Templates Vs Custom Built Websites

Templates Vs Custom Built Websites
web design

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So, you have decided to build a website for your company. Excellent. We cannot stress how important it is to have a website in todayโ€™s digital era. But, now that you have made the wise choice to have a website built for your business, you must make a few decisions before you can get started.You must decide whether your companyโ€™s website will be mobile friendly or not. You will also need to decide what features your website will have so that the website developer can install the tech accordingly. You will have to assess how much time and resources you can set aside for the website development.All these are extremely important aspects that any smart person would definitely think about when planning to make a website. But, theirs is one aspect that is even more important than these. The thing that is most important to consider when making a website is whether youโ€™ll use a template for your website or have it custom built.If you are not clear on what these terms mean in regards to websites, allow us to simplify things for you.

What are Website Templates?

custom web designWebsite template (also known as web template) is a pre-designed webpage or a series of pre-designed web pages that anyone can buy and then add their own images and content into, in order to create a website.The most common and also the most simplistic way to set up a website is to create a website on WordPress, Weebly or a similar website. And then, to install a web template bought from websites like ThemeForest, Wix, Template Monster, Squarespace, etc.When purchasing a template, make sure the template that you are about to pay for has a responsive web design and that the template has been tested on all web browsers.Responsive web design allows websites to work smooth and fluid on all sorts of devices by adapting to the screen size of the visiting device. Whereas, templates tested to work on all major web browsers will ensure your website will work perfectly, everywhere.It is important for you to know that web templates often donโ€™t offer complex features and the features that they do offer ultimately weigh down the website by increasing load times and making SEO difficult.In short, the web template is a website layout with placeholder text and images that can be replaced by the web template buyer.

What are custom built websites?

 Custom built websites, on the other hand, are those websites that are built from scratch. There are many reasons why one would want to have their website built from scratch; better technical support has more features, built according to business needs, etc.The process starts by answering fundamental questions like what your company offers, who your target audience is, how can the website support your company and what features it will need to have in order to do so.Once you have the answer to these important questions, you can get in touch with a professional PHP web development company and talk about having a website created for your business according to your business needs.So, should you go for a web template or a custom made website? Well, in order to help you decide which one is better, we need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both web templates and custom built websites.

Advantages offered by web templates

 Here are some of the best advantages of using web templates;
  • Require shorter development time

    As the web pages will be ready made, tested and functional, this helps bring down the time required for website development by a huge margin. Shorter development time will, in turn, help you set up your website a lot sooner and you can take it to live in a fraction of the time required by a custom built website.
  • Website setup made easy

    Web templates do not just bring down the development time that the website requires but it also makes the setting up process a lot more straightforward. Thanks to website templates, you can finish work on websites easily, without any stress or confusion and without using any more time than available.
  • Go easy on the wallet

    While you can find many free web templates online if you want a decent one you are going to have to pay for it.
But, no need to worry about the price because a website template can cost you around $50 to $150 while the bill for custom built websites can easily run into thousands of dollars. So, if the budget is an issue, there is no better option than web templates for you.
  • Way too many choices

    Just a like a kid buying an ice cream, when you start looking for web templates, you will be amazed by how much variety is out there. You will find yourself being torn apart in different directions because there are lots of good options out there and it becomes difficult finding the template thatโ€™s best for your business needs.
Word of advice, when buying a template, take your time and do your research. Compare your needs with what the template offers and read what reviewers had to say about the template. Always consider multiple options from multiple sources.
  • Doesnโ€™t take a rocket scientist

    As opposed to creating a custom built website, using a web template is rather easy. Really easy. With web templates, you can set up your whole website without using or even knowing any HTML or CSS code.

Disadvantages of using a web template

You know the advantages now here are some disadvantages for you;
  • Templates donโ€™t really like SEO: One big issue with web templates is that not all of them work well with search engines. On the other hand, Search Engine Optimization plays a huge and an irreplaceable part in a websiteโ€™s success.
If search engines can read a web page well, it canโ€™t understand and it so, it canโ€™t put it in the top search results. This is why most developers tell customers to get a custom built website.
  • Make it harder to stand out: With web templates having a much smaller upfront cost, most small businesses and startups go for web templates. That means most of your competitors will be relying on website templates and if you use one too then it will be difficult for your website to set itself apart from the competition.
  • Canโ€™t cherry pick features: Depending on your budget and the scope of your search, sometimes you will find templates that look great but donโ€™t offer all the features you are looking for. Other times, you will come across templates that offer all features you want and then some. In both cases, youโ€™re stuck with whatever features the template offers.
  • Not all of them are tested: Another big issue with templates is that not all of them have been thoroughly tested. This means, if you use an untested or a semi-tested web template for your website, your website might not function properly or at optimal efficiency.
  • No strong tech support: If you are using a web template, itโ€™s best that you have an in-house technical support team because most web template makers donโ€™t usually provide a lot of support to their clients.
Now that we have talked about web templates, itโ€™s time we talk about custom built websites.

Advantages of a custom built websites

There are quite a few advantages but here are the ones that provide the most benefit;
  • Search engines like them: With a custom built website, during the development phase, developers can optimize each page so that search engines can read them well. As aforementioned, to provide better search results, search engines put those pages on top that they can understand well.
In short, search engines prefer custom built websites over those websites that rely on a web template because they can understand custom built sites a lot better.
  • Built around your needs: With web templates, your website has to be built around the features offered by the template. But with a custom made website, you are free to add whatever you want. You will have the freedom to create a website exactly according to your needs and you wonโ€™t ever be stuck with any elements you donโ€™t want.
  • Sets you apart from the competition: As custom built websites arenโ€™t just copy pasting some famous web layout, you will have the chance to create something unique. You can even experiment with something new in terms of web design and itโ€™ll add to your brand personality.
And the great thing is, all this will add up to set your site apart from the crowd and at the same time, provide your site visitors the best user experience.
  • Manage content on the go: Custom websites also allow the option to install the Content Management System. CMS is basically a feature through which the website owner can manage, add, remove and edit the content on the website themselves. Moreover, CMS works through the internet and so, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
  • Custom sites are adaptable: An expert WordPress developer London tells us; websites gain or lose features and see a design overhaul every few years. If you are using a template, this means extensively searching for the right template that offers all the features you want and then having to buy it. Meaning, in the long run, web templates are rather expensive.
On the other hand, with a custom website, it will be quite easy for the developer to add or remove features and to renew the website layout.
  • Thoroughly tested: Most customs built websites go through extensive testing during the development phase. In fact, it is common for businesses to delay the website launch because the website hasnโ€™t been properly tested.
  • Extensive support: The web house responsible for creating your companyโ€™s website will also be responsible for maintaining it. This means, crisis or not, you will have a dedicated support team behind you at all times.

Disadvantages of custom built websites

Letโ€™s talk about the disadvantages of custom built websites now;
  • Custom built websites take time: Building a website from scratch requires lots of planning, coding, reviewing and testing. This can take a lot of times and often becomes the reason why sometimes businesses prefer to delay a product launch or the site launch itself. So, if you are short on time, either go for a really simple looking custom website or just get a web template.
  • They can cost quite a lot: The cost of making a website depends on a lot of factors. Every feature and every webpage adds to the cost and it isnโ€™t rare to see costs reach thousands of dollars. As most startups and small businesses do not have many resources to go around, going for a custom built website can become a painful decision for them.
  • Custom sites take effort: When planning to get a custom built website, you canโ€™t just hire any web house for the job. You must do your research and hire a decent web development team because creating a website takes a lot of know-how. Creating a website from scratch is quite a stressful and an effort taking endeavor.

Conclusion

You might be thinking that we will name a clear winner here but truthfully, there is no clear winner. Custom built websites are great if you have got the tools, capital and time to spare whereas, website templates are the best option if time or money is an issue.Also, in some cases, even if you have the time and the resources, if all you need is a simple website or, if the website isnโ€™t really going to serve an important purpose, web template is the way to go. In other cases, even if youโ€™re short on capital but your site will serve an important purpose to your company, you must invest in a custom made website.

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