Choosing to use a pre-built website template or hire a website design agency depends largely on your budget, timeframe, and expectations.
On one hand, pre-built templates are typically very affordable for small businesses looking to modernize their old website or start from scratch. On the other, custom-built websites are created to suit your business's exact needs and can be custom tailored with tools, calculators, unique styles, and more.
Benefits of Website Templates
Here are a few benefits of using a pre-built website template and situations in which a template makes more sense than a custom website design:
1. They Typically Don't Cost a Fortune.
Template designs are almost always more affordable than a custom website design.
HubSpot Marketplace templates provide a framework for building a complete website in one package, typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. What you ultimately pay depends on the functionality, style, and overall website you're looking for.
2. It Can Speed Up Time to Completion.
If your business needs a new website by the end of the week, using a template design is the way to go. Templates are largely plug-and-play, and using one cuts out a large amount of the development time of creating custom websites.
3. There Are a Variety of Marketplace Options to Choose From.
Opting for a website template puts you in front of hundreds – if not more – potential website builds.
While you may have a clear image in your head on how you want your website to look, marketplaces will present homepage, blog, and landing page styles that you've never considered, which can make all the difference in your marketing.
Instead of working from the ground-up with a custom website, you can determine how your website would look and function across hundreds of templates before spending a dime.
Benefits of Custom Websites
If you feel a pre-built or templated website would limit what you're trying to achieve with your site, then you'll probably end up hiring a freelancer, team or design agency to build your custom site.
Here are some of the pros of having a website custom-made for your business:
1. They Are Built Specifically for Your Business.
This point may seem obvious, but it can't be understated. If you decide to have a custom website built for your needs, you'll get just that – limitless customizations and functionality suited for your company and your goals.
There's no limit to branding potential, and your design agency or partner will have a tried-and-true process for taking the website from concept to launch.
2. They Are Designed with Responsiveness and Function in Mind.
Custom websites provide hands-on assurance of responsiveness across devices, CRMs, integrations, and other marketing software. You'll have an experienced developer or team of developers available to set up any back-end software and ensure your website looks amazing on any device, with any screen size or player window.
3. Support is Always There When You Need It.
One of the most overlooked aspects of having an agency, freelancer, or other team build a custom website is support. That is, providing later iterations, points of contact, and troubleshooting aid.
Have a coding tweak or want to add a new button to your homepage? Your development team (the folks that built your website) will be available to resolve the issue, or at least steer you in the right direction. Templates are one-and-done, with a small degree of support, but nowhere close to what you'll get with a dedicated developer for your website.
When it comes to web design, what you pay for is what you get – and that all depends on your needs, your budget, and your timeline.
Design and development is like the classic good/cheap/fast project model, in a way. You can only pick two. When it comes to building a website, what's most important is your endgame: how do you want your new website to serve your business, and what development approach will make sure that happens?