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

Web Design

Kristin Pruis



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.

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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.

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