Custom vs template web design – the debate over which is the better option for web development has been going on for quite some time now. In reality, a template or a custom web design has the power to determine the course of your company’s digital marketing strategy. So, it is crucial that you choose the right option for your project. But how do you decide that?
Are you looking to invest in a new professional website for your business, but haven’t yet decided because you are caught up in the whole ‘custom vs template web design’ confusion? Irrespective of whether you already know the difference between the two, or are just starting your discovery process, this article will help you in offering some useful points in analyzing what option you should take for your web development.
The right step for your web design and digital strategy
The success and failure of most organizations today significantly depend on their ability to build a fully functional and well-crafted website to create a long-lasting first impression. To ensure your organization’s continued business success in the future, it is necessary to project a professional image through your web development.
Web design is one of the most overlooked parts of a business. There is a wide range of options out there, and you are spoilt for choice as a customer. No matter how good your content is, if it is not visually appealing and striking, it simply won’t entice your customers. That is why most organizations that aim to attain success through their web development solutions have prioritised web design. And this is where the ongoing debate of custom vs template web design comes into play.
Custom vs template web design
To settle the dispute of custom vs template web design, it is time for an analogy. One of the easiest ways to differentiate between a template and custom web design is to consider a production home and a custom-built home. Although both serve similar purposes, it is much easier to build your home custom from the start if you need additional features or functionalities (such as a master bedroom with two closets).
The same can be said of web design in your website development. Just like a production home, a themed website can offer easy move-in, lower costs and suitable specifications that might match your needs. However, as your business grows, your requirements may grow and this option may not be able to fulfil all your new needs.
As an experienced web development company, we have had the opportunity to work with clients from different industry verticals on their website development projects. When working with clients to determine which option between custom vs template web design would best fit their requirements, we first identify the core needs of the business and the target audience the website will ultimately serve. Several other factors are also taken into account when drafting web development solutions for clients. These factors include the uniqueness of the brand and the company, their budget and their tentative timeline, among others.
If you are also confused about which option to choose between custom vs template web design, keep reading. To help you zero in on the ideal option, we have outlined here five key variables that you should be taking into consideration to help decide the right one for you.
Five key variables to help you decide
When it comes to web development, the majority of decisions on custom vs template web design depends on the budget at hand. When building a new website, you get what you pay for. If you are on a limited budget, the ideal option would be to go for a template-based web design.
Layout based websites help save a great deal of time as the format and the visual UI UX design are already laid out. While it may seem like template-based web development is the logical option for companies that are on a tight budget, it is easier said than done. After a certain point of time, the additional development and improvement due to over-the-top customization of a pre-built layout can end up costing more than a customized site itself.
Many organizations think that having a custom web design is a very expensive option. However, if your company can afford that option, we would recommend you to go for it. The advantages of opting for a custom option far outweigh its cons. In simple terms, if your budget is holding you back from getting your business up online, it is better to opt for a template website. Otherwise, go for a custom web development option.
Another critical factor to take into consideration regarding custom vs template web design is that template websites usually have a shorter development time when compared to custom websites. More often than not, the development of custom websites takes at least a few weeks on average to build. If you are facing time constraints and are in a hurry to get your website up and running, then a template web design would be the ideal solution for your business.
Developing and designing a custom website design involves much more than just the looks – it includes planning, designing, copywriting, development, photography, testing and also requires the participation and involvement of multiple stakeholders from different departments working together. This takes a lot of time for preparation, unlike a template web design where you can jump straight to the design. To sum up, if you are in a time-crunch, you have no option other than going for a template website.
If your number one priority is to establish a brand and build your brand image and presence, then the best option is to hire a web development company that will create a custom website to help you stand out from the crowd. Your website is a representation and reflection of your brand’s personality. Therefore, be careful in making the decision between custom vs template web design. Branding is all about building trust with your prospects and customers. However, this customized approach comes at a price.
Template-based web design simply doesn’t lend the personalization that is required to do justice to your brand representation. They will not be able to customize your website beyond a certain point. The price you pay for custom-built web development is well worth it because it makes sure that your brand is well established and portrayed on the internet. You are also equipped with the required tools and techniques to better deal with clients and thereby make the most of your interactions with them.
Your website visitors will originate from multiple sources – from tablets to desktops. Therefore, it is crucial that your web design is optimized and easily accessible from different gadgets. To ensure that the user experience is optimum, you need to have a custom website. Although template websites allow for customizations to an extent, they end up looking similar to each other. This makes it difficult for a website to achieve a unique identity and set itself apart from other template sites.
Additionally, when it comes to user experience, choosing between custom vs template web design is a crucial decision. A custom website offers fewer restrictions. Also, it provides far greater flexibility and security when compared to template-based web development.
If you want to add custom functionalities like incorporating ecommerce for enhanced user experience, then custom websites are your only option.
To know more about increasing user experience, check out these latest web design trends to stay updated and enhance your user engagement levels.
Long term scalability
If you envision the growth of your business soon and believe that you will need to constantly add on additional features to your web design, then it is best to avoid a template-based site. Template sites are intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, they come up with a range of extra features, resulting in more coding, which further complicates the process. Also, due to a fixed server, they can result in slower loading times. The final effects are inconsequential if you have a low traffic website. However, if you have a plan to increase scalability to a bigger audience, the best bet would be to invest in a custom web development process.
The choice between custom vs template web design is completely yours. There are some organizations that will do just fine with a template site. They may have CMS or coding experience, or the site they are looking for requires minimal functionality. However, for a majority of businesses, it might make more sense to leave the website, functionality maintenance, web security and software updates to professionals at a web development company.
At Get My Sites, we understand the importance of having a solid web presence. With a bucket load of experience in web design and development, we constantly strive to deliver to our clients the best possible solutions to meet their unique business needs. By bringing together the top experts in digital marketing and web development, we help our clients conquer their biggest web challenges.
Get in touch with our team to know more about our exceptional services!