Custom Websites vs Website Templates

Do-it-yourself website builders and web templates have come a long way. They’ve evolved from producing simple boxy sites to nice looking themes, and the good ones now come with with drag & drop editing and lots of options for bells & whistles. So is it actually better to have a custom developed website, rather than a template?

Custom Website or Do-It-Yourself Template?

Do-it-yourself website builders are cheaper, but all around less effective. Here are some points to think about.
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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 and server calls that slow down the rendering process. Why? The more customizable they are, the more code is needed to handle all of the options.

Example: Our Code

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Example: 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.

Example: Our Speed

Mobile

Desktop

Example: Template Speed

Mobile

Desktop

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.

Note: Templates & do-it-yourself website builders will always produce sites with poor or no SEO value. This is because SEO is a process that can’t be automated, and the user filling out a do-it-yourself website or template will not be a developer or SEO expert.

Our owner / developer has 10+ years of SEO experience, and has built hundreds of successful websites. We understand how important it is to generate as much free traffic as possible!

  • Keeping SEO in mind throughout the whole process of design through deployment allows us to make sure every website we build is SEO optimized from the ground up.
  • 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.
  • It’s also important to keep up with current standards, and know what may result in penalties.

Marketing Strategy

Business owners who are getting ready for a new website are often excited and full of ideas, and rightly so! Some of these ideas will be good, some will need experienced input, and others can be… not so great.

Working directly with a professional developer will ensure that your ideas are honed into an effective end product with no missed opportunities for a great user experience.

Part of our job is to guide your enthusiasm, brainstorm, and help filter and prioritize ideas. Clients find our consultation invaluable!

Using a website template or do-it-yourself builder enables a business owner to run with ideas without the input of an experienced team. It often results in a site with an amateur feel, and missed opportunities to capture leads.

Cheap at the beginning is often expensive in the long run.

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 will this come across to your visitors? Will they get “a good feeling” about you, or will they see some cut corners?

If your website gives visitors that “good feeling”, you will get more business.

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

Our custom designs showcase what sets you apart, 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. The visitor will have a better “feeling” about your company, and you will get more calls.

This has been proven time and again through before-and-after traffic Analytics.

Your Time is Valuable

Many business owners have, at one point or another, taken dozens of hours from an already strained schedule to try to get a website builder or template working. The time investment always ends up being greater than they think going in.

It requires learning a new platform, filling out all of the options, outlining and writing the content, creating pages, and reading through tutorials and support articles. When the result will be a website that runs slowly, has little to no SEO value, and may not look great or capture leads, is that the best use of your time?

We make the web design & development process easy and fast. You can focus on your own work while your amazing product comes to life.

The Future of Your Online Presence

Consider the future of your online presence. With a template or do-it-yourself website builder, you get what comes with the template and no more. As you become more successful online, you’ll want to expand and incorporate new features.

There is no template that can do everything you will need it to do as you become more successful online. Examples of features you may want to add over time include:

  • Online payment
  • Shopping cart / ecommerce
  • Social media integration
  • Newsletter signup
  • Photo & video galleries
  • Testimonials
  • Live chat
  • Landing pages
  • Visual upgrades
  • Using subdomains
  • Mouse-hover effects
  • Scroll animation
  • Accordion menus
  • Background video
  • Popups
  • Directories

With our custom websites, you can do all of this and more. Your website should drive you forward, not hold you back.


These are some of the reasons that website templates and do-it-yourself builders are less effective, and generally considered to be the “cheap” option. However, a halfway decent web presence is better than none at all. They tend to work as a temporary placeholder for companies with a very limited budget, until they’re ready to invest in themselves.