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Which is Better? Custom Websites vs Templates

Is it time for a website revamp? Have you considered using templates or going to old-fashioned route, building it from scratch?

Creating your own website has its ups and downs. Considering your options can ease worries when it’s time to create or revamp your website.

Both custom web design and templates have some benefits and drawbacks. While you have full creative control over custom design, templates can reduce the amount of time you spend on creating.

Whichever you choose, think about your company’s needs such as costs, time, employee skill level, and overall brand strategy.


Custom Web Design

Pros

  • Unique Design
  • Freedom of design work
  • You own all design layouts

Having a design you built from scratch gives you the pride and joy of having a website built to fit your needs. No one else has your layout, contrary to templates.

You can build a unique design that matches your brand. Every aspect is personalized from images, colors, layout, navigation, etc. With personalized designs, you can become an innovator in your field.

You have the freedom to design however your business allows. There are no limitations to what you can design. The creative power is all yours.

Overall, you own all the work you spent time in the past few months. It can take a great deal of time building a site from a blank page. It takes a lot longer than having a template already made for you.

You are able to backup your website by having multiple versions without losing some or all of your work. Your hard work won’t be lost.

Hosting companies and content management systems (CMS) offer backups of your website, but it might not be as reliable as a custom build.

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Cons

  • Take a long time to build from scratch
  • Expensive
  • Needs advanced skill level

Custom development requires time in meetings, approvals, and expensive costs. Choosing a web designer or web design company is a long process. The right departments are required for approval in the development process including legal, marketing, sales, customer service, and other necessary departments.

Time is money. This is something to keep in mind when building a custom website. It might be cost effective in the long run, however, if you’re losing revenue while building your website, you’ve lost time and money.

Hiring a web designer or web design company can become expensive.

You’ll need to figure out who has full control over updates. If you decide to revamp in the future, would the designer or company provide that service or would you have someone in-house updating?

An advanced skill level is needed to build and maintain a custom website. This could mean hiring an in-house web designer or a freelancer.

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Templates

Pros

  • Cut development time in half
  • Modern layouts
  • Already mobile responsive

Premium template designs are great if you’re short on time, or don’t have the funds to hire a web designer or web design company.

A CMS such as WordPress gives the flexibility to create to cut development time and costs. Tutorials are available to help you create like a web designer.

Third party plugins are useful. Plugins offer a great way to customize your website even if you have an online store.

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These plugins allow flexibility with a template design. Some are already ahead in their field or expert technology, so using them is a great way to incorporate them into your website.

If you already have an in-house web designer, he/she can maintain the website without spending too much time on maintenance. Additionally, you don’t need a professional designer, but someone with minimal to intermediate coding skills as templates don’t require advanced knowledge of HTML skills. Additional help is online to help you when you need it.

Templates are built all the time by designers who know new technology and modern trends. Designs are modern and features are up to date. There are no worries that your website will be outdated.

Already being mobile responsive is one of the best things templates have over custom designs. With media query already built in, you don’t have to go through all the time to build your website across all devices. This can take up a lot of time when building mobile responsive websites.

Cons

  • Other companies could have the same template
  • You don’t own the design
  • Limited customization

Templates are limited in availability. You have few designs to choose from. If you don’t pay for the exclusive or premium template designs that aren’t available to everyone, you’ll risk originality in your brand.

Using templates don’t give you the full creative control as custom designs.

If you’re not willing to give up control over your design, templates might not be best. In some cases, you’ll need to give the template designer/company credit at the bottom of all your web pages in your footer. Because they built the design, credit could still be given to them. This might not affect your credibility as much as you think. Web designers and companies are using templates more today and it’s become the norm.

With some features, you won’t be able to customize your website to fit your needs. The drag and drop features of some CMS templates, customization is limited as the objects on the interface snap into places. A professional designer might be needed to redesign some coding that an everyday person might not be able to do.

In the end…

Deciding which is better for you depend on how you’re willing to work. One might attract you more than the other.

In both, some HTML coding skills are required. Figure out costs and time when choosing as these are the biggest differences in choosing custom built designs or templates.

Do you think custom web design is dying? Do you favor templates over customizing a website from scratch?

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Monica Brown

I'm a professional writer and my articles clearly show the sphere of my interests - marketing, content management and website audience growing. Besides that, I like reading tech magazines and traveling.

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