Template vs HTML Websites
Category: WebMonday November 23rd, 2015
The majority of businesses owners would agree that a website is a non-negotiable part of the business. It’s often where customers first meet you and it’s definitely where they go to check out your products, services, promotions and credibility.
So we’ve agreed that your business needs a website. But how do you go about building it? There are two options. The first is to buy a pre-designed template, the second is to have a bespoke website designed and built for you. As you’d expect, there are pros and cons to each.
The speedy and cost-effective option. Template websites offer a generic, pre-designed layout which may be bought and used by any number of other business. There will be elements that you are able to amend such as colour, images and fonts; the level of branding you can add varies from template to template, but is usually very limited. This lack of customization could have a negative effect on your ability to maintain brand consistency.
Menu items and layout will also be standard – which often means compromising on the functionality of your site (and potentially customer flow through the site).
Search Engine Optimisation is often an issue with template websites as they are often written in code which is quickly outdated. This can affect SEO success and also has a knock on effect on the user experience as pages take a long time to fully download. As we know, online readers are impatient and this leads to the risk of losing traffic.
HTML websites are built to brief and so tailor-made to your specific needs. A HTML site will be built by professional designers and developers (whereas a template site may be created with little or no knowledge).
Because the site is tailored to your needs this will allow you control over your branding, your messages and how you steer visitors through the site to a specific action. This makes your site unique – something that cannot be guaranteed when buying template sites.
As your needs change, or your business grows, a bespoke website gives you the ability to make small or fundamental changes over time.
There are less favourable implications of a bespoke site of course. Cost is the first issue to consider. Specialist work in design and development will naturally bring a greater cost than a template site as you are hiring skills to develop this for you. You may also need helpdesk support once the site is built unless you are having a Content Management System built into the back end.
A further consideration is time to launch. A template website can be ready and online within hours – a bespoke site will usually take weeks or months to achieve perfection.
Which is best for you?
There are pros and cons to both. In an ideal world with available time and money every business would build and maintain a bespoke website that is fit for purpose and enables the business to remain ‘on brand’. But where time or money are key issues, then template design is a great way of ensuring that the business has an online presence.
Not sure which way to go? Talk to Darren Joslin on 02920 463047 or email him via firstname.lastname@example.org
image courtesy of Idea go/freedigitalimages.net