Whether you’re a web designer with experience or a business owner who simply needs a better — or first —website, you’ll have to decide between using a web design template or creating a unique one from scratch. Both choices have merits, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. This will help you ensure your website performs exactly as planned.

When a Web Design Template Makes Sense

In general, you may want to select a pre-configured web design template — sometimes referred to as a “skin” —  when you’re in the following situations:

  • You Have Limited Amounts of Money to Spend. A solid website that is designed specifically for your organization will be an investment. If you lack the funds to spend on a thorough web design, it’s better to choose a web design template.
  • You Have Only a Few Webpages on Your Website. Let’s say your website is going to be just a handful of pages. In this case, you really need a very basic design, which will be readily available with a template.
  • You Want to Do It Yourself. If you have a strong desire to create your website without outside help, and you lack coding knowledge, it’s always easier to purchase a template — or use a free one.
  • You Aren’t Concerned About Ranking for Higher Search Engine Results. Not worried about your search engine optimization (SEO) because your site is more personal than professional? A template is ideal.
  • You Aren’t Going to Spend Much Time or Money Working on Your Site. For people planning to invest very little in their website, a template is usually a much wiser option than paying for a broad-based, distinctive web design.

Unsure these scenarios fit your needs? Read on to hear about having a website designed specifically for your company.

When It Makes Sense to Hire a Web Designer or Make a Unique Site

You should always consider paying for a higher-end site that’s customized for your needs in these cases:

  • You Have a Website With Many Pages and Specific Needs. For instance, you may want your website to perform specialized functions for the benefit of your visitors. Innovative website design made from the ground up will allow you to make sure the user experience is exactly the way you planned.
  • You Don’t Want Your Website to Look Like Someone Else’s. Web design templates are handy, but they can also be overused. Why risk having your site look exactly like your competitor’s? Or, worse yet, having a bland site when compared against your competition’s sites?
  • You Have the Money to Invest in Your Website Design. If you’re serious about having a robust, fully-functioning site and you have the funds to invest several thousands, why not aim for a website design that’s 100% your own?
  • You Have an Ecommerce Website With More Than One or Two Products. Although there are templates for ecommerce websites, they may not give you the functionality or capability you — and your users — require.
  • You Want to Optimize Your Site for Better Search Engine Page Rank. Is SEO important to your company? Do you want to rise up the ranks for organic searches in Google? A properly-designed website will get you there faster.
  • You Want to Have the Flexibility to Make Changes to Your Website. Although you can modify templates, you can’t necessarily change them easily. If you want to have total control over your site, website customization is the way to go.
  • You Don’t Want to Spend Time Learning How to Play With Templates and Make Your Site Work. Would you rather spend your energy doing what you do best? Then it makes little sense for you to turn yourself into a web designer. Outsource your web design and development so you can focus yourself in other areas.

Final Considerations About Templates

As a final note, it’s critical to understand that there is nothing wrong with using templates for idea gathering. Templates can be quite helpful when designing a site because they fuel creativity and spark concepts. However, for companies and web designers looking for a more polished, professional, and tailored appearance and function, templates may not be feasible.

In the end, only you can decide which will work for you. One isn’t necessarily better than another. You simply have to get all the facts about each, and move forward.

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