Use Code SUMMER at Checkout


00D 00H 00M 00S
woman thinking working on a computer

Custom Website Design vs Template Web Design: What’s the Difference?

Oct 1, 2017

filed under  //

on Tap

Get my best tips and tricks on design & marketing in your inbox every week.





In this age of digital marketing, your website can be a crucial communication point for you and your customers. Making sure that the website design and user experience correctly reflects the personality of your brand can be a difficult task, not to mention an expensive one.

(This article contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for purchases made through links in this post at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I 100% believe in. Read the Privacy Policy for details.)

If you’re exploring your options about what to do with your small business budget, you’ll find there are two distinct paths you can take: purchase and customize a prefabricated website template or hire a web design agency (or designer + developer) to create a custom website design. How can you decide which is the right one for your business? Take a look at some of the pros and cons below:

Pre-made Website Templates

The availability of website templates has grown exponentially in the past 5-10 years with the growing popularity of development platforms like WordPress and Bootstrap. A website template will provide you with an already-coded foundation for you site from which you will need to further customize it with your content. If you’re looking for a quick and simple solution, websites like Showit* and Squarespace are great places to start.

Basic Overview

  • Average Price – Free to $500+ (per theme design) or monthly fee ranging from $20-$50.
  • Time from Start to Finish – 1 to 4 weeks, depending on your motivation.

Benefits of using a Website Template

  • Cheap and very accessible.
  • Quick turnaround time.
  • Limited-to-no assistance required from a designer/developer required.

Drawbacks to using Website Templates

  • May require some special knowledge/training to customize/setup. Hiring a designer to help setup could be an additional cost ranging from $250 – $1000.
  • Limited design customization – usually restricted to logo, fonts and colors.
  • Layout is not tailored to your specific business or business goals.
  • May have limited functionality or integration abilities.
  • Unknown construction quality from the developer (could be buggy).
  • Excessive pre-built customization options could be confusing rather than helpful.

Related Post: 3 So-Worth-I Benefits of Using Website Design Templates

Custom Web Design

A custom website design will afford you a lot more opportunity for showcasing your brand and personality, but will also likely be more time-consuming and expensive to develop. The trade-off is that the design is 100% yours, and like a custom built house, is created with your fingerprint. If you are looking for a comprehensive solution, a custom website design is the best approach.

Basic Overview

  • Average Price – $5,000 to $20,000+
  • Time from Start to Finish – 6 to 12 weeks.

Benefits of a Custom Website

  • Allows you complete customization of entire layout, functionality and design elements.
  • Designer or web agency handles all technical and strategic aspects.
  • Built with specialized industry knowledge, web design best practices and research.
  • Dedicated support and training available for any technical issues.

Drawbacks of a Custom Website

Related Post: 6 Signs Your Business is Ready for a Custom Website Design

Whether you are looking for a fast and simple solution like a website template or a more custom website design solution, K Design Co. can help. Talk to K Design Co. today about your web design needs.

Don't worry, we hate SPAM too and we promise to never blow up your inbox!

Get our best tips and tricks on design & marketing in your inbox every week.




on tap

Subscribe to our newsletter and get free goodies, insights and discounts delivered to you with love.

Editor in Chief, Designer & Founder

kristin pruis

Before I enrolled in design school, I was *this* close to switching my major to become a writer. But God had other plans, and here I am, 10 years later, designing gorgeous brands & websites while nurturing my love for writing on the side.


meet the blogger

learn more

Teaching others everything I've learned about branding, design, and marketing over the past 10 years is a passion that truly fills my cup. No matter where you are on your journey of owning your business, I hope you'll find something here that you can take with you and leave you feeling inspired.


Flawless fonts Pairing Guide

take the quiz

QUIZ: Which Website Platform Is For You?

Looking for the free goods? Check out our curated collection of free resources and essential tools to help you craft a distinctive and bold online presence.

fan-favorites resources

color palette inspiration guide

Your Cart is empty!

It looks like you haven't added any items to your cart yet.

Browse Products