Whether you’re building a website for the first time or you are managing an established brand and you want to create a website for digital marketing and SEO purposes, the most basic question that usually comes to mind is “should I go custom or do I use a free website template?” For people new at website design and development, it can be challenging to weigh out the pros and cons of using website templates over a custom website. Going custom does sound attractive especially if you already have an idea of how your site should look.
To help you make an informed choice, we broke down the pros and cons of using a free website template over a custom design.
1. Quick to set up
If you want to get your website up and running as soon as possible, a website template can be deployed in a matter of minutes. The framework is basically set up for you so you don’t need to waste your time coding and testing the layout of your website. For online website builders such as Strikingly, there’s also no download required because you will be working with an online website editor. All you need to do is choose a suitable template from their collection and start customizing according to your branding guidelines from the same site.
2. Free of cost
If you’re running a startup or you’re in the process of putting up your own business, a free website may offer a more cost-effective solution over a custom-built website. Professionally designed websites can set you back by thousands of dollars depending on the calibre of your chosen digital agency. You get a good level of flexibility and build the website of your dreams with the help of professional designers and developers. But if you’re not a big brand or budget is an issue - as it always is with startups and first-time entrepreneurs - it is still possible to build a professional-looking website using a site template and without spending a single dime.
3. Easy to use
If you don’t have the budget for professional web design and you also don’t have the technical expertise to build your website on your own, a website template powered by a reputable site builder is your best bet. Site builders simplify the design and development process by setting you up with everything you need to create your own website. All you need to do is plug in your content, incorporate your brand’s colors and logos, and hit ‘publish’. You don’t need to write a single line of code. With these platforms, what you see is what you get. You get a preview of what your website looks like when it goes live so you can make any changes or tweak the design in real time.
4. Variety of choice
With site builders constantly competing for market share, there’s a high chance that you’ll get access to a wide assortment of website template choices and regularly updated collections if you choose the right platform. Custom website design will probably give you up to 3 options for your website project and although many designers will ask for your input, it can be challenging to determine what you want from your site if you don’t have prior experience in website design yourself. Most clients rely on their designer’s ideas to help them build a wish list of design elements that they want to see on their sites. By selecting a template from a collection, you get to view all the possibilities available to you. With Strikingly, you can even change your mind several times at any point, even after publishing your site. You can switch to a different template if your chosen design is not working for you.