Custom Web Design vs. Website Template

Posted by Alicia Carter on December 21, 2017

There are a lot of decisions to be made when you begin the process of creating a website for your business. But the most important is probably whether or not you should invest in a custom-built website or choose from one of the many pre-designed themes available on the internet. While it may seem more cost-effective to go for the easier option, a pre-packaged template design, it could end up costing you more in the long run. “But I’m not technically savvy,” you say. “I need something quick and easy to use.” If you’re looking for a quick fix, a pre-designed template may be the way to go. But if you’re looking for a website that will stand the test of time, create a beneficial user experience, and ultimately create new leads for your business, it’s important to invest time and funds into a custom design. If you’re still on the fence about which route to take, here are four reasons a custom website is worth the investment.

Custom Designs Offer a Unique Look

There are many benefits of a custom-designed website, but one of the most important is that it will allow your site to have a unique look and feel. The problem with a templated design is that any number of other businesses could have chosen the same theme, so the chance of your site looking the same as someone else’s is high. Your website is the entry point for many of your customers — it’s the first impression you make with most of them. It’s important that your website communicate your business’s unique brand and is up to date on the latest technologies such as a responsive design. Having a responsive design should be one of your top priorities in 2018, and may not be guaranteed with a pre-designed template. When you invest in a custom design, you have control over how your website will respond to different display settings. And since Google is putting even more emphasis on mobile-friendly designs in the new year, it’s imperative that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive. Investing in these features now will guarantee a longer lifespan for your website.

48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business. — Blue Corona

Templates Can Be Limiting

Once you purchase a template for your website, what you see is what you get. As your business grows, you may find you need to add components to your website. Will those new features flow seamlessly with your template? Are you able to easily edit or add to your design? Is there technical support to help you through these changes, or are you stuck with what you have? These are important questions to ask yourself before opting for the template design. Because down the road, you will need to make changes to your website for any number of reasons: email and social media campaigns, ecommerce, adding forms or a blog, creating a new landing page, etc. A custom website affords you the capability to and freedom to add custom features and functionality to your website when you need it. You’ll work with a developer to build the foundation of your website, and you’ll still have access to the technical support you’ll need to build upon that foundation as your business grows. You won’t be left trying to fit misshapen pieces into an already completed puzzle.

Search Engine Optimization

While many website templates look great, they aren’t necessarily designed with SEO in mind. When you go the custom website route, you’re able to work directly with the designer and developer to ensure that SEO best practices are incorporated throughout the website, including utilizing keywords, headers, metadata and more. When choosing a templated website, you may not have control over how the backend of your website is built, so many find they have to invest in an SEO specialist for help because they are unsure how to utilize their template’s SEO options. By working with web design professionals from the get-go, SEO will be incorporated into the overall plan for the website and addressed and implemented before the site launches.

38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout
is unattractive. — Adobe

Custom Websites Result in Higher ROI

Many things can affect your ROI, but having a visually appealing, user-friendly website will give you the greatest chance of getting the most bang for your buck. You can spend hours writing quality content, producing videos, creating content offers, formulating email campaigns, and more, but if your site isn’t easily navigable and the user experience isn’t appealing, people either won’t be able to find that content, or they won’t stay on your site long enough to see it. Plus, a web designer can help create a website with your specific goals in mind. Whether you’re looking to convert more leads, increase brand awareness and engagement, or increase sales, a professional web designer can tailor fit your site to your needs. Plus, they have the experience to suggest different strategies or features that can directly affect your goals.  

A custom designed website may have a greater initial cost, but it’s important to approach big decisions, like creating your business’s website, with the long-term goal in mind. While choosing a pre-designed template for your website may seem like a quick and easy (and cost-effective) choice in the beginning, it may end up costing you more in the long run. Trusting professional web designers to create a custom website will give you greater creative control from the beginning and the investment will pay off with a well-designed website that is unique to your brand and your specific goals.

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