Template vs. Custom Built Websites
Most business owners are looking for ways to save on their bottom lines whenever possible.
When looking for a new website, less expensive options often exist. Many sources online offer the opportunity to purchase pre-designed websites or themes that will allow you to plug in information and content as needed. But do these templated sites work as well as ones that are custom designed?
If you are considering a templated website for your business, we suggest you first learn a little bit about the process of designing a website. Here is a breakdown of what most website designers consider when doing their jobs.
Building a house
We always say designing a quality website is similar to building a house. Consider the task an architect must take on when drawing up those plans. The designer will first look at all needs for the new structure and plan accordingly.
A good website designer will follow these same principles.
The first step in our website design process is putting together a solid strategy. We start this process by meeting with the business owner and establishing goals for the new website. This step also includes looking over competitors’ websites to see where yours can excel. We will establish any desired fonts, themes, a color palette, and photos that will be used with the new site.
We will then follow up with a sitemap, similar to a blueprint, to show where pages will fit into the new website.
Once everything is approved, the final step of the process is creating a wireframe of the site to show the business owner what everything will look like in the finished product.
With a templated website, what you see is what you get. You are given a finished website with limited options to make it your own. All photos and content must fit inside predetermined spaces. You also run the risk of having the same website as other businesses online.
Leave it to the experts
Like we said before, constructing a website is similar in many ways to building a house. Would you try to design a new house if you do not have any experience doing so?
Similarly, if you are inexperienced in web design, you might miss some important details when constructing a website. We like to think of ourselves not only as web designers, but also web planners. We often make suggestions to business owners to help make their sites as user friendly as possible. We also will help establish the best design aspects for the site to make sure it is desirable.
This will not be the case if you decide to go with a templated website. All planning rests on the shoulders of a business owner. And, if anything goes wrong, you may have limited resources available to fix the problem.
High performance websites
A templated website may not offer the same level of performance as one that is custom built.
Why is that?
A cheaply constructed website may use poor coding practices or otherwise inefficient operating procedures. Slow performance may bother customers and could potentially hurt your website’s results on search engines. On the other hand, a custom designed website will typically keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring it appears high on the list of results by popular search engines. SEO is a complex science, often requiring optimal coding to ensure a site is favorable to search engines.
A custom website will also be constructed with usability in mind. The main goal of a website is to make sure customers can find the information they want. Correctly built websites are done so with navigation in mind. These options will be limited with a template site.
Potential for data corruption
Would you build a house with rotten wood? In some instances, template websites may already be corrupted. They are often at a higher risk of being affected by malicious code and data corruption because they run on large servers.
If a single file on a template website’s server becomes corrupt, it could harm each website running through that server. Hackers often want to affect as many sites as possible to expose their viruses and spam. What easier way for them to hack large numbers of websites than hacking an entire server of template websites?
With custom-built websites, the coding is different every time. Instead of having a template that features the same code for each website, custom website code makes your website unique. In turn, a website with unique code is less likely to be hacked. Hackers are more likely to go for the low-hanging fruit: template websites.
These are some of the aspects a business owner should consider before using a templated website. Templates may seem like a convenient way to get your business online, but the reality is a properly built site is usually more effective in the long-run.
We have helped multiple clients with website redesigns after they were previously using a templated website. The need for a quality product was a factor in their decision to seek a redesign.
If you are looking for a functional site that is best for your business, we recommend going with a custom built product.