Website Template Vs Custom Design

18 replies
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Now a days standing out from the crowd is important to web developers and business owners alike. Everyone wants to be different and unique all at the same time.

When creating a website one of the questions to cross my mind as I'm sure other developers as well is "Do I use a website template or do I have one custom designed?"

In my opinion, a custom design gives you control over everything. You can tell the graphics designer how you want your menu to look, what colours to use and where to use them etc. On the other hand it can be costly and a bit time consuming.

In contrast, website templates come pre-built and ready for use. It's one solution to anyone who wants to jump straight into launching their own website. With many options available you're sure to find one that suits your needs quite well. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to stand out as much and there may be 10 other sites with the same design as yours.

It's totally up to you. What are your thoughts on all this? Please share ! Do yo go custom or do you go pre-made ?
#custom #design #template #website
  • Profile picture of the author Mohsin Rasool
    This is the question which I put to clients!
    And they most of the time go the mid-way...

    That is in the start they do not know what they really want/like..
    so we start with range of templates.. they pick one here and one there ...
    They like menu of this..slider style of that..and so on..and they want
    to have own colors and fonts ....

    So to save time, we start from the chosen template and then keep modifying
    it until client is happy with the end result, this is quick and cost effective way.

    Sure in some cases , client exactly know what they want, and there we start with
    PSD, when PSD is approved (most of the time clients have their own favorite designers design those PSDs)... then we code it into Wordpress custom template....

    So most of the time it is the client who decides

    For my own personal projects, i go with templates (i am lazy here ) and then if that
    site get traction and money coming in, i put some budget together and ask my team
    to have something unique designed. But in the start, i do not focus much own design,
    as for my own sites, my design approach is of a minimalist! (black text on white background :-)

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  • Profile picture of the author DaWebmaster
    Interesting point Mohsin. That's a pretty neat idea. In my opinion it depends on the client and what they themself want. Thanks for the input.
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  • Profile picture of the author Code Conquest
    If it's a WordPress site there's nothing wrong with using a template (ie. theme) as WordPress is designed to be used with themes anyway. And of course you can always (and should) tweak the theme or create a child theme. You don't have to leave it as is.

    If it's not on WordPress I would expect that most templates aren't that good quality, since it's uncommon for most webmasters to use templates for a static site unlike WordPress. So in that case it's best to go with a custom design.
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  • Profile picture of the author Quoia
    From a designer's perspective: Having a custom designed site vs a template site is the difference between buying off the rack and having a bespoke suit custom tailored to fit your individual needs (the same example I use on my own site). One is passable and will get the job done, the other creates a more impactful presentation and will help you gain real estate in the short attention spans of potential customers.

    From a client's perspective, I think the better question is - are you ready for a custom designed site? Is it an expense that's warranted? If you don't have a plan for how to grow your business after you have your beautiful new site in hand, probably not.

    If you don't have the budget to afford to pay for a great design but you have plenty of time on your hands and you know with a few months of determination you can launch with a template site and make some sales, I don't disparage self starters at all. But it should also be recognized that a good designer brings a level of expertise to a project that can get you up and running faster and free you up from becoming a newbie web designer so that you can attend to other parts of your business that you are more talented and better equipped to handle.

    I can change my own break pads on my car, I have no interest in doing it though. Outsourcing is the path to freedom.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaWebmaster
    Excellent points.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bryan Zazz
    a good parallel (or analogy), though unusual one, could be made with clothing: do you prefer to have your clothes custom-made, or is Walmart good-enough for you? Sure, you will look pretty much like everyone else, but your pocketbook will be fatter. Perhaps clothing our sites is not the "most" important thing. It's import, for sure, but there are other things which determine the uniqueness of a site, it's success ...

    oops ... just realized that Quoia just made a similar parallel in a previous post. Guess we share similar views on the topic then...
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      Originally Posted by Bryan Zazz View Post

      do you prefer to have your clothes custom-made, or is Walmart good-enough for you?
      Really? Is that the only two choices? This sounds like a designer who's pushing high-cost website projects.

      As for me... you can get some pretty nice clothes at Bloomingdale's. Wait for the sales though. :rolleyes:

      Joe Mobley


      Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
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  • Profile picture of the author kazim
    Obviousely my vote goes to Custom Design.
    I did it for my own website.
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  • Profile picture of the author henrywinsett
    Website templates mean ready made format of a web layout and structure which is easily available on the web for free or payable. Custom Design means one which is created by a web designer and developer as per the client's requirement. Templates are cost effective and appear very common whereas custom design is expensive but it’s unique. It’s dependant on the budgets to select from either of the two. I always prefer a customized design because it's unique and best for branding.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebEminence
    Most websites these days will do fine with a good theme or template. Wordpress themes have come a long way and look very professional. I design websites with premium themes and most people think they are custom designs. Custom designs are only necessary when a very specific look or function is needed in the design.
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    • Profile picture of the author ketcom
      I'll choose custom design any time any day, but the client is always right, so I'll present him with both detailing the difference. I think pricing has a key role to play here. www (dot) hostketcom (dot) com
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  • Profile picture of the author yakobin
    It really depends on the situation. As a designer, I make my living off of custom work. But I'm not such a design snob that I can't see the need for templates when custom work is too expensive and unnecessary!
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  • Profile picture of the author mchelle
    I go for the middle of the road approach - I start with a template (usually premium wordpress themes) and then customize. It saves a lot of the development time, but I still end up with a unique site design
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  • Profile picture of the author piyush007
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    • Profile picture of the author Isbelz
      Web templates and custom designing, both give the idea to the designer to how to improve and efficiently implement the idea or thinking. If you got the idea then surely you will make the web design very efficiently.
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  • Profile picture of the author holleythompson
    Mid-way too! I usually propose a design for my clients based on what their needs and most of the time, a template will do. Most of my clients, by the way are local businesses. In this case I design the site myself and do a little tweaking here and there. In some cases though, the clients has special requirements, like mobile responsive, submit forms, landing pages, etc. In this cases, I outsource the project to my white label reseller provider. They're so much better than me and using them is also great because it's not physically and creatively draining.

    So I'd say listen to the client (or to your business) and list down exactly what you need and take it a step further from there. But my hunch is like most of the comments here, you'll go a long way using the middle road.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    be careful - we don't like new members who start digging up year old threads to post something without adding value to the thread!

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  • Profile picture of the author sams_dxny
    not everyone serious about the website. website templates is suitable for those who are not very serious about the website. People who things the contents means only text, then they can use any template and use it. All the top performing website are custom made

    [B][URL=""]Website Design| UI|UX

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  • Profile picture of the author yestyle
    If you can build or hiring a person to build a custom template, it's better. More websites template selling, very professional. I am using my custom forum template and I got more good feedbacks from it.
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