A common question we hear is “do I need a custom-built website, or can I just buy a pre-built template?” – and it’s a good question. You’ll find a lot of biased comments if you look online, but really, it comes down to what you actually want from your site. So, let us explain the difference, so you’re able to really understand what each one is before you decide.
By going down the custom web design route, you’ll automatically start building a relationship with the supplier. This is useful in a few instances, such as the planning phase; you may have some rough ideas on how you want your site to look and work, but these guys will really be able to refine your ideas, making sure you’re getting the best out of what they deliver you. Not only that, in months or years to come, you may find you want to add more functionality to your site, or update/change the design; these guys will be able to do this most cost-efficiently as they will already have a good understanding of you and your website.
In the world of websites, things move quickly and having a site that’s up-to-date is important when keeping up with your competition. Having a site built from the ground up means your designers and developers are going to be using the most recent trends and technology.
Timeframes and cost
Having a custom-built website is something that could take some time, so you need to be aware of this if you have a launch deadline. You’ll also need time to be involved in the process, as you’ll need to give feedback on the design and parts of the site that are being built. The more involved you are, the better it’ll be!
So how much is this going to cost? Well, it depends on the work required to build your site, but in almost all cases, it’s going to cost you more than buying a template.
So, you know a bit more about what a custom-built website is, now let’s talk about templates and site builders.
A template or theme is something you can buy from marketplaces online or service providers. These will come as pre-built, pre-designed solutions, usually just allowing you to change colours, logos and other simple elements to fit your brand. The functionality you get will depend on the theme itself. One thing to realise about a template is that it could be being used by 100’s of other websites, which isn’t always a great thing when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
When buying a template, it’s always good to check that the one you want has good online support, has been updated recently and has good buyer feedback.
Using a template
Because you’re buying a product, as opposed to a service, you’ll be left to apply the theme and set up yourself. Your theme is likely to be something that runs on a platform, such as WordPress. This means you’ll be left to sort out where your site is hosted and all the initial configuration and set-up. For people with no experience doing this, it can be quite a daunting task. Once you’ve got your theme applied, your site will be ready to add content to.
Adding functionality to your theme
When buying a theme, you’re usually given a couple of licence options for owning it. Different licences have different prices, but more expensive licenses can allow you to do more with them. A good example of this would be a standard license or an extended license. A standard license would typically be the cheapest but comes with the most restrictions. For example, you may want to try and change some of the code to alter how it looks, or works, or maybe you want to pay a web developer to do it for you. With a standard licence, you wouldn’t have the right to do this, you’d need a purchase an extended license which would cost you much more.
Timeframes and cost
Getting a theme will take as long as it takes you to find the one that’s right for you and buy it. You won’t have to wait for it to be designed, built and tested. It’s ready to go from the moment you pay for it. You are then left to set it up and configure it yourself, so this is something you should be aware of if this is something you’re unhappy doing by yourself.
The overall cost is going to be substantially less than having a custom-built website, but you need to be aware of which license works best for you, so this will affect the final price.
What should I pick?
Well, that really comes down to you! Hopefully, this blog has helped shed some light on both options, allowing you to confidently pick yourself. If you’re still having trouble, get in touch with us and we can help work out what would be best for you.
Do you have a project you’re excited about? We’d love to get things started