Need an interactive pizza floating in space?
You need custom web design.

This is an extreme example of the need for custom web design, of course. Let’s look at a more practical application below.

A client of ours recently threw a pizza party to celebrate their 10,000th lead from their website.




average lead value


total leads


There are two things that are particularly remarkable about this story.

One is that it’s completely true, the second is not the volume of leads or their value, but the very 1st lead. You see, eight years ago, this company had not generated any leads whatsoever – zero – from their website. All of that potential, that $150 million in potential, may not have been realized if they had gone it on their own or attempted to implement a cut-rate, cookie-cutter website solution. If the company had not allowed Sans Terra to implement a custom solution developed around their unique products, mission, and sales process, the results simply would not have been the same.

That case study alone is mind-blowing. However, it doesn’t let us view the full scope of this topic. Let’s look at the question of the type of customer that can be helped the most by custom website design.

Who can custom web design help the most?

For some businesses, social media or a cookie-cutter web design solution are enough, but some businesses need a heavy-hitter on their side.

Custom design makes sense when a business:

  1. Has the team and capacity to grow
  2. Has unique requirements that out-of-the-box solutions just won’t fit

The business that needs custom website design typically has a unique product or situation that doesn’t fit into the typical template or commerce platform. They’re not cookie-cutter, and neither is the custom solution we will implement.

That’s the business that will realize the most value from custom design. They don’t have a typical situation. They have challenges that are complicated to explain and that they don’t want to explain over and over again. Those who work with highly skilled custom designers trust the specialists with whom they work to have their backs all the time and to solve their problems.

A business with a strong reputation, a trusted product, and an amazing sales force is fundamentally a success of course, even if its potential is unrealized from the web. The element of success can be an obstacle, though. The owner of a business that is already proven offline may think to themselves, “I don’t need a website. I don’t need to invest in the web because I already do great through referrals and word-of-mouth.” Even though they know their competitor is crushing them on the web, they are still attached to the old, proven, physical model.

Someone in that position who is considering custom web design will ask themselves, “What’s the value to me?” The basic answer to that is simple: It’s an investment, and when it’s done well, it will pay you back.

“For your website to be your top lead generator, it has to communicate the passion you have for solving your customers' problem.”

That’s why the notion of a custom solution is critical. Keep in mind that if you want your site to be your #1 salesperson, it has to act as a #1 salesperson. Look at your top salesperson: how passionate they are about your product and how that person interacts with your customers.

Herein lies the chief difference between cookie-cutter solutions and custom design: with your own solution, you can conscientiously instill that passion and interaction. You can focus attention squarely on the problem you solve for your customers. It helps you communicate. In this manner, it helps you sell – and that means you aren’t just spending money but collecting a strong return on your investment that will last for years to come.

What exactly is custom web design?

Well, custom means defying - rather than defining - the parameters. It’s not just a WordPress template. It’s not just a Shopify template. A solid custom designer is not married to any existing system or platform, and so they are free to explore the perfect fit for a particular situation. That’s true even if what is needed is a “custom-custom solution” – something that they have to build from the ground up. A proven and experienced web designer will not be intimidated, and, in fact, be able to embrace that kind of “from-scratch” project.