This is another in a series of posts on the subject of using website templates versus building a custom website.
Do you remember the phrase – you get what you pay for? That pretty much sums it all up from our experience, but in case you’re not convinced, here are a few key points to consider.
• ‘Template based’ websites can be a fast and economical way to build-out and launch a website on the Internet.
• The positive benefits above will only be achieved if you are willing to follow exactly the template format.
• From a time-cost analysis perspective you need to consider the significant time it can take to choose a template (aka theme) from the large selections from many providers. Finding a website template that is exactly as you want the layout to be can be hard as the fields for verbiage and images are predetermined.
• Keep in mind that the template you choose has already been used by others and will continue to be licensed by many more into the future. Maybe 100’s or even 1,000’s of other companies will have the same exact website layout as you. Some could be competitors for website traffic and even in the same industry.
• In our experience, most website projects that begin with a template often increase in project scope up to a custom website. In the end, the user often wants layout changes that require re-coding sections or all of the website. The template becomes more of a jump off point in the website design and layout process.
• Templates offer very specific functionality which is generally limited. ‘Plug-ins’ can be obtained to run a variety of functions (ie: scheduling calendars, e-commerce, etc.) Some plug-ins are free but many require payment(s).
Template websites can be fast and economical and we recommend these as a jump-off point for business startups. You may want to allow for some wiggle room in pricing for possible customization. Beyond this we recommend selecting the best design/development for your needs and proceed with a custom designed website. Custom designed websites offers many benefits which will be covered in a future post from this series.