Custom Web Design or Website Templates

A business without a website in this day and age is simply doing itself a disservice. Whether your company is a multinational or a local eatery, a website is one of the most important tools in terms of marketing and messaging. As such, the question is not IF your business should have a website, the question is WHAT kind of website do you need? This is a question of format, one which has only two answers: website templates and website designs.
Website Templates- Website design templates are essentially web-pages that already have their basic formatting infrastructure laid out so that all you effectively have to do is choose a few visual themes and then plug in your chosen media and text-based content. An example of this would be the popular WordPress theme “Nimble” which allows users great flexibility in pre-chosen design elements, but does cost several dollars.

Benefits of templates include:

1.       Provides inspiration: Since formats like WordPress and Blogger are free to use they can allow you to play around with the different options and create a basic website that gives you a feel for what it is you are trying to achieve. Also these and other secondary websites provide numerous free themes which allow you to get an idea for what different content looks like when placed together. This process is relatively simple due to the set-up of these sites which are very accessible to the average computer user.
2.       Extremely low budget option – If you need to get a website launched immediately yet have almost no budget for a designer or webmaster then a template is most likely your best option as a placeholder. Many blog style formats don’t require the purchasing of a domain name.
3.       Time – It takes a great deal more time to build a website from scratch than it does to move some elements around on a template. With that time a unique design will be developed for you which you will then be purchasing the exclusive rights to. While a template may offer immediacy it does not offer exclusivity.
For many professional uses a unique website design is the preferred way to go.

Benefits include:

1.       Customization – A unique website design is essentially nothing more than HTML code, this allows you virtually unlimited options as far as what your website will look like and be capable of doing, unlike with the restrictions of a template. And while you may have to occasionally use the services of a coding professional to make changes to the site, the domain and the design will be exclusive to you.
2.       Search Engine Optimization – A unique website that has been properly designed is typically much more capable of employing proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to increase traffic and exposure.  This is extremely important for websites today as SEO can be the difference between your site being on the front page of search results or being lost somewhere in the middle of page 12.
3.       Keeping current – The internet is an ever-changing landscape which means that there is a constant stream of formats and applications becoming antiquated.  With a template you have a program that is designed for that moment in time, but newer versions of programs or browsers could possibly not be compatible with your template format leaving you with a less effective tool than you had when you began.  A uniquely designed website using HTML is fully customizable however and therefore doesn’t have this problem.
Ultimately the kind of website required depends on your business, budget and needs.  As these factors change, so too could your choice.

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