If you haven't read about our tech stack yet, this might be a great time to pause and read that first.

Why? Because deciding whether your website should be custom vs. templated or pure code vs. using a Content Management System (CMS) is about as subjective to your organization's preferences as Americans liking sushi (which, apparently, 32% haven't even tried).

For GrowthStack, the decision to build a completely custom website (100% code, no CMS), came down to two factors:

  1. Our comfort level working in code. For many organizations, this will be a hard stop. We happen to have an abundance of nerds on staff and those that need to make changes to the site have the same baseline knowledge when it comes to deploying changes in code. For us, it's actually faster to work in HTML, CSS, and Javascript than manage a CMS. As an added bonus, our site doesn't have the bloat of something like a Wordpress which gives us an added SEO touch.
  2. The purpose of our site. Before we white-boarded a single wireframe, sketching a mock-up, or dropped any code on our site we determined the intent and strategy of our website. Afterall, a website is your organization's digital storefront and you'd never deploy that without some discussions. For us it was simple: the only purpose of our site is to educate our target customer on what we do and start a conversation with them when they're ready.

    With that intent in mind, we made a decision to have a single splash page with a very clear value proposition. We wanted to resonate quickly (hence the task cards with some of the most top-of-mind issues our target customer faces) and provide a way to start a conversation (we hand that off to Drift).

    This cut-and-dry purpose of our site made it clear, we didn't need any scalable templates or management system. A single, elegant page could do the job.

Bonus. One thing to keep in mind is we leverage an amazing publishing tool called Ghost for our blog. In a major way, it is a content management system, but it's strictly for true content. This is the one element of our digital storefront we knew would be constantly evolving. The decision on Ghost deserves it's own write-up, but it's our go-to platform for content-heavy publications.

Bottom line: is a totally custom website (like ours) right for you?

Honestly, probably not.

A majority of our customers are on some sort of slew of Hubspot CMS or Wordpress (some even on tools like Wix and SquareSpace) with additional content on marketing automation landing pages like Marketo. GrowthStack deploys strategy for them across these platforms but in the case they need to go in to review or make changes, these technologies are much more consumable and user-friendly.

If you're in a niche space and have the technical know-how, a custom site like ours may be a good fit for you. The joy of building Growth Stacks is you build them to fit your needs.