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Toronto-based boutique agency specializing in web design and development, identity and print design.
Mar 11
Custom vs. Template Website Design

Custom vs. Template Website Design: Which Is Right for You?

If your website is outdated or is not converting new leads anymore, then it is time for a new design. Designing a website requires time and consideration since it is the first thing your prospects see before anything else. The quality of your website design can make or break your customers’ impression and ultimately, your business itself.

With the increasing number of online shoppers today, it literally pays to have a strong online presence. Designing a website should be about building trust, presentation, and user experience. Today, there are two options for creating a website for your business: a custom website design vs a template.

What Is a Template Web Design?

A templated web design is a quick, simple, and cost-effective option

A web page design template is a pre-created web page or set of web pages that use HTML and CSS. They are ready to use. Since they are customizable, it enables you to easily add your content and modify the layout, styling, and colours to match your desired visual appearance, branding scheme, and functionality.

Pros:

Easy to Use Cost-Effective Fast Wide selection of designs and features The designs are simple
There is no need to be an expert to personalize a web template. Many web builders use low-code drag-and-drop tools to add and manipulate various website elements. You only need to have a mental image of the appearance of your website and a basic understanding of web navigation. The web template cost is dependent on its complexity and customization limits. However, it is an affordable solution, especially for start-ups and small business owners who have a limited budget. It only takes a few days to set up and launch a brand new templated website since the code is already provided. Also, there is no need for your website to go through rigorous testing and modifications. You are ready to launch your website once it is fully customized and loaded with content. Web templates are likely to spoil you with choices when it comes to design, features, and add-ons. It allows you to choose plenty of templates that match your personal standards from a wide selection of unique designs. Web templates are developed and designed with simplicity in mind. Although the layout and structure of the web templates differ, the fundamental architecture of the website remains the same, making template websites easy to use and navigate.

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Cons:

Cannot Be too Picky Limited Template Customisation Fixed Code Limited support Hidden Cost
Oftentimes, a unique business model demands an equally unique website. Although you may have a wide variety of templates to choose from, you may end up only with a few options that fit your particular requirements, causing you to compromise the design or functionality of your website, or choose whichever template comes closest to what you need. Although you can customize your web template, it has limited flexibility. For example, it only enables you to add images with specific dimensions, and text containers with a limited number of words or characters. Most templates can only allow you to view the code but not change it. Although you can modify the base code, it can be a daunting and tedious task since most of the code is computer-generated. In some cases, editing the code can affect some of the features. In most cases, web template vendors that provide customer support will charge you by the hour to fix errors or make custom modifications. Although using templates is an affordable web page design solution, it is more cost-effective to hire a professional web designer in Toronto to support and maintain your website through a fix-break model rather than spending a fortune on creating and running a template-based website. You may think that a template website design is a cost-efficient solution, but you will realize that the amount of time you spent on transforming a template into your website will amount to more time than you first thought. When you apply your hourly rate, the cost involved can really add up.

What Is a Custom Web Design

Hiring a custom web designer helps tailor your website to your branding and marketing needs

A custom website design is different from a generic template design since it allows you to tailor your website to your brand or product/services. It also enables you to build a website that targets your ideal audience with your marketing strategy. However, when using a custom web design, you need to start from scratch to ensure that your website’s branding, purpose, and functionality are integrated right into the foundation of each page.

Pros:

Unique and Fully Customisable Built-in UX and SEO Easy scalability You work hand in hand with an expert
One of the primary advantages of customized website development is that it enables you to do whatever you want for your site. It lets you create and design a website that fits into your business model without limitations. It also allows you to use any features, layout, and function to achieve all your e-commerce and online marketing needs. Using custom design ensures that the core of your website is integrated with essential web characteristics, such as user experience (UX) and performance. Among the most crucial UX features, you can benefit from its responsive web design, especially when optimizing mobile devices. In addition to its automatic responsiveness features, it has rich snippets, and AMPs to optimize the UX and search engine visibility. A custom website developer will design a website that helps your business flourish and thrive. Modifying several lines of code enables them to include other features or enhance existing ones to support and meet the increasing demands of e-commerce, including increased traffic or new product and/service categories. Consider custom web development as a joint effort between the client and the developer or web design company. Working with an expert offers you helpful information into the design, as well as a deeper level of understanding of the website to avoid costly investment mistakes along the way.

Cons:

  • More costly

Starting from scratch can be a highly evolving website development process that requires a team of custom design professionals to complete. Unfortunately, all that hard work is reflected in the price. A corporate custom-designed website can cost thousands of dollars, which is several times more expensive than a templated-based website. However, its price is gradually compensated by other returns in the long run since you do not need to pay extra for hosting, support, speed, performance, SEO, and conversion rate optimization, as well as integrated third-party services.

  • It takes longer to develop

The timeline for building a website is dependent on its complexity. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to develop since it demands work, care, and precision into the custom development and design processes. Once completed, the website will not require constant modifications afterwards. Although a custom website creation takes a longer time to develop, it saves you the hassles of making additional changes in the future.

Both website design methods have their unique set of pros and cons. However, your choice usually comes down to your personal preferences and business needs. If you think that a custom web design is best for your business, turn to Mouth Media. Call us today at 416.531.5443 to learn more about our custom web design services in Toronto.

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