Once you or your business have decided to proceed further investing in a development of a new website, the question now comes…Should I opt for a ready to use theme for my website or go for a custom website development solution? What’s the best option that suits you? What are the advantages/disadvantages with the 2 options?
Ready-made website theme/templates
There are number of reputed template design directories like Template Monster, ThemeForest or Elegant Themes. After making a decision on the development platform (WordPress, Magento, Shopify, Joomla etc.) you can easily select a suitable theme and apply to it. These directories have a broad collection of various types of website themes available for buying. Note that not all the themes displayed on these websites are fully responsive which is must these days since mobile and tablet users are in high numbers.
Platforms like Shopify, Squarespace or Wix provide several template layouts of their own which you can further easily modify using their own framework. These can help to develop websites easily and quickly. But due to limitations on the available options, more advance features like e-commerce functionalities or complex forms are difficult to achieve.
The most important thing to consider about the readymade themes and templates is that they generally include several in-built functions and features that gives user options to customize however this makes the website quite bulky in terms of poor loading speed and SEO. It can include several functions, designs and features that you wouldn’t use or suite your brand. By hiring a web development company, you could fix and try to set your brand/design styles using the theme you’ve chosen but then again it will have a different code pattern and lack uniqueness. The changes in the core code of the template to achieve results aren’t future proof either. Once the CMS version is updated or the theme itself releases a new version, your website will show visual errors due to the earlier edits made by a web developer.
Pros and Cons of Ready-made website theme/templates
- Several other businesses could be using the same theme design which means your website will lack uniqueness and originality.
- There are limitations in customizing the website as per your requirement. You’ve got to work with the theme features provided.
- There could be quality issues and several themes don’t work on all devices. Please be sure and read theme information carefully before you select one.
- Readymade themes are excellent fit for budget constrained web projects. They cost less compared to what you could end up paying a web designer.
- They can result in quick development of website.
- Many themes aren’t SEO friendly. They have to be customized and developed taking care of SEO factors and your business need.
- Any enhancement or extensions installations many times doesn’t go smoothly as readymade themes run on their own structured system.
- Custom developed website tend to receive quick and efficient support than template sites where it could be delayed or no response sometimes.
Custom developed websites
Custom developed websites have strategy and planning that is designed close to your business needs. It generally begins with research and reports based on documenting purpose and objectives behind a new website development project, who do you want to target, understanding your audience behaviour, type, region, etc., competitor’s analysis, how you’d like the website to function and designing look and feel with the help of creative web designers.
For any website, SEO is a crucial factor for its success. Experienced web development company will abide by all important rules when coding your website while several readymade themes may miss out vital SEO settings. This is the main reason why custom developed websites standout and outperform websites built using templates. An expert web developer would not only develop pixel perfect front end layout, but even the coding structure will be clean, SEO friendly allowing search engines like Google to read each page with excellent UX standards. These factors immensely help custom websites to organically rank much higher as they are well optimised from scratch and there are no messy unnecessary code patches to read.
Like in any other industry, a custom designed web project too takes longer than themes which has pre-defined features. It’s mainly because your website is uniquely built to enhance your brand identity and serve business needs. In the long run, it’s actually more economically viable and time saving option because when a website is uniquely built from scratch, further enhancements and support becomes much easier. It will function and look exactly the way you want it to do. Custom developed websites are well tested too and they will behave responsive across range of mobile devices and browsers. Another key benefit could be that business owners and web development team work closely in this case, so approaching for technical assistance or support is much efficient and quick.
Pros and Cons of Custom developed Websites
- A custom developed website is built specifically for your business need and brand identity
- It will have unique UX and web design that enhances your brand and gives best experience to your target audience.
- The code structure is going to be SEO friendly with fast page loading speed.
- Responsive web design layout that looks good on all mobile devices, tablets and browsers.
- Custom websites cost more than a readymade template
- Development time is longer as it is built from scratch.
- Future enhancement in custom websites is easy and quick which is a great advantage as your business grows and need changes.
- Web development company that you have worked closely with works almost like your extended team and support becomes extremely efficient.
The web development team at N23 prefers for custom website development. In our experience of using readymade theme templates, there are several hidden issues that appear during and post development of website which is more time consuming and a real hassle. More research time is spend investigating code conflicts and debugging.
Custom website has our own code. Our team has full understanding of each feature and functionality and the way it is built. The code is well commented so that any developer can understand its flow. Also, we follow the best practices and use latest development standards that ensures the quality is really high.