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Custom Web Designs or Website Templates - What Should You Prefer?
Every art has various forms to express themselves — for example, poetry. Poetry is expressed by both nursery rhymes and Shakespeare’s poems. The painting Mona Lisa and the design of the first helicopter, both display Vinci’s art of writing his mind on canvas. But can you say that Shakespeare’s work is better than nursery rhymes? Of course, in terms of depth and intensity, Shakespeare’s rhymes are better. But will they be of any interest to nursery kids? No. Similarly, the beautiful painting Mona Lisa was of no use to aviation engineers who invented the first helicopter in the 1940s.
Where are we going with all this?
Custom web and mobile app development is also an art and the needs of the business to decide its purpose. Having a website or a web app has become a hygiene factor for every business. It takes hard work and consistent efforts to build such a platform that runs parallel to other business operations. Apart from providing you an online presence, they also serve as an additional channel to reach out to your business.
The art of web development can also be expressed in broadly two forms namely Custom Web Designs and Website Templates. Although templates carry a second class image as compared to custom web designs, what if you want a website fast and at an affordable price?
And sometimes it may also happen that your business model and consumer behavior is so different that no website template can help you. Ultimately, you have to take the support of custom web design. So the next question is how to decide which one is better for your business? And to answer that we have first to understand how these two are different from each other:
1. Custom Web Designs
As the name suggests, custom web design is the customized web development on the lines of special needs of the business. The custom web design is focused solely on your requirements and displays high attention to detail. The themes are personalized and the content on the website is top notch in terms of quality. Custom web designers help you design a website which narrates your story in your way. Hence, your site will be different from others and “different” always catches more attention.
a) A custom web development solution is something which is generally developed right from scratch and hence, everything is editable for the developer. Also, it is easy for the business to make modifications later.
b) From the SEO perspective too, a custom website has more potential to get higher rank as compared to template based solution.
c) Custom designs are more efficient in terms of catering the specific needs of the business and customers as well as play a huge role in the branding of the business. Hence, custom designs can assist you in scaling up your business.
a) Since gold has never been cheap, therefore, custom solutions with all the fancy features and personalized designs are also not affordable for all.
b) Just like Rome, your custom website also cannot be built in a day. It takes an in-depth study of the business, customers, and market flowed by architecture and framework design. After that, multiple iterations of coding and testing is done. Hence, it takes a lot of time and requires a decent amount of patience.
c) If you don’t have deep pockets, it is not impossible to have a custom web solution. But the designer may overlook some SEO essentials or back-end coding ultimately giving you an awful finished product.
It is suitable for those businesses where the owners see the website as a long-term investment. They are ready to spend money on a flexible and scalable website. Also, they have time and patience to wait for the perfect solution for their business. It is essential for businesses which consider their web platform as a critical/primary channel for earning like e-commerce, digital marketing, and online food delivery companies, etc.
2. Website templates
The predesigned web pages with all the basic features of a web-app/website integrated into them are called website templates. Any business can use these templates by making small modification in templates. Their quality varies in terms of ease of installation, the convenience of working, attraction of themes and friendliness of UI. After using one of them, you can add content in the form of blogs, images, videos, etc. and get started with your journey on the web.
a) Since the templates have very basic and generic features, the development cycle is shorter.
The templates are easily available and do not require a tedious amount of work to get your business online. Therefore, it involves lesser costs.
b) You don’t need a team of coding experts talking all HTML or CSS to each other which makes it difficult for you to understand the process. Therefore, template based web development has its fans who admire simplicity.
a) You will not have a unique website. Your competitors may have been using the same template long before you start using it. Hence, no differentiation.
b) Although it is easy to use a template as a quick fix, in the long run, it will become difficult even slightly to customize it. For a fast-growing business, it can prove to be a big problem.
c) It is always not so simple to work with templates. It also does not make sense to get professional help for this. The developers will ultimately charge you a huge amount, hence, defeating the main purpose of cost saving.
If you are using website templates, it does not mean you don’t have a long term vision for your business. It’s just that business runs on priorities and availability of resources. If the cost-benefit analysis tells that it does not make sense to invest heavily in a website, then one must go for templates. Small consultants, medium-sized retailers, and young startups can also use them to take their business online faster.
There are thousands of business websites on the internet. Every website is trying to present a picture of a business in its own best way. There are consumers of all kinds and most important for you is to recognize your kind. It is not difficult to decide whether to use a custom design or a web template for a website as long as you have done your homework. Therefore, study your accounts book, consumer behavior, business model and a little bit about web development to make your mind on one of the two choices.