Do you feel like you are between a rock and a hard place when deciding whether or not you should develop a customised website or to use a template? Both approaches have their benefits and disadvantages. Ultimately, you need to choose a solution that fits with your business’s current budget, management operations and future scalability. Web design experts Soul Digital, who are one of the leading digital agencies in Melbourne offer their expert advice for businesses that want to know which approach they should go for.
Template designs are usually cheaper than customised designs.
If you are after a simple website, then you can purchase a template design inexpensively. However, if you require additional functions for your website, it might be more cost effective to customise a design for your business.
You can look at web design templates to find a design or theme that you would like to have on your site. You can then hire a designer that can customise the theme to suit your business’s needs. Common customisations include:
• Changing the landing page layout to improve web conversions.
• Changing the HTML code structure to make the web page more search-engine friendly. (See this guide from Moz)
• Optimising the website to improve the page loading time.(See The Load Page Secret from Soul Digital)
• Allowing additional applications or widgets to be added to the website.
• Improving the web security for the website.(See this guide from Entrepreneur)
• Improving the look and feel of the website (Especially with CSS customisations)
It is common for template designs to limit these customisations, which further impact the user experience of the website.
Template designs are typically easier to manage over the long-term.
Template designs usually have developers upgrading the theme, which improves the usability and security for the website. With a custom design, you will usually need to hire the same web designer to make upgrades and changes to your customised design.
Additionally, there is a risk that the customised design might be developed in a way that makes it difficult for another designer to build on. It is important that the designer that you hire for your customised project develops the site with clean coding, file structures and navigation so other web designers that work on your website can continue to develop your website cleanly and efficiently.
Customised designs can complement the content management system that is being used.
There are several content management systems available on the market, however choosing a web designer that knows how to choose and develop on a content management system that will compliment your business’s operations is crucial! Some things that need to be considered include:
• Will the CMS and design be scalable for the business over the long-term?
• What will be required to manage the solution over the long-term?
Some of the popular CMS platforms that web designers may choose to build your website on include:
Although many of these CMS solutions have a standard operating template, customisation is usually required to have the site’s perform the operations that the business needs. For example:
• Contact form plugins
• Security plugins
• Commerce/shopping plugins
• API feeds
• Social media plugins
• Advertising plugins
A customised website can add an element of prestige to your business!
Many web designers believe that a customised solution will provide your business with a ‘Unique Specific Advantage’ for your online presence. There are several template designs that can be customised to provide more uniqueness for your website, but a completely customised solution will add an extra sense of professionalism.
Ultimately, choosing the right web design solution depends on the needs, finance and projected scalability of your business. In an ideal world, a customised solution that is developed by a trusted and reputable developer will allow your site to evolve exactly as you want it to. However, using template designs makes it quick and cost efficient to implement your website. Consider the needs of your business, and then choose a solution that will work over the long-term.