In the last few years, the variety and sophistication of template-based websites have greatly increased. They offer an affordable solution, are easily deployed and do exactly what they say on the tin. So why bother paying for a custom designed website when you can have a template for considerably less? A useful analogy perhaps is the difference between a custom motorcycle and a moped and why people opt for one or the other.
Here are 7 points to help you decide whether a template or custom website will better suit your business needs:
1. Standing out in the traffic
If you want to grab attention, then custom web design is your best bet. Going custom means you can project your business in an original way, that is consistent with your branding. Template websites are already predetermined for you and you are very likely to see your design on other websites. As template designs follow generic styles based on current fashions, they will go out of date quicker.
2. Keep the cool look
The look and feel of your website should be consistent on all devices. Modern templates offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of responsive design that can be bland and cumbersome. A custom website can give more attention to detail and control when it comes to the responsive experience, tailoring content to suit the mobile user.
4. Need for speed
You will want your website to have a fast load time, as otherwise, you run the risk of losing potential clients/customers. Statistics show that a high percentage of visitors will not wait longer than 4 seconds. Template designs have an enormous amount of coding and scripts which adversely affects the load time. That said, you would expect a well-designed template to load in under 3 seconds. In contrast, custom websites can be streamlined to their essential coding requirements and can load in milliseconds. The time it takes your website to load will also affect your search engine rankings.
5. Optimise your engine
Third party plugins can help set up on-page SEO on your web pages and work equally well on template and custom websites.
6. Manage your luggage
WordPress is the industry standard Content Management System (CMS) today. The admin area will look more or less the same for both a template or a custom website. With custom design you have the flexibility to add customised admin panels that allow the easily update of specific content.
7. An exciting journey
You will want to lead users along a journey or path to specific conversions. It stands to reason that this is best achieved with a custom solution.
If you are starting out, have limited resources and just want to establish an online presence, then a template could get you from A to B. If you have well-defined business goals and are in this for the long haul, then going custom would be the best option. Custom websites are more expensive because of the work that goes into them, the originality of its design and attention to detail.