers usually are asking for things to be added the undo the original design scheme. As a result the website takes longer to complete than originally planned and he loses money.

This is not a complaint; it’s just an observation. Many times people don’t realize everything that goes on in developing a website.


If you don't have much computer knowledge, this would be an easy decision for me. Your website is going to be the very first encounter many people have for your business or product you are trying to promote.

I already had a brick and mortar business, and when I was ready to have my first website, there weren't as many free choices as there are today.

Even so, I would still spend the money and have a custom web site design. This will pay for itself many times over. It takes a lot of the worry off your shoulders.

There is a lot of competition out there, and if your site does not have good quality, they will click and go somewhere else in a big hurry.


@golf07 - There are hundreds of good custom web designing companies out there. I think the best thing to do is ask other people who they use and why they like them.

This way you get a really good idea of what the finished product looks like and how much you can expect to spend. There is nothing like other satisfied customers to help you make up your mind.

Another thing I would consider is who hosts your site and what kind of server it is on. Once I had a site on one of the free web sites, and the site was extremely slow.

I know that if I got frustrated when I was trying to navigate through the site, how annoying it would also be for potential customers. For me, this is just as important as having a quality, custom web design.


My husband and I have a small based business, and up to this point, have used the free websites that are available.

When we were first getting started and didn't have much money to invest, this was a good way to get our feet wet. We both knew a little bit about websites, so didn't have any trouble getting a website up and running.

Now that we have grown, I am considering having a custom web page design done. I think that first impressions are very important. A custom built website gives such a nicer impression than one that is just so-so.

I don't have much time to work on this myself, and would rather pay someone to do it right and have it look professional. If I tried to do this myself, it would take too much time and I know I would get very frustrated along the way.

How do you find the most affordable custom web design that still looks polished and professional?


@animegal - If you are willing to use flash web design you could try something like WIX. It is a drag and drop design site that gives you lots of templates to work with, ones that you are able to change as much as you want. It is great for beginners, and those who just strapped for time and cash.

I think custom web designers are a good investment if you can afford to hire them, but for a home business you can get a professional looking website easy enough without having to spend a lot of money. If you spend a few hours on your site and have some design skill you'll have no problem making a nice looking page.


Can anyone tell me how I can get the look of a custom web design company without having to spend a fortune on having someone design my site?

I have a home business and would like to have a simple ecommerce web design that is easy to navigate and is unique. I have a pretty good eye for design, so I would be willing to put together a site myself if I didn't have to know any coding. I know it is important to have customized web design but I just don't have the budget for a custom web design firm, so I am hoping there is an easy solution to my problem.


Its interesting to look at a big and highly trafficked website like Google or Amazon or The New York Times online and see how many different redesigns they have gone through. It seems like almost once every year and not more than once every two years the look and layout of the site changes in subtle but perceptible ways.

I think the philosophy says that if you are not always evolving and refining you will fall behind the pack. The internet changes quickly and user expectations can shift wildly in the span of just a few years. If you are not constantly refining the experience of using your website people will spend their internet time elsewhere.


There are a lot of great templates and web site building tools that you can use to create simple and functional web pages. But if you really want your website to get noticed I think you have to use a custom design. There is just to much competition for attention on the internet these days. Your company, band, product, whatever has to have a unique looking and unique feeling internet presence if it is going to get noticed.

That being said, custom web design can be a very expensive service. It takes both technical and creative expertise to build a good looking website and ensuring full functionality across browsers is a time consuming process. There are some reall geniuses out there but their services do not come cheap. It can be a bitter pill to swallow to pay for good work but think of it this way. Building a nice website costs a lot less than building a nice storefront.

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