When businesses or individuals are seeking a new website or looking to re-vamp their existing website, there are generally two options; Purchase a website template or have a professional web designer create a custom website design.
Both have pros and cons.
Website templates are pre-made website designs which typically give you the ability to upload your logo, banner, images, and text to set designated areas. Depending on the template you choose, it may also include additional scripts, content sliders, landing page, photo galleries and contact forms. Basically, it is a pre-made website that you can instantly install to your hosting server and fill in the necessary information. As the coding and the designs are already there, these templates require minimal work.
With that in mind, you’re probably wondering why so many businesses spend a great deal of money and precious time developing custom made websites – they are time-consuming, more expensive, and they require a lot of work.
Well, there are many good reasons to choose custom website design over templates.
Website templates are certainly not suitable for all purposes as they are designed to be universal instead of specialised. If you’re using your website to build your brand or to promote your business, you don’t want your website to look like everybody else’s right?
But as I said earlier, using web templates, just as opting for a custom website design, has its pros and cons;
Website template advantages
- They are cost-effective. When compared to custom designed websites, bought website templates are a lot cheaper. In fact, you can get pretty decent ones from Theme Forest for about $30-$50 while rates for custom designed websites start at $500. However, keep in mind that, just like any other purchases, you get what you pay for.
- They are instant. When compared to having your website professionally designed, website templates are a whole lot faster and will allow you to jumpstart your website in just a matter of days.
- There are no surprises. When you buy a website template, you get the exact design you purchase. This means that you enjoy the opportunity to see exactly what you’re getting even before you hand over a single cent. You can then integrate your own images, personality, and content into the layout.
Website template disadvantages
- They are not unique or exclusive. If you intend to use your website to build your brand or to create awareness, and understand the importance of standing out from the crowd, website templates are not for you. Using a template means your website could potentially be the same as thousands of others on the internet. Worse, you run the risk of getting the same templates used by your competitors. This can cause confusion among your target audience.
- The need for customisation. It’s obvious that people looking for a cost-effective website will choose a template over customised website design. What they fail to factor in is that customisation is still required. While this is sometimes simple, more often than not it’s quite difficult – especially if your template is for a WordPress website and has its own settings. Specific skills and knowledge is required of HTML or CMS’s and for some e-commerce templates, you will also be required to purchase. Depending on your need, this customisation will require the services of website designer. These costs should be factored in to the cost of your website so you have a better idea on how much your website will actually cost, its often much greater than the cost of the template alone.
- Templates are not specifically designed based on your needs and business requirements. For example, if you intend to have a lot of content and post videos and audio files, you may not have sufficient layout to cater for these. Other important functionalities that are needed to run your website may not also be included. Such limitations are often only realised after the purchase has been made.
- No SEO support. One of the most serious disadvantages of opting to use a bought template is that they do not have SEO support which is typically readily available when you get your website custom built, of in our case included in the website development. If you’re going to use your website to promote your business, this lack of SEO support can be considered a major setback and can keep you from attracting that much-needed traffic.
So template or custom built, the choice is yours, but keep in mind that even though templates are the cheaper option, they are often very difficult for the average Joe to actually install and get up and running.
Whether you’ve settled on a website template or after a custom website design, Ignition Media can help, the most important thing is simply having an online presence.