Templated vs Custom Websites

In Web design

Building a website from template is much cheaper compared to custom design... Is it?
Darren Fox Idea Marketing Group, Inc.,
President & Founder

I often hear a lot about the difference between custom web sites versus template websites, and there's a lot of differences between them.

Templates are gonna save you a lot of money up front, but they're gonna cost you a lot more money in the long run.

So you can definitely do speed to market faster, but the reason I'm not crazy about them is you're essentially fitting your business into a pre-canned template, so rather than you getting a website that's built and tailored for your business, you're trying to fit into an existing mold. Not all companies fit that way.

One of the big differences between template web sites versus custom web sites is speed. With the templates they like to pack a lot of extra code inside them, and because of that it makes the website perform a lot slower, so it loads slower.

There's something called "the code to text ratio" that search engines look at too, and that's something where they look at the amount of content that's on the page compared to how much actual code there is to generate that page. You get penalized on some of those different things.

One of the other big limitations that we see is the following. You'll have your website up and running for a while, you'll be really happy with it, but then you've just added a new service, and you go to try to add it to that website. A lot of times it's a lot more difficult to do. Or you want to change something, and just changing one element ends up changing a lot of the website itself.

Another thing about template versus custom is how much money a template is upfront compared to a custom. A lot of times template is cheaper at the start, but not over the lifespan of your website. You tend to spend a lot more money marketing a template website than you would a custom website, because once a custom one is up and running, and gets its legs underneath it, you don't have to do nearly as much work to market that website. It'll start to work more organically.