Business owners often look for the easiest solution to make their business profitable and to look professional compared to the competition. The more professional your website seems, the more credible it looks in the eyes of potential customers. When business owners start looking for the website solution, they often don’t really know the difference between using website templates or having a custom web design.
As we said, there are only two ways of making a new website: one is to create a whole new custom website from scratch and another one is to use an existing website template and modify it. Both options, like everything in life, have their good and bad sides, and choosing the right one depends on the purpose of it and the business type you are in. In this blog post, we’ll list the pros and cons of each website option to help you decide what is the best solution for you.
The easiest explanation of the template website is a template-based design that offers you an existing layout that needs to be flexible enough to fit your content into. You are basically looking for a template design that has a close visual feel of your business and matches with your needs. That means that when you find the right one, you can just make small customization with colors, images, and layout sections.
Benefits of a template website
As we all know, template websites cost less than complete custom sites, mostly because using a template means that we already have almost all website coding done without the need of developer’s time in that area (with less development comes a lower budget). That’s why template sites are more affordable than custom sites, although the developer will still have to spend time customizing the template, implementing the content, and making sure that everything works fine on a responsive level.
Again, thanks to the pre-done coding, template sites are also quite fast to implement from nothing to complete a functional website. They can mostly be launched in a matter of weeks if the content from the client’s side is complete, which is not always the case, and that can be a significant “slow-down” while trying to get a site launched on time.
Shortcomings of a template website
Design possibilities of most templates are really small, basically what you see is what you get. Of course, you can change some things like colors and fonts, but the layout is pretty set. If you really like existing layout and design and you don’t have a desire for something different, a template could work for you just fine. But be aware that, unfortunately, many businesses will have a website that looks just like yours.
Another minus to using a theme is that the functionality of your website depends on expirations dates of plugins. Also, sometimes updates of the builders of which your website is composed can drastically change the look, so you will need to put some extra time to fix it.
In a custom-designed website, every element is custom-designed to fit your needs. Your strategy and content come first and all design is built around it. A custom web design that is created just for your business will make your website stand out from the crowd and will be unique and different from anyone else’s.
Benefits of custom website
As we said before, the custom website adapts to your business needs in the best possible way, but it also gives you the room and the freedom for incorporating your company’s branding into it! Every little aspect is designed in the best interest of your business (which is well set through briefs and communications) and you can have complete supervision over the project and the final look.
The agency you hired for the website will consider SEO (Search engine optimization) best practices and learn what kind of goals you’re looking for from your new site. You’ll be able to be involved and to control the process and get custom features built into the design to make it easy for your administrator to manage the website.
Sometimes it can save time in the long run because your “website agency” ensures that your site does what you pay for it.
Shortcomings of custom website
Custom websites are developed from scratch: the information architecture or navigational structure, graphics elements, all functions, fonts family and administrative back-end are all designed based on your unique specifications so it takes much more working time to deliver than people realize because it’s devoted time in every detail of it so they are more expensive than templates.
Which Should You Choose?
If you’re on a small budget and need a quick and straightforward website, especially for businesses just starting out, a template design might be your best option. Some businesses just need a simple website that will provide the customer with all basic information about them and you can get that with a template.
But if you have more complex business needs and big goals, some specific features, and if you have a complicated content structure that needs a more precise organization or you just want to stand out from other websites, that only can be quality achieved with custom-built so keep that in mind.