Templates or Custom Design?

Using a Web Template

A web template is an organization of pre-coded elements and placeholders that make them workable no matter what kind of content you substitute into place throughout the website template. They are designed to fit a variety of websites and inspire your creative thought with their variety of styles, layouts, and colors.

The benefits of using website templates include the following:

  • they are many free templates, so you can get free webspace online with a minimal investment
  • they are downloadable and easily customizable, keeping your development time short
  • you can tell with a great deal of certainty how your site will look
  • there’s a wide selection of web templates available from a variety of sources giving you a free website
  • depending on the website template, some amount of customization is possible (if you have the time and skill), making it somewhat personalizable

Some drawbacks of using web templates are:

  • you may not be able to find a web template that meets your exact needs
  • many others may be using the same website template, so that your site branding is undercut
  • your ability to customize may be limited; for example, you may not be able to display certain types of multimedia or connect to a database
  • depending on when the coding was done, the web template may not be compatible with all browsers
  • the website template may not have the accessibility standards you would like to implement
  • maintaining and updating your site may not be as easy as it could be

Investing in Custom Web Design

Custom web design is creation of linked pages of a website to your specifications. You can set the specifications on how the pages are organized, how they are linked, and the type of content each is meant to contain, as well as adaptations. In consultation with the web designer you can designate static pages, which stay the same until updated, and dynamic pages, on which the content or appearance is adapted to a variety of stimulus.

The benefits of having a custom web design created include the following:

  • the concept is customized to your specific needs and brand
  • your web page can be unique
  • you don’t have to settle for not-quite-right
  • you don’t have to do a lot of work yourself adapting
  • further customization can be built into the design
  • the website will be up-to-date in browser compatibility
  • the website can be made to reflect current accessibility standards and meet any further requirements that you wish to provide to make your site more accessible
  • your updating and maintenance can be streamlined with a customized backend maintenance area

Some drawbacks of using custom web design may be:

  • the development time involved
  • the cost
  • the uncertainty about the style and feel until you see the product
  • if this is your first website or you are just building a personal site, the complexity and number of factors you need to consider may be overwhelming for the task