Custom Website Design vs. Template: Pros and Cons + How to Decide Which Ones Right for Your Business

Custom Website Design vs. Template: Pros and Cons + How to Decide Which Ones Right for Your Business

Your website is an integral part of your business. Not only does it provide information about what you do, why you’re great at it, and your pricing, but it’s also an opportunity to establish yourself as an industry expert any time someone does an online search of what you have to offer.

Business websites also enable efficiency, as potential customers learn about your brand and can browse at their leisure rather than having to call you multiple times any time they have a question. It also enables you to promote your business better, especially if you have discovered the wonders of inbound marketing.

Therefore, you have to design a website that provides good user experience (UX). But when you look at your options, you realize that there is a huge range of options and prices. Specifically, it all depends on whether you are creating a custom site or building it with templates. Let’s take a closer look at both options.


What is custom website design?

Whether it is a B2B or b2c website design, custom websites are created from scratch. This includes using code to create the customizable elements that you want to include on your site. As a result, you have complete control over how the site appears and operates.

Due to its complexity, you will either need to hire an in-house developer or hire a web design agency to design it for you.

Pros of building a custom website

Creating a custom website allows you to create exactly what you envision. You will also not have any limitations in terms of integration with applications, functionality or scalability.

Cons of building a custom website

Creating a custom website is expensive and time consuming to complete. While the time frame may vary, you should expect it to take approximately four to six months. You also need to find a team of highly skilled web developers to do this for you, because the tech-savvy person on your team is unlikely to know all there is to know about coding (if they do, thank them – and give them a bonus!)

What is a website template?

Website templates are pre-designed elements that you can piece together to bring your website to life. You can browse the platform’s template library to find any library that matches what you’re looking for. You can then make slight adjustments regarding the layout and colors to align them with your brand identity. You can also add more themes by including visual elements, such as images, videos, and modules.

Pros of building a website with a template

Website templates are useful if you are looking for a simple website design. There are hundreds of thousands of templates to choose from, so you don’t have to feel too restricted by using this option.

Templates are also easy to use; Depending on the website builder you choose (such as HubSpot), it may come with drag-and-drop capabilities that require no coding knowledge.

Cons of building a website with a template

Although you don’t have to feel too restricted with a template, there are limits to what you can do with this type of website. Some templates may not be designed to enable certain features you wish to include; or implement a logical layout for your business; Or make it easy to adjust as your business grows.

When to use website template design

Just because custom websites can give you exactly what you want, that doesn’t mean templates can’t give you what you need. In fact, templates are an ideal solution if any of these circumstances apply to your business:

low budget

Maybe it’s a startup or there are bigger priorities that you need to dedicate your resources to. Using templates still allows you to design a beautiful website with all the main functions you need, such as background banners, desirable typography, and responsive design.


simple site

Some websites don’t really need bells and whistles. This is especially the case for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. This does not mean that your site has to look basic or cheap. You can buy high-quality templates or hire a web developer to make them look modern.

tight deadline

Since templates do not require complex coding (and many modules have already been built), websites built with them can be completed in a much shorter time frame.


No coding knowledge

Using pre-made modules, call-to-action generators, and drag-and-drop functionality eliminates the need to have any coding knowledge. However, you can still code to achieve exactly what you want to achieve, but you can still create a functional website without it.

When to create a custom website

Custom websites can be created around your specific needs and marketing strategies. This is the best solution for your business if any of the following considerations apply to you:

Unique requirements

If the nature of your business requires you to integrate a complex website structure, a custom design will save you a lot of time back and forth trying to do it right. Additionally, since many websites are built with templates, your sites may end up looking similar to others.

Complex features

Custom websites are also ideal for businesses that want to include a lot of graphics, interactive content, a modern storefront, tests, online scheduling, order status, or customer portals, for example.


scalability concerns

Custom websites can be modified whenever you want and include whatever you want. This makes it easy to include additional features and functionality as you expand your product/service offerings.

You have a lot of time

Building a website from scratch takes a lot of time and patience. You’ll wait several months before you can launch it, so even if you have the money to pay for a big ticket website, make sure you’re not tied to a specific deadline.

You have a bigger budget

Dedicated websites cost tens of thousands of dollars. The larger the website and the more features and functionality you want to add, the more expensive the site will be. You are also paying for highly skilled professionals to do the job for you.

More control over the user experience (UX)

You want your website to be intuitive and easy to navigate. You want to create specific paths for your website visitors, depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey. You may also want to enable people browsing their mobile phones to do so simply by using their thumbs to navigate. While a lot of templates allow many of these functions, creating a custom website allows you to incorporate every requirement you have.


Requires multiple integrations

A website’s ability to integrate with other software is critical to providing a seamless customer experience. This is also necessary to make things easier for your team. For example, you may need your site to communicate with your CRM, email, customer service software, social media accounts, and any other critical tools your business depends on. The more add-ons you need, the more it makes sense to create a custom website that matches these requirements.

Things to consider if you have a lower budget

What happens if you want to have a custom website, but can’t do it with your current budget? You can still create an attractive and effective website using templates. However, look for those that allow you to easily combine the following:

Mobile optimization

Not all website templates are responsive to smaller screens. This is a problem, because most people do a great deal of online searches from their phones; And if your site doesn’t load fast enough or they have to keep scrolling to get your information, they will simply look for a competitor that offers a better user experience.


Search engine optimization is what makes your website more likely to be found when your target audience does a Google search. There are many factors to consider to make this possible – like page load times, HTML tags including proper titles, meta descriptions, alt text for images, URL formatting, etc… Some HTML templates that make it easier include Too much for search engines to understand the content. Others don’t load fast enough, or (as mentioned in the point above) they don’t respond to mobile devices. If you are using templates, make sure that they do not interfere with any of the SEO elements.


Whether or not third-party apps will slow down the page speed

Sometimes you need features that are not included in certain templates. This is solved by integrating third-party apps, which can enable things like e-commerce, create popup forms, or get SEO recommendations. While they are great ways to implement functionality that the form alone doesn’t provide, some of them can slow down your site’s loading. So if you choose to go the model route, be sure to work with developers who know how to address this issue.

As you can see, there are many considerations that come into play when deciding whether you should build a custom site or use templates. But with the right web developers, the process can become as simple as possible.

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