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Custom Web Design vs. Website Templates

Posted on: Apr 14, 2017

As a business owner you are always looking how to save money and make your business profitable. When it comes to creating an online presence for your business, just like your marketing materials and office’s appearance, your website needs to project a professional image. The more professional looking your business appears, the more creditable it looks.

Many business owners don’t really understand the difference between having a custom web design done and using website templates. We’ll look at both ways of having your website built and the costs involved.


Custom Web Design

Many think having a custom web design is too expensive but let’s look at the advantages of hiring a web designer over using a free website template or purchasing one.


Benefits of custom web design:

  • Unique design.
  • With a custom web design it is created just for your business. Your website will be different from anyone else’s.
  • By hiring the right web designer, it will be constructed so it is search engine friendly.
  • The website will be more adaptable to your company’s needs.

If you have done your website planning, you will have a list of features you wish to have. By prioritizing this list of website features, you will give the web designer an idea of what to accommodate for in the future if your current budget doesn’t allow all the features to be implemented from the start.


Just like adaptability, if you have planned what you want in the future for your website, a good web designer will take this into consideration as they select the technologies to use while building the website.

Points to take into consideration when deciding if custom web design is for you:

Are you planning to maintain the website yourself?

If you do not intend to learn how to code a website (or have someone on staff that can do this well) then you are going to have to request that a content management system be incorporated into the web design.


Website Templates

There is a misconception on how beneficial and economical using free website templates or purchased website templates is, but…


Website templates are good for:

  • Getting inspiration on colors, layouts and features.
  • You cannot have your web designer copy these, but they do give the web designer an idea of the look you would like.
  • Very low budgets where you need to get up and running as soon as possible.
  • If budget is holding you back from getting your business up on the Internet, then maybe a website template might be the way to go.
  • Shorter development time.

It would appear that using a website template would include a shorter development time required for your website. Not really, read on.

Now onto other considerations when choosing a website template.


Using website templates do have some downfalls:

  • There is going to be a ton of other people using the same template.
  • You will be limited on the customization of the website template.
  • Without web page coding skills, you are still going to have to either spend the time and money to learn how to code a web page or hire someone to help you.
  • Some templates are laid out very specific. Meaning if you incorporate your own graphics or have extensive content, the template could break.
  • Some website templates are not built to be search engine friendly.

Custom Web Design or Website Template?

When deciding which is a better choice keep in mind that you want your business to stand out from the crowd and be memorable. In either case, you are still going to have to do some work to get up there in the search engine results. Having a website that looks nice is only part of the internet marketing package. You will have to research the phrases that your target audience would type in the search box to find you then incorporate those phrases into the content of each of your pages.


Now, sit down and figure out exactly how much each method of building the website is actually going to cost. Include the time it is going to take you learn whatever you need to learn to use a website template and compare that to the cost of a custom web design where you will have time to market or build your product in the same time frame.




"Custom Web Design vs Website Templates Web Page Mistakes." Web Page Mistakes. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.