Your website is the first thing your target audience sees. It has a crucial role to play in brand perception and can form the basis of any important marketing initiatives. A potential client or customer will go to find out more about brand values, what you do and what you offer on your website. So, having an effective, informative and engaging one is essential - but are you more likely to get that from template or custom design?
The benefits of template website design
Using a template design equals simplicity and cost efficieny. Templates are cheaper and they are created in advance to work for a pre-defined type of website with certain needs. So, if your budget is very low, your business is brand new, your needs are very simple or you're just keen to get started straight away, you may find it easier to begin with a template website design.
Working with custom website design
Many businesses naturally progress into custom website designs from their easy template one. Once you find yourself getting a bit more traffic and your budget gets a bit more hefty, there are certainly many more advantages for a growing business to have a custom website design.
You're pretty resticted with what you can do with a template website - clue's in the name. A custom website design is tailor made to the specific needs of your business and your website users.
Templates are cheaper because they are widely available and, despite all the various tweaks and changes you make, it will always be recognisable as a template. If you have a custom designed website, then it is a completely unique creation that none of your competitors will have, which can be a particularly useful tool when it comes to reinforcing branding.
Buying a website template often means that, once you've completed the purchase, you're on your own. You may be able to email the developer to ask questions but there is often little or no service commitment and so the support just isn't there. When you create a custom website with a developer, the support is ongoing, from changing aesthetics to new functionality requirements.
Ease of scaling
Your business goals are driving you towards growth, but can your website cope with that? If it's a template website design, then probably not. Templates are restricted when it comes to scaling whereas a custom design can easily cope with change, such as a spike in traffic or the need for more effective SEO.
Supporting your objectives
The bigger control you have over a bespoke website makes it a more effective tool when it comes to supporting objectives, whether that's more conversions or attracting a certain demographic.
The quality question
With a custom design, there is more accountability. The design will be developed and deployed in your working environment to ensure that it works, providing an opportunity to smooth out inconsistencies, errors and anything that just a bit off. This quality testing is something you just won't get with a template design.
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