This can be a tricky question. But you need to make the right choice for your website development.
A website is a necessity for any business to have an online presence. But just having a website won’t help you create any impact on your customers. Your website needs to be impressive and updated. A website is the online face of the business, it should be able to incorporate the branding into it. A website should make your business efficient, and provide more insights into your products/services.
Custom Website vs Template Website: Differences / Comparison Study
Custom website development is different from creating websites using website templates. Let’s go through different factors that can help you decide between a custom website and a template website.
You must remember that your website is not the place to cut down on a budget. After all a website is the most comprehensive representation of your brand. Keeping the central hub for all your branding and marketing initiatives unique and catchy is essential. Your website is where your customers will check for you every time. When you have a high-quality website, it will be valuable.
When it comes to small companies or startups they may have budget constraints. If you have a lesser budget for website development then it is better to go with a template-based website. This can be the best choice as it gives you a pre-packaged design. This will save both cost and time. At the surface level, template sites would look clean and functional. However, their quality usually ends there.
Thus, going for a custom website is always recommended if your company can afford it. You need to evaluate the cost according to the context. Usually, a small- to medium-sized company may need a minimum initial investment for a custom website. If you wish to make good annual revenue, a custom website can be quite valuable for your brand. It can definitely bring a boost to the overall performance of your brand and sales. The ROI of a custom website is worth its set-up cost.
Time is an important factor to consider when you choose website development. Custom websites usually consume time for both design and build. It may take 2 to 4 months to launch a quality custom website. The time may also vary depending on its size and the complexity of its features. Since the custom website development process involves many steps, you won’t be able to speed up this process after an extent. The steps involve planning, wireframes, design, development, copywriting, photography, testing, and optimization. It also requires different professionals to work on complex tasks and interdependent timelines.
However, you have to go ahead with a template website, if you want to launch your website immediately. When your timeline is your major concern, we suggest creating a temporary landing page or a multifaceted single-page website. When you have a limited timeline, trying and building out a comprehensive site is not a sensible option. This is because if you cut down on the corners it would further cost you more money in the future. When you have less than 2 months to release your website, you can choose a website template, temporary landing page, or single-page site.
Now comes the next factor you need to consider is your brand before deciding between a custom website and a website template. If brand positioning is one of the major objectives of your website, it is always recommended to choose a custom website. Brand positioning requires a more comprehensive representation of your brand, this is something that can be only provided by a custom website.
However, template websites can’t offer you a high level of personalization. You would need an extensive level of personalization to build a site that showcases your brand’s unique personality, identity, and positioning. When you use a website template it would bring restrictions on your ability to distinguish your brand and effectively convey your value propositions. As a website is the central part of your brand from where your brand story is communicated to your target audience, your website needs to be flexible. Thus, you need to opt for a custom website over a template website to fulfill your brand goals. It also lets you incorporate the right UI UX design that aligns with your brand personality.
After all custom website provides you a space for building a unique experience that in turn helps to create an emotional connection with your customers. When you build good connections, it will help in building trust and brand loyalty.
Template website comes short in the case functionality too. You need to know that every template is not designed to be fully responsive. With the increase in mobile traffic, responsiveness is an essential feature for any website.
A custom website is an excellent option if you want high functionality for your eCommerce site. As template websites can’t offer flexibility to accommodate the backend requirements for an eCommerce model. Security can also be a major concern with website templates. A template website is prone to attacks by hackers. This is because a single piece of malicious code that can be used to hack various sites at one go. As custom website development is unique for that website that makes them less vulnerable to attacks.
Lack of control over the user experience is another limitation of templates website. User experience has a key role in building a website. You must ensure that you deliver what exactly customers want from your website and that you get what you want from them. A custom website can offer many advantages. It is helpful in driving users strategically toward conversion and optimizing your site’s ability to capture leads or sell products.
5. Flexibility & Scalability
Most of the website templates are truly a “one size fits all” solution. Thus it may have many features that you may or may not need for your website. However, these features can possess coding conflicts as you try to extend the functionality of your site further.
Sometimes, you may find a template-based site an acceptable solution for your current needs. But you would require a better solution as your company begins to grow. When your website gets more traffic, the unwanted features can significantly slow your site’s loading time. These functional limitations will only surface with increased visitors to your site.
But a custom website can allow you to work with your budget and add features whenever you have a requirement. Your developer will create the site to particularly meet your current objectives while ensuring that the site is easily scalable when you grow in the future. The best part of a custom website is that it can handle a high amount of user traffic without compromising functionality.
A custom website can help you stand out among your competitors with better functionality. These websites are also more search engine friendly than template websites. Thus, custom websites usually rank higher on search engines. It also provides a benefit of a content management system (CMS). This makes it easy to update your website from anywhere. You can partner with a good software development company or hire developers for your custom website development. You can go through this article by Forbes to know the 11 must-have features for a competitive business website before you decide.
Points to remember
Disadvantages of Custom Web Design
A custom web design can be much higher than a website template. Apart from cost, it takes a lot of time to build a custom design in comparison to a website template. When you choose a custom website development you may face some delays due to its complex and time-consuming process.
Advantages of Website Templates
In comparison to a custom-designed website, a template website development cycle is shorter. You need not be a coding expert to create a website if you use a website template. It is easy for people who don’t even know HTML and CSS. Websites template would cost you very less compared to custom websites. This is beneficial for those businesses that have a low budget.
Disadvantages of Website Templates
Website templates are easily available online, so when you use these to create a website you may not have a unique website. There are chances that your competitors are also using something similar. Thus, your website may not look that impactful.
Since website templates are not designed by considering search engines, they may have low search rankings. A major concern that crops up with website templates is poor support and browser compatibility.
You can’t customize the website created using a website template to fulfill your requirements. It is really hard to add web elements like images, videos, and texts with website templates.
To Wind Up
Consider all the mentioned factors along with the pros and cons of both a custom website and a template website. We would however recommend you to go with a custom website if you can afford it. This will provide your business site with better functionality, brand positioning, flexibility, and scalability.