Once you’ve made the decision to create a website for your business, you have another question to answer. Should you get a custom website built, or should you just use a template? First, you need to understand the differences between the two.
Setting up a template website is super easy – anyone can do it. WordPress sites are among the most commonly seen websites today. All you need to do is apply a template from Elegant Themes, Template Monster, ThemeForest, etc. You can also create your websites in Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and so on. You can easily edit within the website frame. While creating a template website is convenient, quick, cheap and easy, there are several limitations when it comes to more complicated functionality, especially for E-Commerce sites.
Templates have inbuilt features, and you can customize to a certain extent, but don’t expect stellar SEO features or quick loading. You may also not find features, functions and designs that are a great fit for your business. You could always try a web development agency to fix it but if the theme or the platform gets updated, you could face display issues because of the mismatch between the customization and the update
- Your initial outlay is very less so if your budget is low, this is your best option.
- The development time is short, you can have your site up and running in minimal time.
- You don’t need serious technical chops to develop a template site.
- The same template may be used by several other sites – meaning your site is not going to stand out.
- Customization options are limited.
- Navigation and graphics are also limited.
- They may or may not be responsive.
- You may not be able to have an SEO friendly site.
- Support for a template site will be much lesser.
- An update to the theme or platform may cause a big problem if you have customized some features with code to suite your business.
To develop a custom website you’ll need to engage the services of a digital agency. They will start by understanding your target audience – who you want to reach through your website, how you want the site to function, and what you want your online presence to be like. SEO plays a huge role in the success of a website. Every search engine has an algorithm, and rules about what’s acceptable and what is not when it comes to SEO. When you use a theme, it may not be possible to stick to these rules; this is the major reason custom built sites score over template sites. Here the developer can optimize the site so that search engines like Google can crawl every page, and throw up the most relevant search results for the user – thereby ranking custom built sites much higher in the SERPs. Sure, you need much more time to develop these than template sites, after all each and every thing is built to be a perfect fit for the specific business that it is being developed for.
However, you need to bear in mind that in the long run, it saves you time, because the website behaves just the way you want it to. You can code it to be responsive; giving your users a seamless and similar experience regardless of the device they use to browse your site.
- You can have a unique design that incorporates your brand perfectly.
- It can be built to suit the specific needs of your business.
- You can create 100% responsive websites.
- A custom site is SEO friendly.
- You can design the site to be flexible, and scale with the growth of your business.
- You can access support from the development company that created your site.
- A custom website requires a pretty big initial outlay, so make sure you have the budget for it.
- You can’t hurry a custom site. It takes time.
To Sum Up
Your website is the first point of interaction between your business and customer. It can be your most powerful marketing tool if designed properly, and with thought. Whichever option you choose, you will need to put a lot of work into it if you want to attract more visitors and convert them.
First impressions are also often the longest lasting; how they perceive your brand at the first look may well determine the future of their interactions with you – and that you can only achieve with a custom website. A professionally designed and developed custom website is any day superior to a template website, as it can be designed to reflect your brand effectively, and you can get it to do everything that you need your site to do.