Custom Web Design Vs. Template Websites: Which is Best for a Business?
Does a business really need a website? No matter what industry the company is in, how big it is, or how long it’s been in business, the answer to that question is yes. Every business can benefit from a website. A web presence isn’t a luxury, it’s a must. The vast majority of people search online for products and services they need, even if they’re local. If a business doesn’t have a website, customers won’t have an easy time finding it, especially if the competition is online. Once a business owner realizes they need a site, the next step is deciding how to go about getting one. There are two options to choose from, a custom website or a ready-made template.
Which Website Design Option Is Best?
As with every other decision, choosing the website design option depends upon several factors. Businesses should consider the budget, complexity of the site, whether the site will offer e-commerce, and the time-frame in which the site is expected to be completed. There are several other factors to keep in mind, as well. First, it’s important to understand the differences between the two and their benefits and drawbacks.
What Is a Custom Website?
As the name implies, a custom website is one that is designed specifically for the business. It will incorporate the company colors, logo, information about the products or services, and any other personalized information that’s important and necessary. The site is tailored to appeal to the company’s audience to enhance the customer’s experience with the brand to build a strong relationship with them.
Key Benefits of Custom Website Design
There are many benefits associated with custom website design, including the following:
- • A custom design reflects the company’s unique brand, image, ideals, and offerings.
- • A custom website helps a business stand out and attract new customers.
- • Custom sites use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve search engine ranking.
- • Custom sites load faster because they contain less unnecessary code.
- • A custom website design is designed to grow with the business’s needs.
- • Customized sites are designed to work on all devices with an emphasis on mobile devices.
- • Custom websites are designed by a dedicated team of experienced web design professionals.
- • Ongoing support from the design team means if there’s ever a problem with the site, it can be addressed quickly.
Drawbacks of Custom Website Design
While there are some serious benefits to custom website design, there are also some drawbacks including:
- • The cost of a custom website is substantially higher than using a template.
- • Custom websites can take weeks, or even months, to fully design, develop, and implement.
- • Delays arise if the website designer and business owner don’t communicate well.
The benefits of a custom website far outweigh the drawbacks. Now, take a look at the other option, a pre-made template, to see how it stacks up against custom website design.
What Is a Pre-Made Website Template?
Contrary to a custom website, a website template is a pre-made webpage or set of webpages that anyone can use. It is a basic, generic design that allows a person to enter information and images in pre-determined locations within the page.
Benefits of Pre-Made Website Templates
There are some key benefits that businesses realize when using a pre-made template, including:
- • Templates are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and many templates are available at no cost.
- • Fast design, development, and launch of the site. Often, it can be done in a day or less.
- • Anyone can create a website using a pre-made template as it requires no experience or coding.
- • Most templates allow for some level of customization, although not as much as a custom website
- • Drawbacks of Pre-Made Website Templates
The benefits of using a template, as listed above, are minimal. However, the drawbacks are not:
- • Perhaps the biggest drawback of a template design is that it’s not unique and anyone can use it.
- • Pre-made website templates do not allow for the same level of customization as a custom design.
- • Installing and using plug-ins and widgets to improve the site can be a challenge for novices.
- • Website templates lack the SEO capabilities that custom sites offer meaning they won’t rank well.
- • Templates often contain coding and other elements that aren’t necessary and cannot be removed.
- • A template designed website may not work properly on all devices.
- • There is limited, if any, support for people who build a website using a template. You’re on your own.
- • A pre-made website template is restrictive in terms of growth and expansion over time.
Making the Choice: Custom Design or Template Design
One may draw the conclusion that a pre-made website design is not as beneficial as a custom website design. That may be true, depending upon the business’s unique needs and expectations. No one knows a business better than the person who owns it, and it’s up to them to decide which option is best. However, experts agree that a custom site is the way to go for a business that’s either creating or altering their web presence. If a company’s budget doesn’t allow for that kind of investment, however, they can always start with a template and then hire a professional website designer in the future.