What’s the difference between a Custom Website and a Template Website?

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If you are familiar with the process of building websites at all, you may have heard the word “template” being tossed around a little. If you are asking yourself, “Should I go with a custom built website, or should I go with a template?” then this blog post is for you! There are definitely pros and cons for each. Here are a few things to note about the differences between the two options to help you decide which is the right fit for you.

Customizability

One major difference between the two options is that custom websites can be tailored to meet your business’ and clients’ needs. No one in the entire world is going to have your same website. If you want to add a picture gallery, “bam!”, you got one! You want to add a fun border to one of your pages? You got it. Anything you can imagine can be done to your custom website and it will be yours and only yours for the rest of time.

That being said, there are some downfalls to this. Are you a small business that doesn’t have much time to launch and not much budget to work with? Then a custom website might not fit your needs. Instead go with a template. Templates come in a wide variety of themes and styles, and there is a good chance there might be one that fits your business’s culture perfectly. Template websites take less time to complete because the majority of coding is already finished and there are limited changes that can be made to the original structure. But, if your template doesn’t support a certain feature (say a picture gallery), then you are probably going to have to find another one that has that feature.

Initial Pricing

Some wise person once said, “Time is money.” In the web design world this could not be more true. Custom designs are very much an investment and there is a lot of time and energy that goes into building the perfect website. You and your designer have control over every pixel so there is meticulous care that goes into building it. Every picture and every shape has to work together on your webpage to create the perfect ambiance for visitors and prospective clients. Once all the pieces fit together, your tailored website will reinforce your company’s brand and will show that you take your reputation seriously.

On the other hand, if your company’s image is not highly dependent on the specific design of your website, then you might want to give a template a try. Again, it takes a lot less time (therefore a lower initial investment) to put together a template, and if it doesn’t hurt your business that 10,000 people have the same website as you, then this may be the right choice.

Scalability

Let’s say you do want to go with a custom website, but don’t have enough capital to invest in one. You might be able to strike a deal with your web designer to hold off adding the flashier features to your website until you have more money to invest. After you make a few more sales (thanks to your custom basic website) go ahead and add a little more flare. Over time you will be able to make changes as needed to mold your perfect website into what your customers need.

Templates, again, are for the people that don’t want to worry about all that nonsense. If you have found yourself saying, “All I need is simple website.” then certainly go with a template. Since they come mostly as is, no more, no less, you don’t have to constantly think about what the next thing you are going to put on the site is, or what cool features you should include in your design. It’s just hook, line, and sinker. Easy and stress free.

Security

One of the main issues that must be considered when building your site is security. If you go with a custom website then your site will be more secure. The code was written for you, then uploaded onto your domain by the same person who handled all the website code from inception to completion.

Templates are a more unknown world. You are never going to know how many people have influenced the code you are about to upload onto your domain. It could have gone through hundreds of people’s computers, and collected code from all sorts of hard drives. Some templates will even have tracking codes and viruses attached to them. That being said, the chances of your website being hacked are very low and can be fixed if the hack is noticed quickly.

Overall, whether you decide to go with a custom or template site really depends on what you are looking for. If you want to make your website a large investment with very large returns then custom is for you, but if you are fine with your current clientele and aren’t too worried about expanding then go with a template. Both have their pros and cons and both work great for different purposes and business goals. If you are interested in getting a website for your business, Envision can give you options for both custom and template websites. Just let us know!

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