Custom Web Design vs Ready Made Website Templates – Which Should You Choose?
As a business, it’s inevitable to face your competition and always bring something new to the table that is at least slightly better than what other businesses have implemented. There are many factors that are in play between you and your competition and this is the field where lots of calculation and tactics are going on.
On the other hand, one of the most obvious goals for any business is to make more money while spending less. These two ideas, being competitive while not investing too much money are very important when setting up your business website and social media presence.
This divides people into two different classes. There are the ones that start using ready-made themes which are cheaper and easy to set up, while others rather choose to own a custom website. Many business owners think this is a really easy decision, yet there are a bunch of things to consider.
You should start a website that projects a professional image to your audience in every aspect. If you have a clear vision about your company, then it’s crucial to think through the pros and cons of these alternatives. Let us explain why.
The Benefits of a Custom-Made Web Design
There are plenty of reliable web designer / developer teams out there that can be hired to create a unique website. You just need to describe the main characteristics and goals of your business to them along with specifics like the structure and overall appearance of the website.
After everything is planned out, you agree in a price that is satisfying for both sides and they start working on it. If there are some practical features that you might add to your site, you can just ask them or hand over a list and they immediately start working on it. This includes implementing CMS variants that help you a lot in managing your content.
By hiring a decent agency, every detail in your site will be unique and exactly what you asked for and even if not, they can quickly make the required adjustments. The appearance and layout of your website will be custom-made and specifically designed to represent your brand.
A ready-made template comes with a limited number of elements, layouts, colors and fonts. These often have their own style, meaning that no matter how you customize your website, there will be probably lots of similar websites around on the Web.
When it comes to a custom website, your hands are definitely not tied so you can modify it according to your taste. You will get the control over your website that every owner deserves.
Web designer teams also know that if a business starts growing, its website should grow along with it. With today’s technology, professionals can easily build websites that are completely scalable and flexible for future changes.
And don’t think that they just set up the site and then leave it all up to you. Working with these agencies is rather a long-lasting partnership. In case you run into a problem, you can contact them and ask for support and they are usually much more reliable than the support you get with the templates.
Web designer teams also run your website through tests to make sure all the pages are loading properly and it’s compatible with the most popular browsers. Before handing it over, they also optimize it for SEO, so that you can seamlessly rank your site up on Google.
The downsides of opting for a custom website are quite understandable. You have to invest a significant amount of money to get the website you want, but hiring professional teams always pays off. It also takes time to build it, but it’s a process that shouldn’t be urged anyway.
This is What Happens if You Choose a Template Design
Just check out the top website builder and content management system on the Web, they are all offering plenty of templates with the latest designs. You can choose from many different categories, apply various layouts and styles and quickly set up a whole website.
Nowadays it’s really popular and trending to pick a template and save yourself the time, effort and money that is otherwise needed to build up a comprehensive website from scratch. Now let’s go through the pros and cons of these themes so you can decide whether it’s a good option or not.
First of all, we turn to these templates because they can be installed in a few simple steps and basically anyone can do it. It won’t consume your time at all, especially if you ask someone in your staff to install it for you.
However, you can’t deny the fact that these themes are mostly designed for simple websites like portfolios, band pages, blogs and such. It’s reasonable to choose them when you have little to no time to deal with these tasks or if you have a really low budget.
Don’t Expect a Positive Outcome as a Serious Business
As we previously mentioned, templates can’t be unique because you never know how many other businesses are using the same one. If you have serious goals and you also want to stand out with your brand, then picking a template is hardly a good choice for you.
There are rarely enough customization options in these themes. In fact, they are often so one-sided that if you want to upload some unique elements or somehow change the style, it will sabotage the code and your page will stop working. Adding pictures or fonts to your site is also complicated because they need to be compatible with the strict layout.
You can still come across plenty of themes that are working only on specific browsers or they simply programmed it in an old-fashioned way that doesn’t even work anymore. Additionally, you should avoid those ready-made themes that are not optimized for search engines if you want to achieve good rankings.
Some of them can be used to set up online stores, but you certainly won’t be satisfied by its functionalities which are another issue that can be solved by choosing a custom website.
Although you can sometimes add snippets of code or somewhat modify the theme in the background, it will be only a short-term solution since you won’t be able to apply the next patch that comes up.
It will only give you a hard time in the end and you might also end up spending money several times on fixing problems on your website because it either takes too long for their tech support to answer or you won’t get answered at all.
If you check the template store, you can see themes with long lists of features which might appear as impressive, but you probably won’t even use half of them so it’s just a complete waste.
Choosing the Best Option
Now let’s summarize it a little bit. So ready-made themes are much cheaper and you can install them pretty fast, but they are certainly not the best choice for businesses. If you have clear business goals and want to improve as a brand, contacting an agency that is specialized in creating custom websites might be the best option for you.
It’s much better to work with a wide range of customization options to be able to show your brand to your customers in the best way, ensuring a great user experience. After all, a serious business should always have a powerful and unique design.
Even if you don’t have the money yet, it’s surely worth saving for a while and then investing into a top notch website. If you are lucky enough to have a few IT guys in your company, then you probably won’t even have any problems that can’t be solved within your business.
If you compare a template to a custom site in terms of functionalities, the latter wins again because there needs to be a neatly coded background in case you want to add advanced features to your site. If there is something wrong with the code, you might forget all your online marketing plans because chances are that many of them won’t even work.
By hiring a web designer team, your website won’t be just another duplicate. People will remember it despite the abundance of the template-based ones.
We often deceive ourselves into thinking that these cheap solutions can be as good as the more expensive ones, but if you buy something that doesn’t help you at all, then did you save money at the end? No, you just bought something that basically equals to nothing.
Don’t Get Fooled by Short-term Advantages
With the prices, bonus features and positive reviews, a pre-built website design might promise you a great deal, but you need to realize that there is much more to take into consideration. In fact, you can easily end up paying more for a template than for a custom-made website, with the only difference that those will be probably long-term expenses instead of paying right off the bat.
On the other hand, by consulting with a decent web design agency, you will realize that sometimes nothing helps you out more than professional advices on how to build up a website in such a way that mostly benefits your business.
You can consult all the specifics with them, making sure that every customer will be satisfied while taking their tour on your website. It will become a place where people will be eager to buy something or even just enjoy the content and return another time.
Furthermore, they can be asked to design your site to be responsive to your customers and accumulate a history for each of them, containing the data about their purchases, actions and browsing habits in the past. This is something that definitely can’t be expected from pre-built website designs.
Summing It Up
If you want to quickly get a website up and running just to have some online presence, then it’s reasonable to pick a template, install it by following a few steps and save your budget for later.
But if you want something that really works in the long term and is reliable enough to build a growing company on it, you should invest in a customized website and find a professional team as soon as possible. They are all around on the Internet, so all you need to do is to get your ideas and money ready.
Once you figured out the specifics, laying down some basic rules and handing over a list of your demands is really not a big deal, and they will surely get the idea. As long as you are willing to cooperate with the team, you will surely get the website you always dreamed of.
Be willing to get into specifics such as certain elements, graphics or functionalities that you want to be available on your new site. The goal is to help them in creating an interface that leaves you with the most flexibility in a user-friendly software environment.
Also, it’s important to have access to a plethora of different fonts, logos, buttons and other elements and to be able to use them for different purposes.
And, at last but not least, the website should provide you with enough space to properly display your brand to your customer base. Projecting your brand in a way that makes a powerful impact can be of crucial importance for your business.
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