Is A Custom Website The Best Way to Go?
If you want a website your only real options are a custom site are a ready-made template. Each has its benefits and which is right for you depends on a number of factors. Here are some benefits of a custom webpage:
- Unique – While there are all kinds of templates, for the most part they are basically the same. A custom site gives you a completely blank slate you can do anything you want with. With a template you need to fit your graphics, text and other elements within already set parameters. This is not the case with a custom website.
- SEO – Search engine optimization refers to how easy your website is to find by your potential customers. It is a complex process, but one of the many factors, and a major factor, is the actual background coding not usually seen on the physical page. A custom site can be optimized much more effectively and easily than a template, and the optimization can be tweaked in order to get more focused results.
- Adaptable – With a template you don’t have many options to change as you company changes, which it inevitably will. A customized site will allow you to make all the changes you need as your company shifts and grows.
- Size – For large sites, templates make it nearly impossible to keep navigation simple. You will have limited areas to link too and it will get confusing for the uses. If you have a large site a template is not a good idea.
Drawbacks of a custom website:
- It is a lot more expensive. Even the cheapest designers charge exponentially more than template companies, and you definitely don’t want to hire the cheapest designer.
- You are somewhat at the mercy of the designer during the design process, so you want to be sure that your goals and what you expect from your site, as well as how much it costs, are clear before work begins.
- Updating the site on your own is nearly impossible if you are not the original designer and if you do not know coding, so you may need to hire them again in the future when you need changes.
Some benefits of a template website:
- Simple – You likely won’t need a designer at all. And most provide hosting as well. Just choose an address and start playing with their design features.
- Inspiration – While they do not allow much customization, many designers view a few templates to get ideas about colors and other elements before beginning a custom design.
- Inexpensive – For many templates all you pay is the yearly or bi-annual fee for the site address. Some elements may cost a little extra but the entire cost is less than your cell phone bill in most cases.
- Fast – You can do it in an afternoon.
Drawbacks of a template:
- A lot of other people are going to be using your exact same template.
- As mentioned there is little to no opportunity to optimize your content.
- You need to fit the elements of your site into set parameters, often leading to graphics problems and navigation problems, plus limited space for content (or too much space if you don’t have a lot of content).