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Template VS Custom Website Designs

by: Tim Richardson

on: 16th August, 2016

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When looking to get a new website, there are many different aspects that need to be taken into account, one of the big ones we’ve seen come up is price, which can vary hugely, from a few hundred to a few thousand GBP.

Naturally, price is a big thing to take into account, with a finite budget we need to scrutinise carefully, making sure we get the most for our money, just as a child when getting your pocket money and going to buy a chocolate bar, why pay for the expensive one when there’s a cheaper alternative? Based on price, we’d obviously go for the cheaper one

Unfortunately it isn’t that simple, though cheaper bar tastes nice and satisfies our chocolate craving, the more expensive bar, delights your senses, with its rich flavour, it melts in the mouth and by comparison, is much better.

what are ciustom and tempalte websites and whats the difference

Now the decision is more difficult, price isn’t the only factor, but also quality and whether the trade off is worth it, but enough about chocolate (as it’s making me hungry).

This is the same with websites, looking for a new one, you need to be aware of what you’re getting, is it a template or a custom built website? What are template and custom website designs, and what’s the difference?

Let’s look at some at what they are, and hopefully give you some idea of which you need.

What’s a template website design

tempalte website design prebuiltImage source: http://ieatcss.com/zurb-foundation-framework-tutorials/step-by-step-examples/game-site/games-site-step2.html

A predesigned set of web pages for a website, where you insert your own text and images in to create your website.

Whether created by the designer, or bought from a popular template website, there’s a ton of variety available, with some great website templates out there (as well as some bad ones).

You’ll either pick from a selection or be advised on one, the template will then be installed on a CMS (Content Management System), now other than adding content, images, logo, changing the font and colours, your website is ready.

The positives of Template Web Design

Lower cost

Time is money, so the less time spent making it, the lower the cost. With a template website, the design and development is already done, it only needs adjustments to the style and the content adding.

Quicker to make

With the template already built, you only really need it installing on the CMS and you’re almost there.

The only time this may not be relevant is when there’s specific functionality or changes you need to the website.

Wide variety to choose from

There are a mass of template designs out there to fill a lot of different purposes, from estate agents, ecommerce, blogs, brochure websites and more. Whatever type of website you want, there’s likely a template out there for it.

The negatives of Template Web Design

What you see is what you get

It’s a pre built website, so the design and layout is fixed, if you want a some of the design to change, it’s likely to cost more.

Used by others

Template designs will be readily available for others to use, you may find other websites, potentially even your competitors use the same template, which could stop you from standing out in a competitive marketplace.

Needs regular updates to be kept secure

Any website CMS you use will get security updates, template creators will need to make sure these updates work in synch with the plugins and extras, as to not break the website.

If they don’t keep it updated, these CMS security updates will either end up breaking the website, forcing you to look for professional help to fix it or skip installing these updates, putting your website at greater risk.

Website can suffer from bloatware

The template will likely use variety of plugins and extras, some of which you may not need or ever use, resulting in weighing down the website, causing it to respond slower.

Compatibility issues

There is the possibility that whoever created the template didn’t make it compatible for all browsers, making it not display properly in certain browsers or phones, potentially losing you customers, or having to get someone to fix it.

Who should get a template website

A template web design is ideal for small businesses and people wanting to get themselves online, who don’t have the budget for a custom design.

What’s a Custom Built Website Design

custom website design and development by isev

A custom built website design where the website is designed and developed from scratch, rather than using a pre-built asset.

The basic process is to design the website, and once you’re happy and have signed it off, start developing, and then finally testing before being pushed live.

The positives of Custom Design

Tailored specifically to you

After research and analysis into your market area, the designer creates a website design to suit your target market, if you have any changes or input it can be changed specifically to your needs.

Design stays relevant for longer

Because the website will be newly designed, and specifically targeted to engage your audience, the design will stay relevant for longer, it will be easier to tweak and change and keep it up to date.

More secure

As mentioned with the template design, because a template is a set design, made up of set code, hackers may look to exploit weaknesses in the template, particularly if it’s a popular one that can be exploited on a large scale.

With a custom coded website, it will be a lot harder to crack and it will only be relevant to this website, so will be less of a target.

Can be better optimised

With response and loading times, becoming a bigger ranking factor for search engines, you can check these using Google pagespeed tool, and then the developer can optimise the suggested areas.

The negatives of Custom Web Design

Takes longer to make

Because it’s designed and built from scratch, it can take longer to complete, you can be looking as little as a couple of weeks, to a few months, or even a year. Though the website will be better tailored to you, you can be waiting a while for it to be finished.

Time = Money

This is one of the biggest drawbacks as the cost is a big jump from a template design. The website needs to be designed, built and thoroughly tested before it’s finished, all of this takes more time, meaning more money.

Who should get a custom built website

Custom website builds are a better for companies who have the budget for these types of websites, want to stand out from their competition and for those where a template design isn’t quote what they want or get them the results. With this, it’s always best to ask about the timescale, some website designers can work well to tight schedules, like isev 🙂

Whether you have the budget for a high price, fully customised website design, or are looking for a template web design, isev can help build the website that you need, why not talk to us to find out more!

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