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Pros and Cons of Using Website Design Templates

by | Aug 2, 2022 | Social Firm

You want a new website, but where do you start?

Perhaps your first instinct is to google ‘how to design a website’ and the search results will show big names like Wix, Squarespace & GoDaddy you know… the normal go to site builder tools. These companies provide website templates with free wordpress themes for you to build upon to create your own website.

But your search will also no doubt reveal professional website designers and digital marketing agencies that custom build websites too. These professional websites can provide you with custom design features and functionality built specifically for your company’s needs.

So, which is best for you? It is safe to say that both options are viable, but you need to pick the one that best fits your business needs…for today and tomorrow.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of both.

Web Design Template Pros

Web Design Template Pros

Using a website template is a quick-fix option for creating your personal website. With web design templates you’re given access to pre-packaged web designs and free themes. Many individuals and businesses find this particularly attractive because it’s an easy way to quickly get started with ecommerce functionality or personal portfolio.

Start Building

Website templates allow you to jump right in and start building website pages and landing page templates. Faster build times mean you’re up and running, and attracting potential customers that much sooner…maybe.

Economical Alternative

Website design templates are an economical alternative to hiring a professional website designer or digital agency. However, the website templates may be limited in terms of variety and may lack a certain originality. But they’re free! If you’re building an online portfolio this is likely good enough to get started.

Access to Applications

Additional third party applications and wordpress plugins are available via download with certain website design templates. But again, this is on a somewhat limited basis. In some instances these website templates allow for a custom domain and even basic ecommerce functionality. But it may not be easy to customize the applications or bend them to your company’s unique specifications. More advanced plugins can give you access to powerful tools such as the Elementor page builder or other tools to help with your project which makes building websites easier because you don’t need to know css, coding, responsive html or any other complex marketing skills.

Web Design Template Cons

Web Design Template Cons

On the flip side, the cons of template-based websites are such that you may not get all of the features you need, plus you may have to spend more time than anticipated. Even with simple builders or shopify themes, getting the style just right may require a little CSS to modify the website templates to look just right. After all, nobody wants the “free website” look for their business.

Lack of SEO

Many HTML templates aren’t built with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. So, although you’ll have a functioning website, it could end up far from the top of the search engine results pages, making it difficult for potential customers to find you. So, what good is having a shiny new website if people can’t find it when they search the web. You want it to be easy for your new client to find your contact information when they hit that search button so you can boost your sales.

Lack of Support

If you need support to make major edits or significant structural changes to the website, you could run into problems and delays with low cost and free builders. These website templates are meant to be used pretty much as-is, with limited customization. This means there’s a lot of “you get what you get” with the creative. So if you want to go for a more modern look that will help you sell, a template might not be right for your project.

Lack of Originality

Customers appreciate originality, and certainly you want them to think of your products or services as being unique and creative. Therefore, it’s important to portray your brand image appropriately on your website. However, web design templates may not offer all the features needed to creatively convey your brand to clients while making the landing page easy to navigate. If you need fancy contact forms, something for visitors to download for free, or even videos on your website a template might not be a good solution.

It Falls on Your Shoulders

Finally, the work of building, running, troubleshooting and updating your website falls squarely on your shoulders. Once you get the ball rolling on your website, you will quickly realize that running a website is more involved and time consuming than simply picking colors and fonts. Sometimes visitors will have different experiences when they browse your site. For example different phones display html in different ways and it’s up to you to help your template look professional.

Be aware that building and running your own website can quickly eat away at your time and productivity. The question then becomes what is your time worth to you? Is it worth taking away from sales or other projects to build your website from a free template?

Custom Web Design Pros

Custom Web Design Pros

If you want a website with plenty of wow factor plus bells and whistles, SEO, and support, you may want to go with a digital marketing firm to design your new website.

With an agency-designed website, you get more bang for your buck. An agency will custom build you a high quality, unique website with built-in search engine optimization and more. And with a team of professionals working on your behalf, your ideas can be brought to life with beautiful designs, tools, and the functionality you need to attract customers and grow your business. A team of professionals will help you make sure your website is free from any issues that will prevent you from making sales.

Unique Designs and Features

A custom website created for your brand makes a stronger impact on customers than the same web design they see on your competitor’s site. Choosing custom web design assures that no other business has the same features, layout, and content that you offer to clients. This means that going with custom CSS and HTML vs. a template actually gives you the advantages over your competitors’ free template.

Curb Appeal

For your website to attract and keep loyal customers, you need to create a unique digital destination with real estate-like curb appeal and clean modern design that is easy to navigate.

Moreover, a professional design firm can easily customize interactive features that allow your clients to ask questions to a chatbot or schedule a free consultation through a call to action making their contact with you via the website seem more personal and direct leading to more sales.

Tailored functionality

By tailoring the web design for your market, you can ensure that visitors have the same experience whether they visit your website on a mobile device or desktop. With custom web design, you remove the limitations on what you can offer clients and how you can present your services and products. Need custom clean design for your wordpress portfolio? For a pro your projects are easy to knock out.

It Falls on Your Shoulders

Finally, the work of building, running, troubleshooting and updating your website falls squarely on your shoulders. Once you get the ball rolling on your website, you will quickly realize that running a website is more involved and time consuming than simply picking colors and fonts. Sometimes visitors will have different experiences when they browse your site. For example different phones display html in different ways and it’s up to you to help your template look professional.

Be aware that building and running your own website can quickly eat away at your time and productivity. The question then becomes what is your time worth to you? Is it worth taking away from sales or other projects to build your website from a free template?

What’s the Right Step for Your Digital Strategy?

What's the Right Step for Your Digital Strategy?

Your new website isn’t a stand-alone entity. It must be part of a larger, carefully thought-out digital marketing strategy that helps you with sales. Decisions you make during the planning and design phase of your website – and any limitations you place on its functionality – can significantly impact your ability to meet your company’s growth and marketing goals.

A professional website design and marketing firm can come up with the perfect way to integrate your marketing strategy with your new website’s design and functionality features as well as its overall online presence.

Takeaways — Maybe Website Design Templates Aren’t a Great Idea

Takeaways — Maybe Website Design Templates Aren't a Great Idea

Website templates are a good way to get started. They are fairly easy to use, and check off many of the expected website functionality boxes. But they lack uniqueness and design originality, and have certain limitations including those that could impact your company’s long term ability to grow.

Indeed, when it comes to website design, you get what you pay for.

With an agency-designed, professional website, you get more bang for your buck with a high-quality, unique web design and built-in search engine optimization. An agency comes with a team that can help you understand trends and the latest technology updates so your company maintains a competitive edge.

You can ensure that your website is functional, has effective and fully operational landing pages, beautiful designs, and a custom domain by working with a professional creative agency that specializes in graphics and websites.

And an agency that supports your marketing efforts is even better.

If you want to see what your website could look like if you choose an agency to custom build your website? Browse our gallery of past custom-designed websites.

As you can see, both options – website templates and custom web design – have advantages and disadvantages, some more than others. But the real question is how much is your time worth?

You can either deal with the hassles and headaches of building and running your own website, or you can have a professional create for you a unique website optimized for SEO, with built-in features to help customers navigate your product and service offerings with complete ease.

Whether you decide to build it yourself using a website template with a WordPress theme, or choose to work with a professional to create something custom, a new website is within your reach.

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