Want to invest in a website but don't know which type? Here's something that will help you make the decision.
There are two ways one can go when it comes to the primary step of setting up a website- the decision to go with a custom-designed website or to use a template website. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks. They also differ in terms of purpose and the type of business that needs a website.
Custom websites are normally built from the ground up without any use of a pre-designed layout. The valuing depends highly on advanced functionality. It's important to remember that custom web design involves more than just the looks of the website. It could involve back-end coding for custom cutting-edge functionality, lead management, APIs, and e-commerce features.
Custom websites have a more intensive planning & design process to customize the website to the needs of the client.
Templates, on the other hand, are a pre-designed layout for a webpage or set of webpages of an online site. A website template gives designers a relatively straightforward way to plug content into a website without having to build the website from the ground up.
Templates reduce web development costs because these pre-designed layouts are generally pre-built on mobile-responsive frameworks. These frameworks reflect the general best-practices in web design. Certain web companies also offer a free basic website as long as the customer pays a monthly hosting fee.
To understand the difference between custom design and template better, here is a list of the pros and cons of each website. This will help you choose the most suitable design according to your needs. Custom designs are a better option for some businesses, while for the other pre-made templates are by far the most convenient solution.
Custom websites are unique. Uniqueness is an indispensable attribute to some businesses, so this is an added advantage. Another advantage is that custom websites are highly adaptable both in terms of design and functionality.
They are SEO-friendly. You can build it lean and search engine friendly.
As your business grows, your website will require to grow and adapt as well. In CMS design, if your web developer implements the right technology for that growth, the process will be smooth and flawless and will not require large investments in the future.
In this era of mobile devices, all custom made, responsive website can and should be designed to be mobile-friendly to rank higher in Google searches.
Custom-designed sites are more expensive. The expenses you will have to incur with a custom website are much higher than purchasing an affordable template that you usually just pay for once.
Custom sites take longer to construct, considering the amount of work that building from scratch requires.
Templates are more budget-friendly. There are plenty of free templates and premium templates at quite affordable prices.
Another advantage is that sites using templates have a much shorter development time. If you are working with a short time-frame and want something fast, then using templates can save you weeks. All the coding is already done you just have to adjust the graphic design, add your content and your site is good to go.
Pre-designed templates are less flexible. They are customizable but only to a certain extent. Plus, templates are designed on particular frameworks and structured systems that only adapt to certain technologies.
Templates usually come with less support. Some templates do come with 24/7 support but are not common and you have to rely on quite limited support.
Most templates are not automatically SEO-friendly. They may come with some built-in SEO solutions, but they require extensive customization to be truly SEO-friendly.
Another disadvantage is that other companies may be using the same template as yours, so your site is not as unique and does not stand out amongst others. It is also not guaranteed to be responsive on all devices.
The main difference between the two is obviously that with a custom site you will have to build from scratch, while with templates if you go with a theme, you get an almost pre-made site.
Both options have their pros and cons. Clients and businesses that have more advanced needs, a robust, highly customized site would be the better option, provided they are willing to invest both the time and the resources into designing it. On the contrary, clients who need a fast, simple and reliable solution for a starter website should opt for a template website.
Now that you are aware of all the pros and cons of both options, the choice is up to you. Consider your needs and resources and choose the best solution!