Free Templates vs. Custom-Designed Websites

Free Templates vs. Custom-Designed Websites

When you are starting your online business you want to make it stand out from the crowd.

Today we’ll try to find out whether it’s better to use a free template or a custom-designed website for your business project.

If you have no web design or web development skills you can build a website using a free website template. It’s not a bad solution: you can save time and money, enjoy huge choices and get a certain level of functionality and navigation necessary to run a website. But there are some points to consider when dealing with free templates.

As a rule, a web design template consists of:

  • a number of HTML files for your home page
  • at least one page of your website
  • supporting graphics and style sheets.

The main risk of using a template is to have a website that is nearly identical to the website (or dozens of websites) of those people who have chosen the same template. Very often the design of such templates is plain and uninteresting. It is definitely a bad idea if you are going to hold a unique niche in the online-business.

The most appealing advantage of using a free template is that you can quickly get a nice website working on standard code.

Many believe that using a free website template will save some money. But there are definite pitfalls when “free” doesn’t mean that you will not have to pay for it.

First of all, many “free” templates have restrictions for non-commercial use only. This makes them unsuitable for any business. You can buy a template for commercial use for $100. Plus, some template websites offer a certain level of customization of a template, which will cost you from $50 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the applied changes. If you are ready to pay more, then the template you’ve chosen will be removed from sale and you’ll have a unique website too.

In this case, it’s better to hire a professional web development company that will work directly with you and will do everything to customize a website to the needs of your business.

One more point to consider is the search engine optimization of your website. Remember that a website template gives you only the shell of your site. Search engines will not rush to your website if it has not been optimized for it. You will have to provide unique and regularly updated content to be ranked highly by search engines. Suitable keywords and meta-tags is what you will need to attract search engines too. That’s why, be sure to find a good content write.

What is good about paid templates is that buying a custom-designed website implies not only better design and functionality but also customers support. So you can ask for help any time you need it.