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Custom Built Websites vs. Templates - Which is Right For You?

Posted at Apr 30, 2019 11:01:03 AM by Sarah Harper | Share

So you've decided that it's time for a website redesign. A question that often comes up at the beginning of this process is whether to use a template or to have a design custom built just for you. There are pros and cons of each and it also depends a lot of the specifics of your needs to decide which is right for you.


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As you begin this process as with much of the rest of your website redesign, think carefully about your needs. Are your needs relatively simple or is there specific functionality or customization that may be needed. If this is the case then a custom website may be the right solution for you. On the other hand, if your website is a brochure type website with no customization or special functionality needed you may be fine going with a template as the base for your new website.

Depending on which Content Management System you are using for your website redesign, there are a variety of templates available to you, both free and paid. Some benefits of using a template are that building a website that starts with a template tends to be less expensive than having a custom site designed for you from scratch. So if you are extremely budget conscious this may be the best choice for you. Using a template also simplifies the website design and development process. This means that you can potentially have your new site up and running far more quickly that you would with a custom built site. So far using a template as the base for your website redesign sounds great right? Well, there are some drawback to consider as well as you weigh your options. The first potential drawback to consider is originality. Since templates are publicly available it is possible that other businesses will utilize the same template as you and thus have similar looking websites. This is especially true if you are choosing a template that is specific to your particular industry, you run the risk of having a site that is visually similar to one of your competitors. The next consideration is that of customization. Your options for customization are limited depending on which template you choose. If you want to modify or customize the theme beyond what it natively supports you will need to enlist the support of a professional developer. When deciding to use a template you also need to consider support. Templates need to be kept up to date as the content management system is updated. When purchasing or using an available template it's also important to consider what kind of support and updates are available for your chosen template.

The other route to building a website is to have the site custom designed and built for you. As we have mentioned, this option can be more expensive and time-consuming than using a template, but there are some benefits to a going the custom routes. The first benefit is that everything is in fact custom. This means that your website will be unique. You will be able to work with the website designer to ensure that your design reflects your brand exactly how you want it to. The second benefit to having a site custom designed and built for you is that you can include any functionality that you need or want to. Your site can function exactly as you need it to in order to represent your business and drive sales. A custom built site can also be helpful when looking to future-proof your website. If you work with your developer and designer from the beginning outlining both your current and future goals they can ensure that your site is built to support your future growth.  

Trying to decide between a custom or template built website? Let the THAT Agency team help you outline your goals and make your decision.

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Tags: Web Development, Web Design

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