There are more than 1.8 billion websites online right now. That means 1.8 billion places for the roughly 3.2 billion people with internet access to spend their time online. With so many options, how can your business hope to stand out?
One of the best ways to break away from the pack online is by having an awesome, optimized website.
For this, many people turn to drag and drop template-based website creation tools, such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. While those kinds of tools may be easy to use, they’re not likely to provide companies focused on high-end, consumer-centric experiences with everything they need. For that reason, businesses are starting to opt for custom web design.
Our team has created this article to outline the pros and cons of both custom web design and template based design. Our hope is to help you understand what to expect from each so you can decide which is right for you.
Custom Web Design
We’ll open up our discussion with discussing what custom website design can bring to your business. In short, a custom design can be anything you want it to be.
A customized website analyzes your business from the inside out and optimizes every nook and cranny of your user’s experience. It ensures that you’re making customers happy and maximizing the probability of turning spectators into customers.
Below is a more in-depth look into just some of the advantages you can expect with custom website design.
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A Unique Site
This may seem obvious but it’s worth discussing. A custom site is a unique site and that matters.
Drag and drop template creators are becoming so impacted with users that their advertised “thousands of templates” are nowhere near enough to provide users with a distinct look and feel online.
If your business goes with template based web design, there’s a probability that hundreds of other websites online will look similar to yours.
Imagine, if a consumer goes onto your site and sees something that wreaks of familiarity, what would they think?
It may lead them to suspect at worst that there’s something non-credible about your business. At best, they’ll realize that you chose to invest in a low cost, recycled design.
Bottom line, you want people to go to your website and immediately know that what they’re seeing is uniquely you. Custom web design provides that experience.
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Technically Sound and Searchable
When you’re working with a good web development team, you can be sure that your website is up to date on the web’s best practices. Standards for meta-data, improvements to coding languages, and more are happening every day.
When you’re using template software, providers of those templates can take months if not longer to roll out updates.
When you opt for custom, you’re opting for quick. Furthermore, custom web design is search engine friendly. Your ability to be found by search engines is critical to your online success. That’s because the vast majority of internet users use engines like Google to find the content you’re looking for.
A good web developer can make sure your meta-data and web copy is in lockstep with SEO standards. That means you’ll be rising up results pages and capturing more customers.
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Perhaps the most important benefit of custom web design is its ability to scale. Template web design puts you in a box. Each template has its set of features and some have a limited amount of 3rd party plugin integrations that work to nominally improve them.
Still, if you have an idea that could increase your sales dramatically that isn’t supported by your template, you’re out of luck.
With custom web design, anything you can think of to improve your site, your development team can make happen.
That means there’s never an opportunity you can’t take advantage of. You can customize your experience in any way you see fit whenever you want. You can create an optimized environment for your customers and your imagination.
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Cons of Custom Design
The chief perceived con of custom web development is its cost. Yes, a custom design will represent a higher upfront investment by business owners than drag and drop template sites.
Still, this expense will likely pay for itself multiple times over given the higher traffic and conversion rates you’ll net with a custom design.
Template Web Design
Template web design is a popular means in which small business’ and sole-proprietors can get online without the need to consult web professionals.
Some of the chief benefits of template design include the following:
»» Speed Getting Online
Given that most aspects of a template website are already pre-built, getting online is fast. Users just need to select the generic template they like best, customize some fields, and hit publish.
»» Less Expensive
If a company is looking for a cheap way to get online, template web design can be a viable option. Most pricing plans are billed on a monthly basis.
While prices can vary based on your traffic and volume of pages, some plans are as cheap as under $10.00 a month for basic web functionality.
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Cons of Template Design
Most of the cons of template-based design have been mentioned throughout this post. To recap quickly though, templates are generic. That means many other sites could possibly look very similar to yours.
Also, many template websites have limited functionality.
If you’re looking for deep social media integration, eCommerce support or even to optimize the placement of your call to actions, you may not be able to achieve this with template design.
Finally, some templates are not mobile friendly. That means that if your template website is being viewed on a device other than a computer screen, those customers may not be able to navigate your site properly.
Therefore, you could be losing a lot of the money you save on the front end with template sites on the back end with drooping customer sales.
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Therapist Website Templates: Pros and Cons
At Goodman Creatives, we specialize in creating beautiful websites for therapists. While our passion is developing beautiful custom websites that speak directly to your dream client, we also realize that not everyone can afford a bespoke web design. That’s why we have created a collection of therapist website templates. But, before you say “yes, that’s what I want,” here are a few pros and cons of using website templates for therapists.
Pros of Using Therapist Website Templates:
- Cost-Effective: Website templates are generally more affordable than custom-designed websites. This can be particularly advantageous for therapists who may have budget constraints.
- Time-Efficient: Templates are pre-designed and often come with built-in features, which can significantly reduce the time required to launch a website. Therapists can have their site up and running relatively quickly.
- Ease of Use: Many templates are user-friendly, making it accessible for therapists to manage and update their websites without extensive technical knowledge. This empowers therapists to take control of their online presence. (though, if you purchase one of our website templates for therapists, we take care of all the setup and management for life).
- Professional Appearance: High-quality templates offer polished and modern designs that can lend a professional look to a therapist’s website. This professionalism can instill trust in potential clients.
Cons of Using Therapist Website Templates:
- Limited Customization: Templates come with predefined layouts and features, limiting the level of customization available. Therapists may find it challenging to fully align the website with their unique brand and preferences.
- Generic Design: Since templates are often used by many websites, there’s a risk of having a design that looks generic and lacks a distinctive identity. This might not effectively reflect the therapist’s individuality. Though, in all the decades we’ve been doing this, we have yet to offer the same template to competing therapists.
- Functionality Constraints: Templates may not offer all the specific functionalities a therapist needs for their practice. Custom features, such as appointment scheduling systems or client portals, might be more challenging to integrate. That said, if you need it, we’ll do it!
In conclusion, website templates offer therapists a cost-effective and time-efficient way to establish an online presence. However, they come with limitations in terms of customization, potential for a generic appearance, and constraints on advanced functionalities. Therapists should carefully consider their specific needs, budget, and branding when deciding whether to use a template or invest in a custom-designed website to best serve their clients and practice.
Wrapping Up Custom Web Design vs Templates
Having an online pretense is integral to the success of businesses in today’s internet age. Just as important though is the quality of that presence.
For business’ looking to provide high-end experiences to customers and drive revenue, a template website is not likely to serve your needs.
Custom websites are flexible. They’re optimized to attract customers. They promote/extend the reach of your brand.
With that in mind, in our opinion, if you’re looking to make an impact online, your company should be taking a serious look at custom web design.
If you’re ready to improve your web presence through custom design, our team at Goodman Creatives can help. We’re an end-to-end digital services provider that cares for our customer’s design, marketing, and branding needs.
Let us take our expertise and help make your business more successful, by calling us for your free digital consultation today!