Website Building: Themed Template vs Custom Design

There are many ways to build a website, and one of the first things that must be decided is whether the website developer wishes to start with a template, or to develop a completely custom design.

There are pros and cons for using both these methods, and in order to decide which is best for designing your website, you must weigh up these factors.

Williams Commerce, a business based in Leicester, specialises in Ecommerce web development, specifically utilising the Magento CMS system to optimise the websites that they built for ecommerce purposes. Building websites using both templates and custom designs, they are fully aware of the pros and cons of both.

For simplicity, web developers will likely choose to opt for the template option. Giving the developer a foundation to work with, this will save a lot of time, giving the website an earlier ‘go-live’ date.

In addition, using a template option tends to be the more economical choice. Some templates cost, but there are also free templates available to choose from. They also offer the developer inspiration. By looking at examples of websites that are based on the template, the developer can get some ideas of how to use it.

However, there are drawbacks. To begin with, there is less freedom for the developer when using a template to build a website. Some templates are laid out very specifically, limiting the customization that is possible.

Some templates are not built to be SEO friendly. It is very important the background coding is done correctly, and without the correct SEO built into the website, the website could struggle on search engines.

Furthermore, there is a very high chance that there will be many other people using the same template, limiting the uniqueness.

In comparison, Custom web designs offer uniqueness, flexibility and total customisation. The website can be designed to completely match the business that it is being built for, making it totally different to anyone else’s.

Providing the web designer knows how, the website will be optimised for search engines, meaning that the website can greatly benefit from SEO practices, ideally featuring high on the Google search engine, among others. The success of the website on search engines will rely on the quality of the businesses own content, not that of the developers.

Due to the flexibility of the custom design, the website will be able to adapt to the businesses needs. By being able to add features and extensions to the website, the website can be used precisely for what the business requires from it. It also allows for features to be easily added at a later date. If the stating budget doesn’t cover everything, new additions can be added at a later date when the budget can cover them.

However, if you are planning on maintaining the website yourself and are not versed in code, the website is going to require a content management system. This is where the likes of Magento CMS, specifically designed for ecommerce websites, comes in. CMS systems such as Megento allow you to manage the website without directly editing the coding of the website itself.

Magento CMS can be used for both template and custom websites, and is a very useful tool when managing a website. With a vast range of website extensions to choose from, it is possible to gear Magento towards the requirements of your business. By pairing Magento with a custom website takes away the difficulty of managing the code of a website, but keeps the benefits of having a custom built website.

Robert Williams, Managing Director of Williams Commerce, said “Clients who wish for a greater level of control over the specific design and quality of their website should chose a custom design, however Williams Commerce has excellent relationships with many bespoke template designers and we can thoroughly recommend a number who provide great templated design.”

While templates offer a simpler route and can utilise Magento as well, a business is most likely to get more from a custom design, as it can match the exact specifications. As a result, it is well worth the extra time.

For all your web designing needs, feel free to contact Williams Commerce by calling 0116 326 1116, or emailing [email protected].


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