4 Aug 2013


A custom web design means using a website designer to create your website from scratch, or building it yourself from scratch using your own knowledge of CSS and HTML. Using a website template is a little different. It may involve having most of the code written for you already, but it normally involves using a content management system program (CMS). This is a program that gives you a template or a skeleton website, and then allows you to add things to it and alter it without having to write the code yourself. You design the website on the platform, and the associated tools write the code for you.


1. A template makes website design easier

Whether you are writing it with a CMS or not, using a template makes it easier to create your website. A lot of the work is already done for you. You do not have to create the page, the body, head, most of the CSS. All you have to do is add to the code in order to fill out the website and add your own design and navigation. Starting from scratch with nothing more than a notepad or code builder is a lot harder. 

2. A template may be better for SEO

You may find a template that has been written in an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly fashion. It may already have the titles, Meta tags, etc, and they may already be in the correct position. The code of the template may also be very search engine friendly, and it may have search engine friendly attributes such as having the CSS script called from near the top of the code (so that the page renders a little sooner).

3. A template may be worse for SEO

If you are a web designer and you know a little bit about SEO, you may find that your own efforts are more effective when it comes to writing search engine friendly pages. You may also be a better programmer than the person who wrote the template, which will mean that your code is tighter and more efficient. Your SEO efforts may be more up to date than the template, which may potentially be based on SEO advice that is outdated.

4. dynamic website with templates

A dynamic website (or responsive design) is able to convert from a desktop website to a mobile website. Doing this takes quite a bit of programming prowess that you do not have. If this is the case, then finding a good template that has all of the responsive design elements pre-installed may be a better idea than writing it yourself. On the other hand, just like with SEO, if your design skills and knowledge is better than the person who wrote the template, then your efforts will be more effective.

5. potential to look like other websites

Obviously, if you are using a fairly popular template, then there is a chance that your website is going to look very similar to that of other websites. Even if you customize your website to a very high degree, there is always going to be some similarity with other websites. Plus, some webmasters are bound to create customizations that are similar to yours if the template you choose is very popular.

A custom designed website is less likely to be similar to other websites because it has been designed from scratch. If the webmasters sets out very specific guidelines for the website, then there is a good chance is will not resemble any other websites too closely. The web designer has the freedom to create a more unique web design because he/she is not restricted by a template.

6. On the flip side to that

There are some web designers that become set in their ways. They start to create websites that look similar to what they deem as their standard design. They may veer toward the more conservative designs that have thrilled their past clients. In this case, you may end up with a design that looks vaguely reminiscent of some of the designer’s earlier designs.

If you do hire a web designer, then have a look at his/her portfolio. See if it is very varied and creative and check for commonalities between the designs. If you recognize a pattern with the website designers designs, then he or she may be set in his/her ways. Or, the designer may be using templates and/or CMS programs, in which case you are better off using a CMS yourself, or hiring a different designer.

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