So you have established your business and now you need to create a new website. You’ve done some research on the internet and have came across two options: creating your website from a template or creating a custom site. So which choice is right for you? Here is what they are and a list of pros and cons that might help you in making your decision.

Template Websites

A template website is based on pre-made designs and can be, at least in some part, created by you. Templates are often attractive, cheap and easy to set-up. These sites are more suited for new and small businesses that have a budget and less specific requirements regarding customization and functionality.


Attractive: Over the years, templates have been extensively researched and amended by developers based on their design, popularity, and marketability to new business owners. This has lead to some attractive looking designs that look professional and are fairly easy to use for visitors.

Cheap: As these sites are templated and not built from scratch, they are a lot cheaper to create. Some can be completely built by you and your team, which brings down the cost even more!

Quick: As all the coding has already been set-up and nothing is new, creating the site can be done in a comparatively short time compared to custom sites. This, of course, depends on your requirements and content, but new sites from templates can be on the web in next to no time.


Competition: Due to the popularity of templates by small business owners, you may face thousands of other websites that look either similar to identical to yours. This makes your brand less unique and does not help you stand out from the crowd. What is worse is that templates websites are usually very difficult to customize and can come with some bugs. Of course, a good developer should be able to fix these problems.

Search Engines: Templates can affect your search engine optimization for two reasons: 1) Some templates perform very slowly and 2) Some of the more attractive and animated sites may only use one  URL. Most search engines penalize slow running sites and the misuse of H1 and meta tags, which means that your website can be lost in a sea of search results. When shopping for a template, stick with highly recommended templates and be sure to choose functionality over flashy.

Security: Hackers are more familiar with the code of template sites as opposed to custom sites. For some of the more popular templates out there, this can mean trouble, as hackers will create bots that will look for those template and place malicious code if they find an opening. This makes templates a lot more vulnerable to being hacked. Fortunately, a developer will create better security measures if you feel your template is unsafe or contains sensitive information.

Custom Websites

A custom website is built from the ground-up and is created specifically with your vision in mind. The sky can be the limit regarding its functionality and design. These sites are more suited to well established and ambitious businesses where usability, online marketing, and branding is a number one priority.


Customization: Custom websites can be tailored to your liking. You can make it as attractive, multimedia-driven, functional, fast loading, and unique as you want. This can also be great for competition, as an appealing and distinctive design can put you ahead of the pack.

Security: A good, solid website is created with security in mind. A good development team can create sites that have next to no loopholes and vulnerabilities. This makes them less  appealing to hackers as the coding is unique and unfamiliar.


Cost: Unless you’re an expert programmer and designer, a custom site can be expensive. In the USA, very expensive! Sometimes, over $20,000.00! The good news is that this price tag is rare and that there are some very affordable options. Small business owners that want a custom site usually stay clear from larger firms due to the cost and seek smaller, reliable, cost effective web design companies either locally or overseas.

Time: They take time to build – and time is money! A custom site starts at ground zero and is built with completely original code. This means that creating a new website from scratch will require a bit of patience. Of course, the time it takes to complete a site is subject to your specifications and requirements. The more elaborate the site, then the longer it will take to develop.

So, in truth, template sites are cheap, attractive, and easy to set up. For a starting business, it might just be the best choice for you and your company. As your business begins to expand, however, your company may begin to notice the limitations and pitfalls of using a template website and most have to bite the bullet and make the switch anyway. At the end of the day, it all comes down where you see your business going and how much you want to utilise all the world wide web has to offer.

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