Website templates can be a useful tool in some situations. They make it cheap, fast, and easy to put together a website, primarily through modular platforms like Wix or SquareSpace. You can even find free templates that might meet your basic needs if you’re putting together a quick blog or some other simple project, and some are open to customization if you have basic CSS and HTML skills.
There’s nothing worse than spending your time browsing templates, making a careful selection, maybe even paying for a premium theme, then spending days or weeks building your website around it, only to click onto a competitor’s store to see the same layout, fonts, colors, and interface.
That’s the problem with templates. The convenience comes with costs, and the biggest one is your individuality—a currency that you can’t afford to devalue when you’re trying to run an effective web-based business that stands out from your competition.
Why Templates Aren’t Worth the Savings
Template-based web designs are convenient and inexpensive (sometimes even free), but it also brings up inherent issues for anyone trying to run a serious online business.
- Anyone can download or purchase the same template, including a direct competitor.
- Templates are often broadly designed to be applied to different types of websites. Even templates specific to online stores, for example, are usually quite generic and not tailored to a particular industry or type of product. This means templates might have extra features cluttering up your website or, even worse, lack the features you want.
- A website built on a template can be a problem when you need to redesign it. Since you don’t understand the code on which your website is built, transitioning it to a new platform (or even just plugging in a new WordPress theme) can be highly frustrating. It may even be impossible, depending on how incompatible your old and new templates are, requiring you to start from scratch to change your site’s look.
- Routine upgrades and maintenance can be more difficult when you don’t own or understand the code behind your website. Even highly functional web projects can become obsolete over time due to continuous changes in software and hardware. Upgrades and updates are an unavoidable reality of running a web-based business. When your template doesn’t work with a popular new device or a big update, you may have no idea where to troubleshoot the incompatibility.
Custom Web Design Is the Answer
Bespoke web design by skilled professionals who share your vision will cost more than downloading a template, but bespoke web work pays for itself when done well. The value comes in the form of full ownership of your website design, a unique web presence, less of your own time spent on tedious technical setup, and access to expert help when your website needs an addition, upgrade, or redesign.
Here’s why bespoke web design from a professional firm is better than a template:
- Your web presence will be unique. You retain complete control over your color palette, layout, logo placement, and every other element that appears on your page. More importantly, you will have access to experienced designers who can offer feedback on these decisions.
- The website’s functionality will be built to your exact needs. When a designer creates a template, they’re essentially guessing which features most users will want, and even a good guess will never meet the needs of every business. Custom web design means that if you don’t want a generic “Contact Us” form at the bottom of your home page, for example, you can omit it rather than hope nobody uses it. Conversely, if you have some obscure pricing schedule for complex combinations of products and services, you can have a web designer build such a system to your specifications rather than struggle to create awkward workarounds using the limited options offered by a generic web store template.
- When you want to tweak or redesign your website, having a human-to-human conversation with a designer who understands your vision is far more productive than trying to hack your template’s layout or transition your content from one piece of code you don’t understand to another.
- Working with a professional web designer means you have someone to call if your website stops working. In addition, many of the most reputable web designers offer subscription-based service plans to continue support and maintenance of your website after its development and deployment. As a result, you can focus on your business and never think about upgrades.
Imagine Monkey: Your Trusted Partners for Custom Web Design
If you want a unique web presence built to your exact needs, Imagine Monkey wants to work with you. We have a reputation for building world-class websites and supporting them over the long term so that they scale seamlessly with your operation and the pace of technology. Contact us for a quote and let us know what we can build for you. Templates might get you by, and some might even look nice, but no premium WordPress theme can match the advantages of working with the committed professionals at Imagine Monkey.