When a small business decides they need a new website, many face a decision as to whether to choose a custom design for the site or to create a site by using a pre-designed web template.
There are pros and cons to each option, so it's important to understand these before making a choice.
Advantages of using pre-designed template
They're more affordable.
One of the main advantages of opting for a template is that you'll save money. They tend to be quite a bit more affordable than custom designs.
WordPress, an open source platform, offer basic templates for free and for sale. If you take the time to learn how to use WordPress and other free online platforms, you can set up a site for a very reasonable price. If you're strapped for cash, sites such as these are a alternative.
What you see is what you get.
Some people love surprises. Others hate them. When it comes to your web design, surprises are typically a bad thing.
Templates offer security. What you see is what you get. No surprises, no hassle. This can save both money and time in terms of preventing future revisions that could result from custom design.
Templates are ready to go, plug and play. When you use a template, it's pretty much plug and play. And, faster turnaround means lower costs.
If you need a website now and don't have the budget for a custom website, a template is the way to go.
It's not as unique and tailor-made for your business.
Obviously, the main drawback of using a template is that it isn't necessarily unique. There will be other companies out there with a similar color scheme and layout. If you want a completely unique online presence, it's better to get a custom design for your site.
They can lack scalability.
Some templates are specifically made for smaller websites. They aren't designed to accommodate the needs of a large enterprise or business. If you want to plan for the long term future, custom design may be a better option.
Can prevent the use of some custom functionality.
Template designs can be very cookie cutter-esque. They may not be designed to accommodate different widgets and custom tools that you want to use.
It's important to clearly define all the different features and requirements for your new website before choosing between a template or custom design. And, make sure they can be met by the solution you choose.