Template-based website vs custom designed website

We know the importance of having a website that positions your business on the Internet. A website shouldn’t be just a page with basic information. It should be interactive and a reflection of your business’s personality and brand which comes with good quality design and content. Additionally, the website should function smoothly including loading times and hyperlinks. Not to forget the most important aspect : search engine optimization.

Websites can be built in 2 ways: templated websites and custom websites. Let’s take a look at what these are and what are the pros and cons of each.

Templated website

There are several content management systems (CMS) in the market that are template-based. Templates are a convenient way to build a basic website – they are cost-effective, simple, and easily accessible. You can also select among a wide variety of templates that controls the appearance of the website. Here is a peek into the pros and cons of using a template based website.

PROS:
If you are in a hurry to get a website live and don’t mind it being absolutely basic, then you can definitely consider template based websites. You can move to a custom-based website at a later date.
It is cost-effective.
You can see how your website will look as you change templates and add widgets or plugins.

CONS:
Many businesses will be using the CMS and the templates you are using for your website. Your site will fail to stand out from others that look similar.
Your customers won’t be able to individualize your unique brand and culture.
There are limited functionality options.
You will have to solve all bugs yourself.

Custom based Website

Custom websites are built by professional designers from the ground up with unique designs and layouts. Custom web design is more than how a website looks. It includes back end coding to customize functionality, lead management, APIs, and ecommerce features. These give your website an edge and convince your customers of your professionalism. It may not be as cheap as template based websites. However, pricing depends highly on advanced functionality.

PROS:
The design can be unique and tailored to your business.
Custom built sites are likely to be responsive to mobile searches, which now account for about half of all searches.
It will not look like the ‘run-of-the-mill’, outdated website since it’s more adaptable and can be updated more easily.
It can include any fancy features you may want in your website.
The design of the site can more easily incorporate elements of your branding and graphic standards and can be in coordination to your marketing elements.
Custom website can personalize interactive features like live chats, videos, and contact forms.

CONS:

Custom built websites usually take longer to complete than template based websites because of planning and add-on features.
They cost more than template based websites because of the sophisticated complexity, planning, and personalization. You will need more involvement and control during the process to ensure your ideas are realized.

Choosing between template based and custom based websites isn’t a humongous task. All you need to do is envision the kind of digital presence you want for your business and what expectations you have from your website. Many times, businesses – especially small business owners – decide to go for template based websites because they cost really low. However, you should think about what you want in the long run. Template based websites come with too many limitations regarding brand expression and functionality while custom based websites are built to suit your requirements and brand identity, and are configured to grow with you into the future.

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