The differences between a template and a custom website. A lot of people might struggle with the differences or like, Hey, do I need a custom website? Can I use a template? Does it matter if I don’t want my website to look like someone else’s? I get those questions a lot more than I thought going into this design business for six years now. I didn’t expect to get this question as often as I do. And a lot of times people, they need that guidance.
All right. Let’s dive into the differences between a template and a custom website. And then, after I talk about the differences. I also want to talk about what would be suitable for you and the decisions you can make regarding what to look for.
What is a website template? So website template is, generally speaking, a template. But it’s a pre-designed website that has placeholders in it for things that you’re going to use for your own business. So a template will have pages that will likely have your home, about, galleries services, ext, and a blog design.
It can have lots of different things within that template. And you’ll see it has images. It has title areas. It has text; it has call-to-action buttons. So it will have all those things already designed for you. And when you purchase a template, You swap that information out with your information.
This is where the difference comes; in a Custom website, you will have either a designer build the site for you or you could build it yourself from scratch exactly the way you want it to. So when you hire a designer, you’ll talk about what you want your website to do and what it is that you want in your website. And you’ll go through starting from the homepage, and work with a designer and start the process of going section by section on what will go inside.
With a template, the most significant difference will be in time.
It will be faster to choose a template and customize it than to work with a designer and build a custom website. Most designers have a wait list of up to 6 months before they can start working with a new client.
Another difference is going to be the price.
A template will be budget-friendly, and a custom website will be more expensive. The reason is that a template can be sold more than once, and a designer can receive recurring income based on that template as often as they want. As well as, they’re going to be able to have that be a set price that they want. And usually, that is much more affordable than a custom website because of the amount of work it takes less work for a designer to build a template versus going back and forth with a client and putting everything in perfectly the way the client would like the design and the strategy to be.
And it’s comparable to the purchase of a car. So, when you go to a car lot, you have the option of buying a car right off the lot, or you have the option of purchasing a car with upgrades and can have a custom quote. So, you can have add-on, you can have features, you can have all those things. And you do pay a much more premium price. Versus if you buy the car off the lot as is. The same can be true with buying a home. You can purchase a home that has already been built or find a builder and have a home custom-built.
When you start doing custom, you get into different price ranges for all those add-ons and features you want. For example, it’s going to cost more to have shaker-style cabinets or the type of flooring or countertop material you want. All those things add up, like stone, concrete, or whatever you want for your countertops. Regarding the differences between the template and the custom website, you might pay a more premium price if you ask your designer for more features that may take longer to build.
9 out of 10 times, I do recommend a template, and for most people, it does work well. And it’s just because it is budget-friendly and has a quicker time frame. For example, suppose you would like a website to go live within a month. I would likely recommend a template.
Working with a designer will require more time for meetings, giving them content, and chatting back and forth. And a lot of people need help understanding the amount of work on their part that goes into building a custom website and the information that I need from them, the number of meetings that it requires. There are a lot of things that go into that does interrupt time.
It will also depend on how busy you are. Do you have a full-time job? Do you travel? Having an open schedule and availability is really needed when working with a designer.
Another thing that I think is important to talk about when it comes to a template is how do you find that perfect template. How do you know that that templates are for you and, believe it or not? It has absolutely zero to do with how it looks. So when you’re looking at templates, I don’t want you to look at the colors, font, or any of that. What I want you to look at is the actual content itself. So look at the pages. Are those pages that you can use? Inside those pages, the content that’s there. Can you use that content? So, if you are a, let’s say, you’re a photographer and looking at websites and coming across A website that’s not for a photographer, instead it’s for a coach, and it has, a page for home, about maybe even a course page. It has services, and none of those apply to you. You’re not going to be able to utilize those spaces.
It doesn’t make sense to purchase that template. And unless you are very good at customizing it yourself, you feel comfortable adding new pages or absolutely. You are in love with that template and have the budget to hire a designer. To customize that and give you those extra pages in the things you need.
The thing that I tell everyone is to look at the copy. See, if you can, just read it and be like, okay, I could say this here. I could say that there. I could put my image here. I could put this here. See if it fits your style, brand, and website’s overall goal.
That’s the big key, the goal; if it will fit your goal, then nine times out of 10 will be a perfect template. Unfortunately, I have seen many people purchase the wrong template for their business. I’ve seen it happen lots of times, or I’ve seen people try to mix two templates. And build it for themselves. And then they just get overwhelmed. They get lost, and it just does not work. And so that’s what I don’t want to happen to you. And that’s why I’m talking about that today in this episode. Because a lot of people, when they look at templates, they’re looking at the images, and then they go and swap out the photos with theirs, and it doesn’t look the same. It doesn’t have the same vibe, doesn’t have the same style. And they’re like, oh, I wouldn’t say I like this.
And I don’t want that for you. That’s not what buying a template is all about a template. It’s more about the content itself.
So. Let’s say that you know, you’re looking at the template and so far. Most of the content aligns with what you want to do for your website. So the contents there, looks good. So you’re pretty sure you could swap out some, you know, most of the content and be good to go now.
Is the style of that template going to align with your brand and style? So. Let’s say that you find this template. You like all the content is good to go. But your brand is more on the, like, Feminine side. It’s light. It’s airy. And this template is moody. It mostly has a dark background. It’s not at all the same style. So you will need help to get that template to fit the same vibe. That you are looking for because it will be such a dramatic difference. It will take a lot of time for you to go in and customize because you’ll have to change all those dark backgrounds to be light.
If you feel comfortable doing that and have enough time, that would be fine. But if you don’t. That is probably not going to be a template that is for you. So again, that’s just one of those things to keep in mind. And those are the two tips that I have when it comes to finding a template that will align with your business and be a good fit for you to purchase.
January 17, 2023
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