I've been both selling website templates and designing custom websites for clients for awhile now. And while it might seem like the two compete directly with one another, that's not the case at all. The thing is, a website template is right for some, while a custom site is right for others.
I've had a lot of people ask me recently which option I think would be best for them. So, I figured I'd write a post on that exact topic, incase you're struggling with the same thing!
Here goes! A website template is right for you if -
1 | YOU'RE ON A BUDGET
There's really no easy way to say it - owning a business can be costly. Whether you're at the beginning stages or 5 years in, you might be on a strict budget. There's nothing wrong with this AT ALL! I'm not saying you shouldn't invest in your business, because you definitely should - but there are such things as budgets for a reason!
Custom websites usually start around $2,000. That's out of a lot of budgets and is one of the main reasons website templates exist! You can purchase a template around the $100 price-point (ours are $97) and come out with a site that looks completely custom-made. It's a win-win.
2 | YOU'RE JUST STARTING OUT
The beginning stages of starting a business can be completely overwhelming. There is SO much to do. You have to put a lot of time into finding clients, creating products, actually doing client work when you get it, and somehow creating an online presence that speaks perfectly to your audience. At this point, putting days or weeks into building the perfect website isn't the smartest idea. There's so many other things you need to do be doing.
And right at the beginning is probably the hardest time to invest a lot of money - first, because you might not physically have the money to invest, and second, because it's the VERY early stages and nothing is set in stone yet.
Which is exactly why a website template would be the perfect solution. You can get a beautiful site up (that looks completely custom-made for your business) launched in hours instead of days or weeks. And you're only spending about $100 to put something out there that you're extremely proud of.
A template can last you years in your business - in fact, it can serve as your website the entire time. But if your intention is to ultimately pay a designer for a custom-made site, then I would suggest starting with the template until you get to a place you feel comfortable putting out $2,000+.
3 | YOU WANT DIY, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO START FROM SCRATCH
Designing a website from scratch is hard work and very time-consuming! That's why it costs what it does to get a custom-made site built. But many business owners have design knowledge and want to DIY their stuff! I totally get this, and think it's really awesome - this is what got me in to the world of templates in the first place! I wanted a way to support business owners who either couldn't afford a custom site or wanted to put their personal touch on their site, but didn't have the time or skill to start from scratch.
Templates are the perfect option - the hard part is done. The layout is there, best practices are put in place, and design inspiration is included! Yet, you still get to DIY and make your site your own without putting in days of work. And this goes for all templates, not just website - business and social media too!
4 | YOU MAKE CONSTANT UPDATES & CHANGES TO YOUR SITE
There's nothing worse than paying a ton of money to have a designer custom-make you a website, only to realize you need to make constant updates and keep messing things up when you do. Then you find out your only option is to hire the designer on a hourly basis to make these changes and updates for you. Yikes. That can get expensive.
When you use a website template, you'll be the one dropping in your content - images, copy, colors, fonts, links, etc. - from the very beginning, so you'll have absolutely no problem making changes to your site when the time comes. Plus, most website templates come with video tutorials from the seller, so you'll be set up for success right from the time of purchase.
5 | YOUR BUSINESS MIGHT CHANGE
If there's anything I've learned owning a business, it's that things are constantly changing. What my business is today is certainly not what it was when I started out - in fact, I think I've went through about half a dozen changes. That's why it's crucial to make sure your business is at a steady place - one it's going to be at for awhile - if you plan to invest in a custom website design. I'm not talking about smaller changes like changing or adding on services. I'm talking about the core of your business - your main message, who you serve, and what you do at the heart of your business.
When the core message of your business changes, your entire website will need an update. With a website template, you can make that update yourself. There's no need to go back to the designer.
I hope that helped clear some things up for you. If you're still struggling with an answer and wondering if a website template is right for you and your business, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember! If you're looking for a beautiful website template for your business, check out our shop here.