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Template Vs. Custom Websites: What Does Your Business Need

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A website is something your business needs to compete in today’s digital landscape, and you have the option to build a website one of two ways: by using a template or working with a web design agency for a custom layout and design. Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to each option, but depending on your business goals and objectives one route will be the best for you.

Take a look at the pros and cons of both template and custom websites and have a clearer understanding of which one is best for you!

Template Websites

These types of websites are exactly how they sound; you can populate your own words, images and colors through a pre-built website template. These kinds of sites (also referred to as themes) can be WordPress websites or built from other content management systems such as Wix or Squarespace. An example of a template website we’ve built is Georgetown Sports Massage, which was customized with specific images, colors and text.

Pros:

Less time to implement: Since the website’s framework and design are already completed, template websites usually take less time to go live than custom-built websites. If you’re a start-up company or have an upcoming event that needs a site, you can get this live quickly.

Budget-friendly: The less development involved with the final product, the less expensive it will be. If you decide to move forward with a template website, you can expect to pay 50-75% less than companies who choose to have a custom website.

What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG): Another benefit of a template website is knowing exactly how your website will look before you publish it. With custom websites, it takes a few steps to get an idea of what your site will look like. If you’re someone who likes to know what they’re getting before committing to it, template websites could be a better option for you.

Cons:

Limited customization: This is the most significant issue with template websites. Going back to the WYSIWYG point, you will have a hard time editing font styles, adding new sections within a page, integrate eCommerce capabilities, or creating a custom function that was not included within the template. You’re stuck with what’s available with the template.

Permanent built-in features: Many templates have a lot of built-in features and functionality you might not need to use for your website, and these functions are usually undeletable. This overhaul of features can potentially slow your site down or even make you vulnerable to being hacked. There could also be features that you won’t be able to hide such as a third-party brand in your footer, and you may have to pay a premium to hide it.

Custom Websites

Custom-built websites are an investment, but the possibilities that come with them are endless. MIRASCO‘s new website allows language translation capabilities and translates the website content in three different languages, which is something that’s typically rare with template websites.

Pros:

Uniquely designed: There will be no website like yours on the web, and you’ll be able to showcase your company culture and branding through the design. Every element on all pages will be tailored to your preference and built with your unique goals in mind.

Scalable and flexible: A custom website can be easily expandable, and new features are always possible to integrate. Do you need an interactive map showing all your locations and hours? Or how about translation capabilities to display your website in English and Spanish? Just call your web developer and they’ll be able to find a solution for you.

Built by skilled professionals: Working with a web design agency will erase any worries you have about your website and allow you to continue your work. You’ll be able to have the peace of mind that your site is built correctly and will stand the test of time.

Cons:

Expensive: Custom websites can cost as little as $5,000 and can be as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the number of pages and functionality needed.

Longer to develop: From planning to execution, the timeframe for a custom site is roughly 12-15 weeks and can take longer based on the functionality and responsiveness of both parties. While it might take longer to get this site completed, it could save you an immense amount of time with managing it in the long run. A custom website is built to adapt easier to changes, and some CMS template builders cannot keep up with these changes as soon as they should.

Ongoing maintenance: WordPress is fantastic for its customization capabilities with their vast library of plugins, but your plugins and themes will need to be updated periodically. If you do have or plan to get a custom WordPress website, you’ll need to dedicate some time every day to see if your plugins and themes have an update. You can easily outsource your ongoing maintenance if you think it’s something that you won’t able to manage, but it could cost you.

Which is Best for Your Business

Ultimately, the best kind of website for your business is strictly dependent on your website needs, budget, timeline and goals. While it may save you time and money to create a template website now, you may have to start from scratch as your business grows. You may spend a significant portion of your marketing budget on your custom website, but it will have the best foundation to change it as needed. No matter the case, you’ll need to evaluate the pro and cons to figure out what’s best for you.

If you have any questions about template websites or custom-built websites, please reach out to us today.

About the Author

Brooke Desmond

Communications Manager
With a passion for all things digital marketing, Brooke aims to give a unique perspective on the latest trends and ideas in this ever-changing space.

View Brooke's Profile

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