insights

Templates vs. Custom Designed Websites

By: | September 6th, 2012

Most of our clients come to us for a custom-designed website. However, they’ve all seen ads for free templates and wonder if a custom-designed site is really worth the money.

If you were buying a pair of shoes to wear to a formal event, how satisfied would you be if your choices were all the same size and style – a casual oxford, for example – with your only options being color and texture? Even if that shoe were half the price of the shoe that was perfect for you in size, style and color, would you still purchase it? Even if it were free, would you still want it?

This illustrates the basic difference between a website based on a pre-made template and one that is custom-designed. Most of our clients have only one website. It is their face to the world, the presentation of their brand, and they can’t afford not to get it right.

When a template is a good idea

In certain instances, a well-designed template can be the perfect solution. Our American Marketeers subsidiary offers a wide range of professionally designed and tested templates with many options. For a small start-up just testing the waters, a template offers an affordable way to have a first website quickly and affordably.

Specifically, a template can offer you a website that is:

  • Very affordable
  • Quick to get up and running
  • Easy to choose even if you have no experience with websites because what you see is what you will get
  • Customizable with your own colors, pictures and text
  • Predictably functional because the template has already been used and proven workable by countless others

 

As your company grows, however, and your needs become more complex and unique, you will outgrow your template website for several reasons:

  • It’s limited in what and how much you can change.
  • Its functionality is also limited.
  • Other companies are free to use the same template, thus infringing on your site’s uniqueness.
  • It is not optimized. To make it SEO-smart, you will have to hire a programmer and keep him around fulltime.

 

Nevertheless, if you want a good-looking, predictably functioning entry-level website that covers the basics – home, about, services and contact – a professionally designed template, such as the ones from American Marketeers, can be the perfection solution for you.

When only a custom-designed site will do

If you are an established business with an existing website and are looking to take your company and your site to the next level, you have no choice but to go custom. Though costlier on the front end, a custom site is the gift that keeps on giving throughout its lifetime.

Only a custom site offers you:

  • Your own unique look, an expression of your brand that is yours alone
  • The ability to tell the world what makes your company different
  • The precise degree and variety of functionality you want
  • The ability to change and grow your site as your company changes and grows
  • If it’s a CMS website, the ability to make changes and updates yourself without outside help
  • Customization to fit the rest of your internet strategy
  • Search engine optimization – we design all custom websites for optimization

 

The point is that you are not likely to outgrow your custom-designed website. As a leader in Atlanta area website design, we listen to our clients’ goals and aspirations and design sites that will meet their needs now and as they grow.

For information and pricing on either kind of website, please email sales@nichelabs.com or call 866.413.7952.