So you've decided that it's time for a website redesign (or a brand-new website) for your business. A question that often comes up at the beginning of this process is whether to use a template or go with a custom built website made just for you. There are pros and cons to each. The following article can help you evaluate your specific business needs to decide which path is ultimately the right one for you.
custom built Website vs. Template: How to decide
Are your goals for the site relatively simple or is there specific functionality or customization that may be needed? If the latter is the case, then a custom built 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.
As you consider your website redesign, think carefully about what your new website must accomplish and be sure to weigh the following pros and cons:
Pros/Cons of Using templates
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.
(Image courtesy of oshinewptheme.com.)
Some benefits of using templates 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 drawbacks 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 will 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 website developer.
- When deciding to use a template, you also need to consider support. Templates need to be kept up to date as content management systems are updated. Thus, when purchasing or using an available template, don't overlook what tech support and updates are available.
Pros/Cons of Custom Built Websites
The other route to building a website is to have the site custom designed and built for you.
(Video courtesy of Owen Jones.)
As we have mentioned:
- This option can be more expensive and time-consuming than using a template.
But there are some key benefits to a going the custom route:
- 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 going with a custom built website 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.
Templates vs. Custom Built Websites: An Infographic
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Still can't decide between a template or custom built website? This FREE website cost calculator can help:
And don't hesitate to contact the team at THAT Agency at 561.832.6262 for assistance!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.