For the web newbie it can be very confusing knowing whether they should go with a cheaper template driven website or a more expensive custom built website. I thought it would be a good idea to weigh the pros and cons so you can see what makes more sense for your business. So I will first lay out what each one is and then discuss their individual pros and cons.
Template Websites – a template website is similar to a pre-fabricated home. You can pick out a design you think will look good, choose from limited variables like color, add content and voila you have a website! Template sites are generally good for 1-3 years.
Pros – you can get a functional web presence that doesn’t look horrible and serves your immediate needs.
Cons – You will be stuck with this template and any additional functional you might want or changes to design will be out of the question unless the template provider upgrades the templates. Also, search engines may recognize the site as being a template and rank it lower reducing your traffic. Chances are you will outgrow a template in 1-3 years and have to re-invest in a custom built website that fits your specific needs.
Custom Websites – a custom website is built from “scratch” and tailored to your specific needs. It is coded from the ground up based upon designs that are customized to the company’s design and functionality needs. Custom built sites are generally good for 3-7 years depending on how the needs of the company change.
Pros – allows complete control over the look, feel and functionality of the website. Also, is much more easily upgraded and updated with new functionality and content over time. Custom built sites generally index better in search engines and therefore have higher traffic and use. In the end we feel a custom site is the best ROI since it will last longer, update more easily and generate more traffic.
Cons – more expensive to build. That’s the only con we can think of.