Back in the day managing a website was a painstakingly technical task. A company had to hire technical staffs to maintain the site. However, things changed when Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, drupal and others came along. One of the considerations any business makes before building a website is the cost of fulfilling that task. Understandably, most businesses will factor in this cost in creating a respectable online branding or presence.
For a myriad of businesses, cutting the cost of developing a website is a top priority. Why is this so? Many business owners are now focused on ranking their website using SEO techniques such as white hat seo than to solely focus on a pretty website. Now the question is, what is the difference between using a template and a custom built website?
First of all, a website template is a pre-design collections of codes that can be tweaked easily to fit a business’ requirements. On the other hand, a custom website is just that –a website that has been created from scratch specifically for a particular business.
What is the difference between a custom built website and template?
As stated above, almost all websites these days are built with a CMS. A CMS lighten the technical load of maintaining a website through the back end which requires the access and editing of the source code (contains the coding language used to create sites). With a CMS, a non-techie individual can easily change appearance, navigation, graphics or text. Additionally, almost all CMS software comes with pre-made themes (free or bought) that are used in creating websites.
Building a website from scratch or using templates has both its advantages and disadvantages. As per the industry standards, a custom built website is better than a template based website. Of course, the odds can be easily evened if you hire a lousy web designer. Obviously, a custom website is more expensive than a template based site. Why does it matter? Big companies are largely concerned about their online marketing efforts and how their presence online will affect their sales.
The pros of a custom built website
Clearly, uniqueness in website appearance and graphics is a major advantage of creating a custom website. Having more control over the appearance and a strong website presence translates to better reception and branding for your business. Most important, websites has to be mobile-friendly.
- They are flexible – Since the site is built to fit specific business requirements, it can be easily tweaked to accommodate any future changes. On matters flexibility a template site might require a system overhaul even in minute changes.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – a custom built site allows the implementation of SEO friendly tweaks. However, it’s necessary for the business owner to request optimization to be done. It is also noteworthy that black hat seo techniques should not be implemented to avoid a waste of your effort.
- A custom built site is great for Ecommerce – a template is disadvantaged when it comes to ecommerce. Ecommerce sites require complex applications which a template lacks.
The cons of a template based website
As you might have noticed we have focused so much on the pros of a custom built site and cons of a template based site respectively. It is intentional because we believe a custom built site is great for business. Nonetheless, here are the cons of a template site.
- Lack of flexibility – Although you are allowed to make changes on a template there are limits to the extent you can make these changes. Premium templates allow you to make minimal customizations.
- Some templates are not responsive – responsiveness isn’t just an aesthetic requirement it has become an SEO requirement especially on Google.
- Security – templates are easy targets by hackers because of the many sites with a similar template. Interesting features and functionalities such as ecommerce and site interactivity.
Each of the options stated above varies, depending on the industry of the business. However, a custom built site has greater advantages over a template built site. But a small business running on a shoestring budget with few requirements might save a lot using a template.