Should You Build Your New Website Using a Template?

Today, we’re looking at the pros and cons of building with website templates, as opposed to custom-coding from the ground up.

Think of website templates and custom code like this: many builders offer off-the-plan homes and custom homes. With off-the-plan, you can still make alterations and have your final say on the finishing touches. Although there will be limitations, you’ll still end up with a beautiful new home. A custom home will be considerably more expensive for obvious reasons — more creative control, layout modifications, luxury materials, designs tailored to the dynamics of your family, and so on.

The same principles apply to website builds.

As a technologically-agnostic company, we offer templated websites and custom coded websites, and choose the platform best-suited to each client’s needs. So, what’s the right option for you?

Using a template is advantageous when

A) You want to reduce costs
Using a template results in a much faster build process, meaning your development costs will be significantly less. As a cost-conscious and ROI-focused company, we’re all about ensuring the money you spend will make a measurable difference. If there is not a clear reason to pay someone to develop your website line of code at a time, then don’t.

B) You want to manage the website yourself
Once upon a time, the website industry was comprised of developers building websites that only they could maintain and edit. Now, the market is more educated, and clients want to manage their website themselves — and rightfully so. However, sadly some web companies still insist on building unnecessarily complex websites only they can manage.

Custom code is advantageous when

A) You have unique or complex technical requirements
Templates often come with certain limitations, so it’s important to understand what website functionality you need before the build begins. For example, do you need to integrate Australia Post so that you can customise shipping for different postcodes in your online store? Or, are you needing a login for wholesale customers so you can offer different prices to the general public?

B) You want your website to look truly bespoke
While templated websites are very customisable (there are literally hundreds of thousands of options available), they can’t do everything. If you have a firm idea of what you want your website to look like, a custom build will get you exactly what you want.

Unless there is an explicitly clear and specific reason to go custom, you’ll probably find yourself paying a premium unnecessarily (either upfront or in the long run).

We can show you just how quality-rich and cost-effective a templated website can be. However, if you have a truly innovative idea, we’d enjoy the opportunity to explore what a bespoke solution would look like for you. Contact us to start the conversation.

— Scott Ingram, Director