Achieving a well-designed safari website can be a tough task. Because it is most likely what your safari customers go through before even considering your products and services.
The way you present it to the world can strengthen your online presence and impacts your business as well. This is why you should not be in a rush to decide how you can build a great website.
The most common ways of creating a website that can attract your potential customers are Custom Web Design and Template Website.
It is really essential to do your research before considering one of the two ways. Let us through some light on a few of the possibilities & limitations of both cases then you can decide which would lead you to your goal.
In this guide, we will cover the pros & cons of both Custom web design & Website Templates and the factors that can affect while going for a method with some real African safari website examples.
Let’s dive in!
What is Custom Web Design?
A custom website can have infinite possibilities in terms of what you want to showcase to your potential safari & tour audience.
Here your safari website gets developed from scratch after understanding the expectations and requirements to bring the idea in your mind to life. From layout to information architecture, from navigational elements to content along with its graphics, every aspect is put together by a team of experts to bring out what you want your safari website to reflect.
Let’s see some of the pros and cons of custom web design for an African Safari Business:
Tailored to your unique needs and brand identity – With a custom-made website, you can design your website in a way that reflects your brand identity and differentiates it from the competitors, and attract more potential customers.
You can include specific features and unique offerings, such as wildlife tours and safari experiences, in a visually engaging and user-friendly way. You also need to meet your safari customer requirements such as adding a booking system or interactive maps.
More flexibility and room for creativity – As per studies, a website with an amazing interface can increase audience engagement. You can add any image, any menu, and any special feature to your website. Decide what is working for you and update accordingly as it gives you full flexibility.
Better long-term scalability – Custom-built websites can be designed by keeping future growth in mind and how to scale up as new technologies come into play. A safari business that has a clear long-term strategy can reflect it on its website.
Higher upfront costs – One of the reasons why many go for templates instead of custom websites is because the cost is involved – as you will be paying for all the design and development expertise. Which would be compromised if you are paying less. But we assure you would be investing in long-term benefits from a well-designed website.
Longer development timeline – As the amount of work involved is more, more time is consumed to deliver. Because it requires a team of skilled professionals, including web designers, developers, and content creators, to create a website that meets the client’s specific requirements that is what makes you different from others when it comes to winning more bookings.
Potential for scope creep – This usually occurs when the requirements change when the website is being developed. All those re-designs and revisions are beyond the vision of what has initially been agreed to.
What is a Template Website?
Template websites are usually pre-designed templates available online at a lower cost and even sometimes free. There are website builder tools available as well where you can create a design by adding your content and customizing the given features according to your need.
All the layouts and navigations are already pre-built in the template. All you need to do is add the content and personalize it for your safari business like details of safari destinations and booking systems. As you don’t have to prepare it from the initial level it can be made at a cheaper cost and faster.
Let’s explore the downsides and upsides of a template website for African Safari Operators:
Lower upfront costs – As the resources, time investment and work to be done is smaller, the cost to design the website can be a lot less. The website may cost you almost nothing if you know how to work it out.
Faster development timeline – If you want your safari website to be made immediately but don’t have much web designing expertise, template websites can work for you. As it’s pre-built, all you need to do is add your respective content and images with minor edits.
Easier to implement – You can easily arrange your content within a webpage or even use the drag & drop features to have a well-designed website quickly.
Often includes built-in functionality – A few features like the placement of the menus, sidebars, navigation elements, or even fonts are already ready-made for you to use them.
Limited customization options – You cannot customize every aspect of the website as in the case of a custom website as most of the elements are already pre-built.
Potential for a less unique or generic look – There are only a handful of options or designs available in terms of templates. This means there are chances that another safari operator might be using the same template as you, where you lack the uniqueness.
May not be as scalable or adaptable in the long run – Because the functionalities are already pre-defined, you cannot really tweak them in the future when you need to add some new features for example you want to change the placement of your itinerary section.
Factors to consider when choosing between custom and template website design for an African safari business:
Your budget and timeline – Your website should not be where you consider cutting down your budget. Because it is the place where all the branding and marketing work starts for your safari business. Your potential safari customers would find you there 24×7 so you need to have a great site to create that first impression.
When it comes to the time required, template websites are pre-packed designs and hence come out faster. But the drawback is they have limited functionalities. On the other hand, custom websites can be considered valuable for the brand’s performance even if it takes a little longer to create.
Your specific business goals and branding needs – If you want to create a unique personality for your safari business, then you need to choose between a custom web design and a template website. Whichever serves right in holding the brand position and the features they come with.
The functionality and features you require – User experience and a responsive design are considered by most of your prospective safari customers when it comes to a website. So, you should go for the one where you can add all your needed functionalities the way you want.
The long-term scalability and adaptability of your website – Your website would not be well enough if it cannot change as your company grows. It needs to also adapt to the features and changes that come in the future times. So you can depend on the website for a long term without having to change it completely.
Examples of an African safari business with custom and template websites
As you can see, the template website looks good on the surface but with limited functionalities. But the custom-built website is full of features and showcases all the important aspects.
The Realistic Approach
It may seem like a tough decision to make at first, whether to go for a custom website or a template website. But it all comes down to your safari business needs like how you want to present your products and services to the world. As a well-designed website can drive enquires and bookings for your safari and tour business. We recommend you choose the way that works for your business needs considering your budget, time, and other factors as well.