Custom Websites vs Templates

April 30, 2023

Do-it-yourself website builders and web templates have come a long way. They’ve evolved from simple pages to nice looking themes, and some come with with drag & drop editing and options for customization. So is it actually better to have a custom developed website, rather than a template?

Why are website templates considered to be the “cheap” option?

Custom Website, or Do-It-Yourself Template?

Here are some key points to think about:

Website Speed

Websites are made of code, so it’s important that the programming is neat and efficient. Templates and do-it-yourself builders come with heaps of extra code that slows down the rendering process. Why? The more customizable they are, the more code is needed to handle all of the options.

Custom Code

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Template Code

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Here is an example of Google’s website speed score for a website that we custom developed vs an example of the speed score for a do-it-yourself website template.

Our Speed



Template Speed



Code efficiency has a direct impact on both search engine optimization (SEO) and website speed, and website speed has a further impact on both SEO and user experience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A website needs solid SEO fundamentals in order for search engines to crawl it effectively, understand what they’re reading, and consider the site useful and relevant enough to rank in search results. It takes a knowledge of these rules, and experience in what works and what doesn’t in order to structure a website with effective SEO.

We have over a decade of SEO experience, and have built hundreds of successful websites. We understand the importance of generating free traffic!

  • Planning: Keeping SEO top-of-mind throughout the development process allows us to make sure every website we build is SEO optimized throughout.
  • Tagging: Considerations include optimized header counts, image names & alt tags, link text & title tags, page URLs & title text, page interlinking, keyword themes & densities, and clean code.
  • Keeping Current: It’s also important to keep up with current standards, and know what may result in penalties.

The Look and Feel

Your company offers a better service or value than your competitors… after all, that’s why you went into business! But does this come across to your visitors? Will they see that you’re the go-to company, or will they see you as “the cheap option”?

Even premium website templates have a more generalized look, a slightly clumsier feel at best, and they won’t do a great job focusing attention where it’s needed.

Our custom designs showcase your differentiators, and flow your company’s branding and personality throughout the site. This establishes credibility through a strong and deliberate feel, and enhances the user’s experience. It’s been shown time and again through before-and-after traffic analytics: The visitor will get a better feeling about your company, and you will get more calls.

Strategic Planning & Marketing

Business owners who opt for a cost-effective solution to save money often fail to consider the substantial revenue stream that a professional website can create. Working with a professional web team makes all the difference when it comes to converting traffic with a compelling website design and content strategy.

A professional website increases the value of every dollar and minute spent driving traffic for the foreseeable future. How? A custom website with a well thought out theme, interactive features, and strong messaging will convert more of your hard-earned traffic into sales.

We can help you identify and capitalize on your unique selling points, and create a design and content that speaks directly to your target audience. This way, you can be sure that your website and brand messaging will deliver the results you need to grow your business.

The Time Investment

When business owners choose to save money by using DIY website builders, they often overlook the significant time investment required to create an effective website. Creating a website from scratch requires more than just picking a template and adding some content. It takes hours of adjusting different design elements, figuring out how to make things work the way you want them to, and troubleshooting when things go wrong, and waiting on the phone with tech support. This time-consuming process can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you have other important business tasks to attend to.

It often ends up being a costly mistake. DIY website builders have limitations and can’t always accommodate the unique needs of a business. Even worse, a poor website experience can negatively impact a company’s reputation and drive potential customers away.

It’s much better to invest in the short-term for a long-term payoff!