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Exploring the Cost of Custom Website Development vs. Template-Based Solutions

Alekh Verma | April 4, 2023
Web development vs Template website

A thorough and well-considered website design is essential in today's environment to reach and engage your target audience and contribute to the level of engagement you desire. The decision between a custom and a template website comes up frequently in discussions.

With the introduction of numerous technological breakthroughs, many prospective business owners are choosing to design their websites utilizing a variety of website builders, like Wix or Squarespace, that enable you to design a website and create an appealing online presence. Others are choosing to use WordPress because of its simple installation procedure, extensive library of templates, and built-in capabilities, which enable you to build a fully functional website without writing a single line of code.

Yet not every website template is created to be responsive and usable on a range of devices. Even now, some of these templates are dated. A specially designed website provides a special remedy in this situation, giving a company every edge and a chance to succeed. The advantages and disadvantages of each will be examined in this article along with each's unique applicability. You can decide more wisely if you have this information.

What is Template-Based Web Design? 

Simply put, template-based web designs provide you with several predetermined alternatives or combinations with the flexibility to make a few changes—basically, they give you boxes to check off. A template that closely resembles your selections and choices is the outcome.

For instance, WordPress gives you access to a wide selection of templates. Either utilize a free template or purchase a more expensive one. After installing the WordPress software, you can choose any of these themes and begin personalizing them to suit your tastes—you may add and remove parts, alter the color, or typefaces, for example. Yet, altering a template excessively will lead to a disorganized website that poorly conveys your message.

Pros of Template-Based Websites Design: 

  • Inexpensive

When opposed to a custom-built website, one of the main benefits of choosing a template-based design is that it is very affordable. This would be the greatest choice for you if you have a tight budget.

  • Easy to assemble

Setting up a website using a template is simple and quick because all you need to do is make a few adjustments to an existing template.

  • Provides a huge range of options

You can choose from a wide range of template-based designs to get the one that best satisfies your business's needs.

  • Accelerated development cycle

Every project cycle is completed rather rapidly. This implies that rather than taking months, you can have your new website operational in a matter of days. The code has been fully altered. As a result, all you need to do is fill it with the appropriate information.

Cons of Template-Based Websites Design:

  • Not being original

Using a template-based design has several drawbacks, one of which is that it offers little to no individuality. This is because you'll be utilizing a pre-designed template that many other companies have also used.

  • Less adaptable

Also, compared to websites that are designed from scratch, template-based designs are less adaptable. This is because they were created to cater to a particular sector or specialty and may not be able to satisfy your business requirements. You will be limited in what modifications you may make to the template's design. This implies that the overall appearance and feel of your website will be constrained. 

  • Unable to scale

Moreover, template-based designs don't scale well. This is because they are not built to handle a lot of traffic or content. Hence, if your firm expands, you could need to make an entirely new website investment.

  • Less control over the process of design

You won't have as much influence over the design process while using a template. This is because you won't be able to make many changes to the template. After all, you'll be working inside its constraints.

  • There are security dangers when using free templates.

There is always a chance that a free template you use will be compromised or infected with malware. This is because free templates are not as secure as commercial ones.

What is Custom Web Design? 

A custom web design is created especially for your company and its requirements. This indicates that the website will be specifically designed to satisfy your needs. Understanding your company, your target market, and your goals is necessary to create a personalized web design. A website that not only meets your needs but also engages and converts your target audience can be built once this is complete.

Websites that are specifically developed for you will have a framework, navigation, and back-end user interface that meet your requirements. Customized websites provide businesses with complete control over every aspect of web design, enabling them to be genuinely innovative with their marketing strategies. This implies that companies can use their websites to accomplish their marketing objectives.

Pros of Custom Website Design: 

  • Reach your unique business objective.

One of the main benefits of a bespoke web design is that it aids in the accomplishment of your unique business objectives. This is due to the design being produced with your objectives in mind. It will be created to satisfy your unique needs: Your unique business requirements will be taken into consideration while creating a custom web design. This indicates that all the features and capabilities you need will be supported.

  • Draws in your intended audience

Your target demographic is also easier to draw in with a bespoke site design. Your intended audience is taken into consideration when designing. With a bespoke web design, your company's website will stand out from the competition and be able to successfully convey your message to your target audience. Also, this aids in tailoring and modifying your marketing plan in response to various outside circumstances.

  • Increases brand identification and awareness

Increased brand identification and awareness are additional benefits of a personalized site design. This is since a well-designed website will help customers recall your brand.

  • Makes a favorable initial impression

Also, custom web design aids in making a strong initial impression. This is since a well-designed website will make it simple for users to believe in your brand.

  • Establishes credibility and faith

Also, a bespoke web design promotes authenticity and confidence. This is since a well-designed website will make it simple for visitors to comprehend your brand.

  • Scalable and adaptable

Furthermore, versatile and scalable is custom web design. This indicates that it is easily adaptable to your company's changing needs. A customized web design can also be readily scaled to handle high traffic or content volumes.

  • Improved security

More security features are often included in custom site designs. This is so because a custom website is simpler to secure than one built using a template.

Cons of Custom Website Design:

  • Costly

The fact that custom site designs can be expensive is one of their key drawbacks. This is so because a bespoke site design requires a lot of time and work to create.

  • Takes a while to construct

The fact that a custom site design may take a while to develop is another drawback. This is so because a custom site design requires extensive planning and development.

  • Needs experienced designers

A custom site design has the additional drawback of requiring talented designers. This is so because creating a personalized website involves a great deal of knowledge and skill.

Difference Between Custom Website and Template: What Determines Your Choice?

It might be challenging to decide whether to get a website designed using a template or having it custom coded. The reason is that it is based on a variety of variables that each have an impact on your decision differently. Because there are no restrictions, a custom-coded website is unquestionably better. However, it takes longer and is based on the platform you are utilizing and the developer's skill. A template-based website design is significantly quicker and simpler to choose. You are, however, subject to significantly greater limitations in terms of flexibility.

You should consider these elements as you make your choice:

  • Find out how other websites in your sector or area of expertise appear.

It might not be worthwhile having a custom-coded website to stand out from the competition if most of them have identical looks. A custom website design, on the other hand, is the best option if you want to stand out.

  • Consider how frequently you'll need to update your website.

A template might be acceptable if the website is static and rarely updated. Nevertheless, if you frequently need to update your site, you'll want something simple to modify without knowing how to code. 

  • Consider your budget.

Compared to template-based designs, custom-programmed websites may be more expensive, but they may also be more customizable and have more features.

  • Choose what matters most to you.

A unique design, usability, or a lesser price.

In the end, it depends on what matters to you more. A template design can be the best option if affordability is your top concern. However, if having a unique look or usability are more important to you, a custom-coded website can be a better option. Consider your alternatives carefully and choose the course that is best for your company.

Factors to Consider While Choosing Between Custom Web Design vs Website Templates 

1.   Budget 

Everyone seeks excellence, but excellence has a cost. There is no reason to cut corners, especially when your website serves as the focal point of all of your marketing efforts and the identification of your target audience.

On the other hand, if your budget is below a specific threshold, a template-based website is the best option. If you want to seriously think about getting a custom-built website, your budget should be between 1% and 2% of your annual sales. 

2.   Complexity 

Your website's complexity is entirely up to you. A custom-built website is the best option if you intend to include a lot of interactive material or conduct eCommerce. On the other hand, templates are perfect for you if all you need is a straightforward website without any extraneous features.

3.   Target Audience 

Before designing your website, it is critical to identify your target demographic. After all, a company's ability to appeal to its target market is essential to its success. In comparison to a template-based option, a custom-built website will provide you with a lot more control over the design, development, and functionality of your website.

A bespoke website is the best option if you want something that is genuinely one of a kind and representative of your company. A custom-built website is what you should choose if you are targeting a particular specific niche market or sector and need a unique solution not frequently seen in template-based websites. A template-based website, on the other hand, can help you if you're going after a more general market that isn't too particular about your sector.

4.   Flexibility and Extensibility 

Sadly, templates seek a universal answer. They cannot be overly flexible because of this. A custom-built website will give you considerably more flexibility in terms of design, development, and functionality than a template-based solution. A custom-built website is a preferable choice if your business plan calls for the expansion or addition of additional features or procedures to your website in the future.

Template-based websites do not provide much room for expansion due to their fixed style and functionality. A custom website, however, can be created with extensibility in mind from the beginning. This offers you the flexibility to later incorporate any new features or functionalities you desire without sacrificing the look or usability.

5.   Market Competitiveness

Users have the right to be discerning in the oversupplied market of today. Statistics show that people have about 10 seconds to be impressed by and become engaged with your website before they click away. Thus, differentiating yourself from rivals is essential for survival. A template solution does not offer the same amount of individuality and usability as a custom-designed one.

To promote your goods or services and raise brand awareness, you can create custom platforms. They are created precisely with your target market in mind, resulting in excellent user experience.

6.   Outcome 

This is important in deciding the style of site design you want. Identity plays a key role in business. It significantly enhances the brand's reputation. The creation of a brand and a substantial presence should always come first. You simply can't get the level of customization and personalization you need with this template-based design.

A template-based website can be made to be as distinctive as you like, but that is not how it is intended to work. Your company will have the chance to represent its distinct character, culture, and values—the very qualities that set your company apart from competitors—on a custom-built website.

7.   Time 

Time is another unavoidable reality. A template-based web design would be more tempting if you need a quick and operational website. A custom website takes at least three months to complete, assuming good communication. Goal setting, planning, assigning deliverables, creating wireframes, design, development, testing, and optimization processes are all streamlined by these procedures. especially if several people are engaged in different procedures.

8.   Marketing and SEO 

When it comes to SEO optimization, template-based solutions provide very little. Building SEO components into the architecture of the website is possible with custom development. It aids in content optimization, traffic growth, and brand awareness.

9.   Functionality 

This plays a big part in how websites are designed, too. If your company only needs to conduct straightforward transactions, a template-based design would do; nevertheless, a custom website is required for any type of significant e-commerce. Think about the goals that your company has for its website. A custom website is the greatest option if you require a fully functional website that can carry out complicated activities. On the other hand, templates are perfect for you if all you need is a straightforward website without any extraneous features.

Conclusion

Each form of web design has several lessons to be learned from it, and each is appropriate for scenarios and conditions. In the end, it depends on the objectives you're attempting to meet, but the fundamental fact of both web designs is that the layout itself is a key component of any company's marketing plan.

When it comes to development, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. While custom development offers a website suited specifically for your company's needs and a distinctive style that makes your brand stand out from the competition, template-based development takes less time and work. Although many businesses now offer customizable templates, distinctive goods still require distinctive approaches.

Consider each of the aforementioned factors before selecting the solution that best suits your unique business requirements.

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