Is it “unprofessional” to use a web template for a small business website or is it actually wise? This is a common question asked by many while deciding to build a website to either go for a ready-made web template or hire a web designer or design agency for that task.
Essentially, a web template is a pre-built website, complete with a theme, specific page layout and other basic features. All that is missing from these templates are details specific to the business in terms of content and branding. The other way is building a website and all of its elements from scratch.
Let’s look at some basic goods and bads of using read-made web templates which will make it easier for you to decide which one to choose for your own business.
Advantages of Using Web Templates:
1. Convenient Functionality
Probably the biggest advantage of using a pre-built web page is its functionality. Web templates that are professionally designed come with a set of standard pages including “Home”, “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Services” etc. Other kinds of web templates offer more standard features such as an option to showcase a portfolio or incorporate a blog on your website. Yet more advanced website templates, for example e-commerce websites, provide options of business specific features such as live chat or online store.
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2. It’s Right There
With a pre-built website template, you don’t have to rack your brain imagining how the website will turn out one the web developer is done working on it. Website templates provide you with a liberty to know from the start how the website will look with sample content and imagery making it easier for you to get a better idea of how the end product will look.
3. Time Saving
Using a pre-built web template saves time. How? It cuts the time of the brainstorming session with your web developer and the time it takes to go through iterations and changes, communicating back and forth until you reach the end product. A custom website takes months to develop and even more if its more complex. Web template speeds up the entire process and you have your website up and running in no time.
4. Cost Saving
Web templates cost much less than a custom-designed website. What’s more, with web templates, business owners with basic IT know-how can build their own websites without having to hire expensive web developers at all.
Image source: Freepik
5. Quality Web Design
You can bet on a pre-built web template to give you the best quality design; reason being, these templates are made by professionals. Business owners have access to a wide variety of designs with varied qualities, available all over the internet. And since the look of a website is a big factor in attracting visitors to your site, using a web template can help you reach your target audience more effectively.
6. Array of Options
Another major advantage of a web template is the wide variety of options available. With a custom website, you can only get a product of the creativity of you and the web developer. However, with a web template, you can pick and choose from a variety of designs and themes to suit the requirements of your business.
Disadvantages of Using Web Templates:
1. Lack Uniqueness
If you want your website to have that exclusivity factor and not look like a clone of many others, you will not get it from a template. A website template loses its uniqueness when its downloaded in hundreds by different users. You may have to get a custom website designed if you want your website to have a personal factor, exclusive to your brand.
2. Limited Customization
Limited customization is a given if you opt for pre-built website templates. Beyond a point, there’s no tweaking that you can do, hence, not getting some specific requirements.
3. Maintenance Issues
And if you do want to customize a web template, you will require special software and the knowledge of it. More often than not, you as the business owner may not have the requisite skills to customize and then maintain the customized features, in which case, you will have to hire a web developer anyway.
Image source: Freepik
4. Not Serving the Bigger Purpose
Sometimes you may choose a really cool template but turns out it won’t work for your target audience. Every business has specific target clients and a website made on a basic standard template might not bring the same results from the target audience as expected. To reach specific goals, a custom-built website is the right choice.
Web templates can’t be termed as “bad”. It is how and in what situation you are using them is what make them advantageous or not for your business. While it may strategically be good for small business owners to opt for a web template for your website, a more advanced business would be better off with a custom-built website.