In the proceeding article we will examine the pros and cons of using templates and themes for websites, and using a no-template website design, also known as a custom website design. A website template commonly called a web template or ‘theme’ refers to a predesigned web page, or a collection of HTML web pages, or in the case of a WordPress website a collection of theme files/pages. The idea of templates and themes is that it saves time from needing to create a unique website from scratch. Much of the time is saved from avoiding the need to code HTML and CSS, or actually design the website. A website template’s primary function is to allow anyone to create a website without the help of a professional web developer or designer, however that’s often not the case as many templates and themes require installation and customization. Many website developers actually use website templates to create sites for clients. We at Thought Media have created hundreds upon hundreds of websites using templates and themes from WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and more. In this way, businesses can build a reasonable price business website. Its a quick way to launch a new website and then move to marketing to get it ranked in search engines. Web templates have conquered the market in the past five or more years, in fact over 25% of the web is running on the WordPress platform, most of which are using themes/templates. A web template design varies from industry vertical. Today the most common way to start a website for a business is by using templates, even though they aren’t entirely unique. One thing to keep in mind is that the chosen template comes with built-in features such as text copy (filler content), .jpg, .png, gif images, shopping carts, contact forms, image gallery, a pdf download link page, video players, and much more.
How to Start a Website Using Templates?
Many different services provide built-in templates and you have to use them for your brand or business. The most common way to start a website is by setting up a WordPress web design site. Many of Thought Media customers choose a template from the lists we aggregate from the following sites:
- Template Monster
- Elegant Themes
All the above-mentioned websites have hundreds of templates. There are some other services like Wix or Squarespace that provide a theme for the website, however we generally avoid using these because they lock customers to a subscription, and those customers have difficulty getting their site or moving away from the platforms.
Pros of Using Website Templates
Templates are great for a low budget. This is one of the main benefits of using a website template aside from how quick they are to setup. Though their quality isn’t the greatest, one can also find numerous free templates on websites such as:
Having an easily managed template can help save on monthly webmaster fees because you can generally manage your website yourself using a content management system with administrative login.
- Templates require shorter development time. They are generally ready to use (aside from a few adjustments here and there). Templates are mostly done-for-you coded. It’s just a matter of finding the templates which fits with the features you require and the industry you are in.
- You can get support from your template provider/developer if you’ve purchased the template. If you have any problem regarding using the template you can find a helping tutorial from your template provider. Many also offer live chat or support forums/discussion boards. This of course isn’t required if working with an agency such as Thought Media.
- You can publish your content easily. Much like when using a custom web design with content management system.
- While website designing if you are using web design templates you can enjoy built-in SEO features. This is very useful as most of the people do not know the process of optimization of the website. You may not need to hire an SEO expert, however depending on how competitive your industry, it may be a great idea.
- You can add the content easily. Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Joomla and WordPress web design allow you to add the content to your website anytime and create additional administrative users to help out. You can add unlimited videos, articles or images even if you do not have coding knowledge.
Cons of Using Web Design Templates
There are some downsides while using a template-based website. Some of the disadvantages of using a template-based website are:
- If you have a template-based website then there is no guarantee that your website is unique, and in fact more than likely there’s dozens of clone-sites out there just like it.
- Template sites will not have the greatest support like a custom web design from Thought Media.
- There is a possibility that these templates will not work on all devices.
- Templates are sometimes not built to be entirely search engine friendly, and they need to be modified for search.
- The templates run on a structured system so you cannot add and install any technology to them without it being checked for compatibility.
- If you have a proprietary requirement for the website or ‘flow’ it almost always requires a custom website development.
Custom Website Design
All the cons of the template-based website can be solved by custom web designing. A custom website is also refereed to as a no template web design. The solution to the template-based website is a full custom web design. Custom websites from Thought Media for example have a complete team of experts working for and with your business. Such a website starts by selecting the targeted audience. After that, the major concern is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO plays a vital role in the success of the website and business. Custom website design allows a web designer to create everything from scratch including graphic design, coding, and it is built for the particular business. A great benefit of custom websites is that they are fully designed and developed to be compatible across any and all devices, so you can ensure the ease of use of a custom website design on any device.
- The no-template web design will have a unique design. It will only for your business. It will be based on the specific requirement of your business.
- A custom website is tested to work across all browsers, which is a great benefit of no templates website design. Certain templates are not suitable for all browsers or devices.
- The site is built for search, meaning it is created to perform well in engines. SEO for any website is necessary. If you have to run an online business then no templates website design may be the best for your business.
- A custom website grows with the business. In the future, if you want to change the business or branding then you can contact the custom web designers of your website (such as Thought Media) to redesign or modify it for you.
The solution to all problems in the template-based website lie in the use of custom website solutions. A custom website is far better than the template-based website in almost every situation (outside of cost and time saving). It is because of the support provided to the custom website by a professional team, assuming you are working with processionals! In nutshell, a custom website is a custom-tailored web design built specifically for a business or marketing campaign.
Working with Thought Media
Thought Media works closely with business owners and managers towards improving and driving the success of their business. Thought Media is a Toronto and New York-based company, that means we’re quite skilled at working in competitive territories, and we can meet with our clients in person by paid consultation appointments at our offices. Worried about paying for a consultation? Don’t be – your consult fee comes directly off your project invoice once we get started!
Thought Media has played a vital role in the development of many online businesses by creating high converting custom website designs for over 10 years for very satisfied business clients. It provides the necessary tools and resources for businesses to succeed. Thought Media has created a revolutionised approach for custom website designing and we invite you to reach out to learn more! Call us toll free at 1 (800) 916 3864.