Custom Websites vs Template Websites

Added 31.08.10

When it comes to getting a website for your business, unless you are a web designer there are two options – get a custom website from an experienced web design company or grab a website template off the Internet. In this blog post we’ll examine the pros and cons of each.

First up we’ll take a look at template websites, and what they offer. Templates are often free or at least significantly cheaper than a custom website, as they are pre-made and can be sold to multiple customers. For a business that needs an online presence but can’t afford to pay a web designer, templates are a good option.

However templates, while initially cheaper, can eventually prove to be more trouble than they are worth. When going with a template website it is up to you to maintain it, and if you don’t know how to encode websites, you’ll have to pay someone to install a content management system to help you run it. Also, template websites are fixed in their design, so, for example, if you have pictures that don’t fit the space allocated by the original designer, you will either have to resize your picture or change the website coding.

Custom websites, on the other hand, offer greater flexibility because you are working with a web designer to create a site that does exactly what you want it to do. A good web designer can help either include your logo and branding in the website or, if you have a new company, create those things for you. Custom websites usually come with a specialised content management system (CMS), meaning that you don’t need a degree in IT to make changes to your website once it is up and running.

Finally, another big difference between the two is Search Engine Customisation (SEO). This means using keywords and encoding the website correctly to maximise your search engine results – ever noticed how when you search for something in Google you almost never go to the second page of search results? A website with good SEO will aim to be in the top few results of a relevant search. Custom websites are designed with this in mind, however templates rarely take SEO into account.