template-based website VS custom based website

There is no doubt that a well-designed website is the major part of your success. However, one of the first questions every young webmaster faces is whether to use a custom design or a ready-made template for the project. In this article, we tried to bring together all pros and cons of these options.

If you are expecting that we will give you a decisive answer, we are sorry to disappoint you. The truth is, both these options are equally good and the final decision totally depends on you. At the end of this article, we are going to highlight some key factors that will help you to make your choice.

Pros of Ready-Made-Templates Website

Let’s have a look on pros of ready-made templates .

1. Price

Ready-made templates are an affordable solution for start-ups and small projects. If you have a limited budget, a template-based website is going to save the day. An average cost for the template in the market would hardly be more than $100, while services of web design studio can easily exceed this value in ten times.

2. Quick Launch

Designing a website from scratch can take a month or more, depending on the work complexity. A ready-made template can be launched within a couple of days, including installation, customization and loading it with the content.

3. Tested Quality

If you decide to have a template-based website, choose the theme from one of the world-known template providers. This is not just a question of brand. Big companies are in charge of their products and their quality is tested and proved by thousands of customers.

4. Support

Big companies often provide professional support for their products. The terms may vary from one company to another. For example, buying a theme from TemplateMonster.com you get free lifetime support.  Envato offers their clients six months of support with a possibility to extend it at extra cost.

5. Wide Choice

There are templates for any possible business niche. A large variety of templates makes it easy to find an appropriate solution for your project.

6. Flexibility

The majority of modern templates are highly flexible and pre-packed with tons of features. However, there is a reverse side of the coin we will talk about later.

Cons of Ready-Made-Templates

Let’s see what the cons of ready-made templates are.

1. Not a Unique Design

Buying a ready-made template you should come to terms with the fact that you won’t be the only one on the Internet who uses this template. You can buy an exclusive license, of course, but there will still be those who have bought the theme before you.

2. Customization Limitations

Despite powerful visual builders, which allow you editing your template in WYSIWYG mode, the customization of the template has its limits. Without certain coding skills, you won’t be able to make some big changes to your design.

3. One-size-fits-all

This is the reverse side of the advanced flexibility we have mentioned before. A ready-made template is a one-size-fits-all solution. This is why it is pre-packed with all possible features you may need… or you may not. However, they are already there resulting in extra code. This is not crucial if you are not planning to enrich your website with additional functionality. Otherwise, you may face conflicts or some other troubles.

Summary 

Ready-made templates are a great solution for a quick and budget-friendly start-up. More and smaller business owners tend to use it for their projects. There are certain limitations and minor troubles you might face, but, in general, the pros of this option outweigh the risks.

Pros of Custom Web Design

Now let’s turn our attention to the custom designs. We’ll start with the pros of this option.

template-based website VS custom based website

1. Unique Design

Creating your website from scratch you can be sure it will be the one and only on the Internet. It will be created taking into account all your requirements and needs.

2. Optimized for Your Business

We have already mentioned that ready-made templates are stuffed with all possible features. With a custom design, you can choose only the features you really need. Moreover, depending on your business objectives, you can think over and incorporate a successful marketing strategy, driving your visitor to the action you want him to perform.

3. Long Term Support

Like most of the template providers, web studios and individual web developers provide their clients with professional support.

Cons of Custom Web Design

Still, a custom web design has some cons as well.

template-based website VS custom based website

1. Price

For small projects and start-ups, the services of a web studio might seem a bit costly.  The prices really vary, but they are essentially higher than on the ready- made templates. Here is a sample of typical pricing sheet.

2. Timeframe

Produce a high-quality website from scratch might take up to two months. So if your timeframe is limited, a custom design is not the right choice.

3. Technical Skills

If you don’t have enough experience in web design, it might be difficult to find a common language with web designers and web developers to explain your ideas. As a result, you might find that your expectations don’t meet the reality.

Summary

a custom design will be a good choice for a big complex project. It will cost you more and take longer, but you will have an exclusive website at the end of the day.

Key Factors

Now when you have some basic idea what is the main difference between custom designs and ready-made templates, we will summarize it into the key factors that will influence your decision.

1. Budget

First of all, estimate your budget. If you have a limited budget for your project, you’d better use a ready-made template. Mind that besides creating a website you will have to pay for hosting, domain name, build some marketing campaigns, etc.

2. Timing

Everything is simple here: a template-based website can be launched much faster than a custom-designed one.

3. Brand

If establishing the brand is your main priority, a custom design is your choice. The image of your brand should stick out and be recognizable. It is much easier to achieve it, designing the website from scratch.

4. Business Objective

Your website should fit your business objective. It should be thought out in order to make the visitors complete the expected action (click the button, buy an item, enter his e-mail address).  From this perspective, ready-made templates might be hard to adjust to your needs.

5. Scalability

A successful businessman is a good visionary, who is able to think many moves ahead. When launching a website, think about the functionality you may need in future and estimate how easy it can be added.

As you see, the opposition to custom designs and ready-made templates is never-ending. There is no right or wrong choice.  We hope that our article will help you to weigh all the pros and cons and come to a decision.

  • Hamid Mahmood

    Thanks for posting this. I get this question every day and will refer to your blog from now on.. Phew again 😉

  • Geniux Dexigner

    Very nice, hope it will make life more easy