When your company is on the market for a new website, one of the first things you’ll have to decide is whether or not to build a custom site, or use a premade template. Both choices rely on a CMS (Content Management System) to get the job done.
Companies like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Joomla facilitate website building by offering powerful website construction platforms. These platforms allow companies to use preexisting templates (designed by the company or an open source community), or build a website without one, using their platform as a foundation.
We field lots of questions related to custom sites and template sites, so we decided to write this blog to help companies make the decision that’s right for them.
Let’s Start with Some Definitions
Template websites are websites built from preexisting template designs. Kind of like a house blueprint. Like a house blueprint, you are limited by certain parameters. But you can customize every aspect of the home once it’s built. Same goes for template websites.
When you first see a template website, don’t get too caught up in the pictures, colors, fonts, etc. These are there to inspire creativity. If it helps, you can imagine you’re at an open house for websites. Only there are no cucumber sandwiches and ice tea. Sad face.
One important distinction between website templates and real estate: website templates aren’t limited by space. You can use the same page templates to expand out as much as you need.
Custom websites do not come with blueprints. You are working with your website designers to create a site from scratch on a specific CMS platform.
Custom websites are both empowering and daunting. You can build the website of your dreams and add whatever functionality you desire to it. But if you aren’t careful, you can quickly blow through your entire website budget and then some.
Reasons Why Businesses Like Template Websites
Here’s why some of our clients love template websites:
- You get a new or updated website in front of your customers fast.
- Price is often significantly lower than a custom site. Template sites also help businesses stay on budget easier.
- You have just as much flexibility when it comes to creating new pages, adding new products, and growing your online presence. Also, if you need to solve an issue and the template isn’t working with you, you can often use code to get the job done.
- All modern templates already possess responsive designs i.e. they look good on all types of screens.
Some cons to templates include less flexibility to design and functionality. Custom code can fix many of these issues, but not all.
Reasons Why Businesses Like Custom Websites
Here’s why some of our clients love custom websites:
- If you have an idea for how your website should look, then a custom website may be the perfect fit. You have complete power over the design.
- Lots and lots of functionality. Do you need your site to do something very specific? You will have much more control with a custom site.
- Additional benefits to SEO, and more responsive designs. Templates allow for responsive design and SEO too, but you can squeeze out every last drop of optimization with a custom site.
- Greater eCommerce functionality
Some cons to custom websites include being more expensive and time-consuming than template sites. You’ll need a team member that knows his or her way around code.
We Build Both Template and Custom Websites Here at Adhere Creative
Unlike other companies who offer one or the other, we offer both. And we want to help you find the best option for your business. Our company is familiar with some of the largest CMS platforms today, including WordPress, HubSpot, and Shopify.
If you have any questions, just let us know. We’re happy to help.