A website is the soul of any business and any business cannot achieve the best of its potential without one. So, having developed that understanding almost every business is thriving to have a significant presence online through a good website. Now, as a business owner if you too are onto it then that leaves us with an important question to be asked which is whether to go for a custom web design or a website template? Here you have a number of factors to consider and many choices to be made.
The first thing that comes to our minds is that why to spent loads of money on website development when you can just buy a website template online that looks equally good and works fine. Well, this is something most of us would say but only because we do not know the difference between custom web design or a website template. The functionality, the interface the quality can vary drastically and then we would be left with no choice but to go back to the first step and consider our requirement again.
The website as said is the soul of your business. This is the first source of contact between you and your customer and they are going to understand, judge and even connect to you through the website alone so it better be good. So, the first impression of your business through your website needs to be remarkable. Now, in that case, you can yourself make out the difference between a custom web design which will be unique, exclusive to your business and with exceptional functionality and a regularly bought template which will not be very different from that of other websites. Basically, your website will be reflecting the personality of your business and here you have to choose what you want to reflect. You want the website to be appealing, engaging with something different with a custom web development company or just a regular source of information or connection. While both works well, it is on a business owner to set his priorities and needs.
In this article, we’ve discussed about the differences between custom websites and the templates to help a business owner who is a non-technical person to make an informed choice.
So, what we are going to do here is give you a comparison between two on the basis of the pros and cons of the same and then you can decide for yourself what works best for you.
Advantages of Custom Web Design
- The biggest advantage of getting a custom web design is that your website will stand out from the crowd and will look nothing like anything the users have seen before. Every time they use the website they will get an exclusive feel and that is what is important. It will be different from that of your competitors and will give you an edge.
- They will offer unique and exceptional functionality based on what your business stands for. Whatever, the goods or services you are dealing with, the website will be designed accordingly and will have a totally unique design.
- Custom websites are more search engine friendly than website templates so they tend to rank higher on a search engine which is very important in today’s competitive environment. With custom web design you can play with keywords as much as you want and get it ranked really higher.
- The custom web design will be in proper sync with your business branding. Yes, as we said it is the should of your business it should reflect the core message through right branding. This means that in custom web design you can incorporate your brand’s logo, slogan, colours and everything else to it so it blends perfectly well with your business.
- There is a factor of scalability with custom websites and they grow as your business grows which is very important. So, if you are looking at some long-term objectives then the custom design is your choice as it will have the scope of growth and will not remain static.
Disadvantages of Custom Web Design
- A custom web design will cost you much more than a website template. It will be a huge expense and if you are not looking for long term growth objectives then you can settle for templates as they are much cheaper.
- Another issue with custom web design is that it will be a long and tedious process. First, you will have to find the right web development company and then do the negotiations and the process will start only after that. After that, you will have to stay in touch with the company and help them at every point and it will be a long process. So, it will take much longer to create a custom design as compared to a website template which you can do on your own.
Advantages of Website Templates
- A website template has a shorter development cycle and you do not need to rely on anyone else for the same. This can be done at the shortest and you can do it yourself without facing any delays. And you do not even need to be a technically adept for the same, thanks to website templates.
- Another benefit of using a website template is that it cost less so if you have a low budget. So, you can at first when your business is in the initial stage you can go for a template and later opt for custom web development when you are earning enough to set aside money for the same.
Disadvantages of Website Templates
- A big disadvantage of using a website template is that there is no X-factor in your website and it will look just like your competitors. As website templates are easily available online, there are chances that your competitors and other businesses are also using the same website template that you are using and hence it will not leave a very good impression on your users.
- The template will not look anything like your business. It will have a fixed design which you cannot play with and will not be in sync with your business’s branding. You cannot even customize it according to your needs as incorporating images, videos and texts in it is a challenging task.
- Website templates are not designed with search engines in mind so you cannot play with keywords, content optimization and other SEO Tools. So, the website will rank lower in the search engines and hence your business will not get any significant presence online which defeats the whole purpose.
- Website templates are not that safe and secure. A single malicious code can easily hack the website and it will be damaged beyond repair.
It is advisable that you first understand your requirement and the difference in the functionality of both so you can make a better and informed decision.
Difference in functionality
Website templates come with some integrated features that may help save your investments but that is it. You cannot add additional features to it as your business grows and the website will always remain static. With website templates, you aren’t free to integrate more features or make changes in the existing ones as they have their own limitations.
While a custom website will offer you as much flexibility and liberty in terms of functionality. You can pick whatever features you want to integrate into the website and change them over time.
Flexibility & Scalability
Website templates are good for businesses at the early stage but they offer no scope for growth. So, when your company begins to grow and you need something different for your website users then you will feel stuck and will have no option except to shift to custom web design.
While a custom web design is dynamic and will grow with your business. It will offer you as much flexibility with features as you want.
Who Should Get a Custom Web Design?
If your approach is long term and you expect your business to grow in the near future then you should go for a website that is scalable, search engine-friendly and unique. One that offers you flexibility in terms of features and functionality and exclusivity in terms of branding and design. This will help your business stand out and make a significant image online.
If originality and standing out from the crowd is important to your business, going with the custom designs is the right choice for you. Remember that your website is the soul of your business and a source of branding and marketing so a high-quality website will always be a sound investment that will pay you off better in the long run.
Who Should Purchase A Website Template?
If your business is in its initial stage and you are a little tight on budget and you do not have time and energy to spend on the tedious process of website development then you can go for a website template. It is a good choice for those who want to do it on their own and do not want to rely on anyone else.
Whatever decision you make, just be sure it well suited for your business needs.