You’ve made the decision to move forward with creating a website. But now you have to decide how you want the website developed – with a custom design that will be completely unique and personalized to your needs and wants or with a prefabricated template that you choose to fill in with your content.
A custom design involves choosing many details surrounding the look and feel as well as the overall content of your website; color scheme, font families, font sizes, mood (corporate, fun, modern, etc.), navigational layout and controls, and much more.
A template design involves much less decision making. Things like the color scheme, mood and navigational layout and controls are already in place in whichever template you choose. You simply need to choose the template that most closely represents the branding you want to portray and provide the content you want displayed.
Both of these options can be beneficial depending on your business needs and other factors, so let’s give you some insight that will help you make your decision.
1. Customization – How much can the template be changed? Some templates are meant to be used exactly as-is while others are designed to be tweaked and customized.
2. Flexibility – Does your template limit your website in any way? Does it allow you to do everything you need to do with your website at the moment and anything you might want to do in the near or even distant future? Try to think long-term with a template and decide if it will suit your needs over time.
3. Branding – Does the template match the branding and style of your business. If you are starting a business from scratch this may not be an issue but if you are bringing your offline business online you want to consider your brand and keep it consistent. Some things you might not think about initially are matching: fonts, colors, logos and images. Consistent branding builds trust and confidence in your business and allows your customers and potential customers to feel comfortable buying from you.
The downside of a custom design is you will need a larger budget and a longer timeframe. The upside is that it is the best way to reflect the branding of your business exactly the way you want it. So if you have the time and the budget to create a custom website, you’ll find it to be very satisfying. Branding is key to setting yourself apart from the competition. A custom website design will help leave a lasting impression on your targeted market.
The downside of a template website design is you will be limited on the overall design and layout of the website as well as how your branding will be reflected. The upside is that it’s a quick, easy and cost-effective way to get your site up and running.
So consider your budget, your timeframe and the branding you want to put forth to help you decide which direction to go in.