Custom Web Design Vs Templates

Custom Web Design Vs Pre-Designed Templates

The Snapshot

  • Custom web design gives you limitless design opportunities
  • Your sales goals can be integrated into the design process with custom web design
  • Using pre=designed templates can result in slower website load times

Web design has been one of our core services since we first launched Inspiration Marketing back in 1999. Over the years we have developed our design processes and honed our web development skills in-line with technological advancements such as mobile and tablet responsive design. Our experience has given us first-hand knowledge of custom web design and pre-designed templates. In this blog we are going to look at the pros and cons of both approaches to designing a website.

Custom Web Design Pros

  1. Graphic designer will custom design a template based on any design requirements you need.
  2. Only plugins specifically required are installed and kept to a minimal to increase site speed and reduce the risk of a plugin conflict.
  3. Security is increased with direct control of the code to employ best coding practices, additional security features and plugins.
  4. Calls to actions can be easily integrated in the design process to help increase conversion rates.
  5. Design can be developed with the end customer in mind.
  6. Navigation is fully customizable as you control the design approach.
  7. The admin section of the website is less cluttered as only displays what you need, instead of every single option.
  8. Training is easier as the backend of the website is more intuitive than pre-designed templates.
  9. The website code and images are optimized for fast load times.
  10. Customization at a later time is easy as the website is built using a structured framework.

 Pre-Designed Templates Pros

  1. A graphic designer is not needed as the template is already built. This will save you time and money.
  2. A pre-designed template will cost between $10 and $100. This is very cheap compared with even a basic custom web design project.
  3. If you have a basic understanding of content management systems you should be able to install a template.
  4. Templates are usually pre-built with all the features you may need e.g. calendars, news feeds, social media feeds.

Custom Web Design Cons

  1. Custom web design requires a graphic designer and a web developer to fulfil a project meaning projects normally take longer to complete.
  2. Costs will be higher than using a Pre-Designed Template again for same reason – a graphic designer and web developer are both required.

Pre-Designed Templates Cons

  1. The load times for pre-designed templates are higher due to their developers adding in numerous features, extra style sheets and JavaScript code. Slow load times lead to a poor user experience. They may also significantly impact the performance of the website in Google’s search results.
  2. Template designs are generally a fixed design which makes customization difficult and time consuming. Customisations will add both to the cost and time involved in the web development project.
  3. The admin section of pre designed templates is often difficult to navigate and cumbersome for users to manage. Training first time users therefore can be more difficult due to the complex backend interface.
  4. The template may be used by hundreds or thousands of other companies. Have you ever seen a website which you immediately thought looked like a lot of other websites you have already visited? Chances are it’s a predesigned template.
  5. If there is a fault with your template it may be difficult to contact and get support from the original developers.
  6. Adding additional plugins may interfere with the templates wireframe.

Our experience in web design and development has given us an insight into the pros and cons of custom web design and pre-designed templates. Custom web design is the choice we recommend to clients as it allows for better optimization and online marketing and allows for growth and customization in the future. However if you have a very limited budget then the Template route may be your only option.

Remember though that designing and developing the website is only the start of your online journey.  You need to proactively manage the performance of the site through ongoing online marketing.  If you need help deciding which path to take or support on your online marketing speak to one of our team today.