Designing Bespoke vs Template-based Website: Which Is Best For Your Business In 2024?

Bespoke vs. Template-based websites

Did you know that there are 200 million active websites in the world? With such a vast sea of websites, it’s crucial to design a website that truly stands out and leaves a lasting impression on visitors. You certainly don’t want your website to be seen as just another ordinary site that blends in with the crowd. 

There are primarily two distinct approaches you can take to design your website: using an off-the-shelf template or opting for a bespoke website design.

But how do you determine which approach is the right fit for you? Let’s find out!

I. What is bespoke website design? 

  • Full customizability
  • Unique look
  • Aligned with the brand,
  • Starting from scratch
Highlights of a bespoke website design

These 4 qualities are the core qualities of bespoke website design. “Your website, design it exactly like you envisioned”, probably is the right slogan for it. From idea to execution, the objective of bespoke website design is to create a website that expresses your idea, reflects your brand’s personality, is tailored to your target audience, and includes the features you want. please

Essentially, bespoke website design is like having a custom-made suit or dress that fits perfectly. It ensures that every element of your website aligns with your vision and requirements.

II. What is template-based website design all about?

Unlike bespoke website designs, templates or themes are pre-made designs that you can customize to create a website. These templates come with a variety of prebuilt features to cater to different requirements. 

It’s similar to buying ready-made clothes designed for various body shapes – they may fit you, but there’s no guarantee of a perfect fit. Similarly, templates or themes are created with a general audience in mind, not tailored specifically to your needs.

III. Designing Bespoke vs Template-base website: Pros & Cons

For some people, using templates is the most preferable option. However, for the majority of business owners, bespoke website design is the way to go. For example, if you only need a simple portfolio website or a site for a short-term event or campaign, using off-the-shelf themes may suffice. 

Which one is the most suitable for your business?

On the other hand, if you require a website for financial services, eCommerce, real estate, and more, bespoke website design is your best bet. Now, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of a template-based website design.

3.1. Pros of template website design:

Advantages of using template website design
  • Templates are often more cost-effective in the short term than bespoke designs. This is primarily because they eliminate the need for custom coding or hiring a professional designer.
  • Using templates to create a website can greatly accelerate the website development process. You just need to choose a ready-made design and customize it.
  • Creating a non-custom website requires little to no technical or coding expertise. Templates or themes often come with easy-to-use drag-and-drop functions, demos, and user manuals.
  • There are thousands of ready-made templates available online for a variety of industries. You have the flexibility to choose between free or paid templates for your website.
  • Most template or theme-based websites are designed to be mobile-friendly. This can save developers the effort of manually optimizing the site for mobile devices.

3.2. Cons of template website design

  • Using ready-made templates can result in your website looking similar to thousands of others on the internet, even after customization. Since these templates are accessible to everyone, they are widely used.
  • While most templates or themes do offer some customization options, you cannot change everything to your liking. They support limited customization in terms of layout, functionality, and design elements.
  • Templates are not tailored to your specific brand or business objectives, so they may not align with them. Although you can adjust colours, fonts, and some design elements, the overall look and many functionalities of the website may not match your brand or requirements.
  • Non-custom templates or themes are often not optimized for best SEO practices. As a result, you or your preferred SEO agency may encounter difficulties in ranking your website on search engines later on.
  • As your business grows, you will need to scale up your website with new features and functionalities. Unfortunately, templates offer limited flexibility and scalability. Consequently, you may need to begin again from scratch with a bespoke website design.
  • Off-the-shelf themes or templates often contain redundant code and unnecessary functionalities. This can result in a subpar user experience and slower site loading times, necessitating the use of CDNs or costly plugins to address these issues.
  • In the long run, using templates to build websites might end up costing you more money than opting for bespoke website design. Dealing with unwanted bugs, challenges in adding or modifying functionality, and navigating complex coding structures could result in needing to hire web developers multiple times throughout the website’s lifespan.
  • Using off-the-shelf themes and templates can make your website vulnerable to cyber attacks. Since they are accessible to virtually everyone, templated websites are much more frequently targeted by hackers.
  • You may receive little or no support if you encounter a problem with the website. While you may receive some email support, it is highly unlikely to get decent support.
  • Even the most popular themes or templates may not receive frequent updates, making your website a breeding ground for various issues.

3.3. Pros of Bespoke Website Design

Cons of using bespoke website design
  • Bespoke web design is created from scratch, precisely tailored to meet the client’s specific requirements. Whether it’s aligning with branding or reflecting company values, the design will be customized accordingly.
  • In the war of bespoke website design vs template design, custom website development always wins in terms of uniqueness. Your website will stand out as a unique, one-of-a-kind presence in the vast sea of websites.
  • Choosing a tailored web design ensures that the website can meet visitors’ expectations. Every element of this design can be customized to cater to your audience and their specific needs.
  • In bespoke website design, you have the flexibility to change anything as you like, whenever you like. You will have full control over your website without any restrictions, unlike when using themes or templates.
  • By hiring a bespoke web development agency, you can have unique design code created exclusively for your project, ensuring its security. In turn, this makes it very difficult for hackers to take control of your site.
  • The absence of redundant codes is a key feature of custom website design. Since the design is tailored specifically for you or your company, there is no need to include unnecessary codes and features that cater to various individuals. As a result, your site will load faster and operate more efficiently.
  • Achieving a professional look using templates can be challenging. Bespoke website design is an effective solution that ensures your website looks professional and polished.
  • With a tailored website design, you can expect high-quality website maintenance support from the developer. You can easily seek assistance or solutions for any issue you encounter.
  • As your business grows or changes, you can easily scale up with a custom website. You have the flexibility to add or remove: features, design elements, change layouts, and customize anything you want.
  • Engaging and conversion-friendly websites are easily achieved with a bespoke approach. Just communicate your requirements to your developers, and they will design it accordingly.
  • Choosing custom web design over templates can result in long-term cost savings and a better return on investment. You are less likely to need to repeatedly hire a developer to fix bugs and issues.
  • Bespoke website designs are often created with guidance from SEO experts or following the best SEO practices. As a result, you can anticipate better SEO results compared to using cookie-cutter templates.

3.4. Cons of Bespoke website design

  • To create a bespoke website design, you need to hire a web development agency or a developer. This initial investment may be higher than using ordinary templates or themes in the short term.
  • Just as building a house from scratch takes more time than buying a house, custom website design takes longer to develop than using templates.
  • Finding the right web development team may seem challenging if you are unfamiliar with website technologies and the industry.
  • Some third-party plugins or services may not be compatible with a custom website right away.

IV. Bespoke website design vs template design: Which one is the winner?

Considering the long-term cost, potential ROI, customizability, SEO friendliness, support, and many other factors, Bespoke website design beats template-based web design almost every time.

Therefore, if you have the budget, we recommend that you choose the custom design approach as it offers a significantly higher return on your investment.

Final thoughts

Thriving in the online landscape is becoming more challenging by the day. The competition is fierce, and without a unique and polished website, it becomes even harder to make your mark and surpass your rivals. 

Whether you decide to utilize templates or invest in bespoke website design, take proactive steps before your competitors gain a substantial advantage in terms of growth. After all, staying ahead of the game is the key to success.

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