Custom built versus template website design

Many small businesses believe that building their own website using a template will save them money. This may be true to begin with, but there are many reasons why in the long run this may not be the case.

Here are our thoughts on why you should avoid using a template website:

1. Professional image

The majority of your website visitors will be able tell the difference between a bespoke website and an out-of-the-box template. It can reflect negatively on you and your business and cheapen your image too. A bespoke website, however, gives you the opportunity to stamp your unique brand on your prime piece of online real estate. This improves your trustworthiness and reputation.

2. SEO

Unless you have a prime high street presence or a network to die for, you are going to be relying heavily on search engines for people to find you. Using a professional website developer, who writes the code from scratch, means you will have a website that is written to be search engine-friendly. This puts you ahead of the game before you even get into other forms of SEO.

3. Speed

Template websites are slower. Why? Because all those customisation options, even in the most basic templates, have to be written into the code. While this may seem wonderful, many of them are unused and sit there taking up space on a server. Your website ends up carrying a lot of dead weight, slowing down load time and creating a frustrating user experience. On the other hand, bespoke websites only include the code needed to do the things you need, and can be added to later as and when needed. Which segues perfectly into number 4…

4. Limitations

You could spend hours choosing the template that does just what you want it to do. But how do you know what you will need from your website in one, two or even three years time? While bespoke websites can simply be expanded by contacting your website developer, whereas template websites leave you stuck with what came in the box when you bought it. This means you could be starting from scratch every time you want to expand your business, losing you time and potentially customers too.

5. Support

If something goes wrong with your template, you may have to spend a lot of time trying to find ways to fix the problem. Assuming you are not an expert, this could be much more time than a professional web designer would spend trying to solve a similar problem on a website they built from scratch. There is rarely a problem that stumps the pros, but for you it may be time consuming and costly when something seemingly simple, but incredibly important, suddenly stops working.

6. Time

You may think it takes less time to develop a website using a template. In reality, it rarely does. When you think about the amount of time you will have to spend learning how to use the content management system, template, plugins etc., then upload all the copy and images and lay it all out how you’d like it, it can run into days, or even weeks spent away from your business. This time is losing you money.

We’re not saying it’s always a bad idea to use a template website. For many people this is their only option to get up and running quickly. But there are many compelling reasons why it is, most of the time, better to use a professional website developer to build your website.

If you are looking for a website developer, contact us today for a free quote, or call us on 01225 920 503

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