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Custom Design vs Website Templates

posted on Friday 11th August, 2017


So you need a new website for your exciting business venture.

You’ve decided DIY website builders are a no-go, so you’ve approached a few web design companies. The prices you get back may differ widely, as do the processes and turnaround times — but why?

One possible reason is that some web design companies custom design their websites, whilst others simply use ‘templates’. Website templates or themes can be downloaded for free or even purchased from specialists. As these are already designed and built, the development process is streamlined significantly.

 

AG Events
AG Events is an example of a custom designed website

 

Although some unscrupulous companies pass-off website templates as custom design, most will be upfront and quote things accordingly; given that less time is involved.

So what are the most important considerations when choosing between custom bespoke design or pre-built website templates? Let’s see…

 

Uniqueness

A custom designed website is unique. In comparison, a template can potentially have millions of people using the same design. You want your business to stand out and be different. Therefore it could be a little awkward if one of your competitors had the same website design as you.
Winner: Custom Design

 

SEO friendliness

Website templates are usually packed with numerous different layouts and widgets which your website may never even use. This can make them bloated and not particularly search engine friendly. A custom designed website should always be built with SEO friendliness in mind.
Winner: Custom Design

 

Adaptability & Scalability

Business is dynamic, with offerings usually changing as companies develop. Therefore adaptability and scalability are important considerations for a website. Whilst this can be built in mind with custom design or at least easily changed, this is a lot harder to develop within pre-built website templates.
Winner: Custom Design

 

Maintenance

Having a website that is easy to maintain is an important consideration. This factor largely depends on what template or designer you choose. Some website templates are well thought out and can be quick and easy to change. Whilst others can be very complex for an amateur to edit! Depending on the design company you choose, custom designed websites can have exactly the same challenges.
Winner: A Draw

 

Forklift Solutions
Forklift Solutions is another example of a custom designed website

 

Costs

Website templates should be considerable cheaper than custom design. You could even build such a website yourself if you’re technically proficient.
Winner: Website Templates

 

Turnarounds

As website templates are already designed and built, the development time should be shorter unless you require significant customisation. If that’s the case you’d be better off with a custom designed website.
Winner: Website Templates

 

Customisation

As you’d guess, custom design is highly customisable! This allows the design to be tailored to your brand, business and industry. This can be a lot harder with a rigid website template, where even changing the layout can be difficult.
Winner: Custom Design

 

Loading times

As previously mentioned, templates can be bloated, which leads to slower loading times in comparison to most custom designed websites. When it’s easy enough for customers to click onto the competitor’s website faster — every second counts.
Winner: Custom Design

 

So in conclusion, website templates and custom design both have their advantages and disadvantages. But in our opinion, if you have the budget and time, we’d recommend custom design every time.

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