Templates are fairly simple to create and many template website builders emphasize that they are “code free”. They also have a lower upfront cost and are quicker to develop. So with these positive aspects, why do businesses still elect to hire web design companies? Consider these little-known points before before deciding which route to take with your own website.
Say Goodbye to Customization
In a way, templates can be compared to renting an apartment building instead of constructing your own home. While renting is initially more convenient and less expensive, it never really feels like ‘yours’. Maybe you’ve customized a little. You can hang photos on the wall if they don’t leave holes larger than a thumbtack. Even with these changes, you know your neighbors are living in nearly identical apartments all around you. It just feels temporary.
When users visit a template based website, it may feel temporary to them as well. Instead of a website built around your business, you will have to adjust content and images to fit into predetermined spots.
To establish a strong brand, it is important to have themes and features unique to your business. Can you imagine successful companies like Amazon and Apple using a generic template? When a visitor enters your website, they should instantly recognize your business by every color, font, shape, and image.
It is possible to pay an “exclusive” price to purchase a template and keep others from using the theme, but this will not prevent it from being used by those who bought it prior. Basic features such as colors and text can be changed, but the structure, navigation, and theme will remain the same. If you have unique needs for your business it will be tough to facilitate them.
Miss Out on 51% of Traffic?!
As of 2016, Mobile use in the US is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%). Have you ever opened a website on your smartphone that was difficult or impossible to read because of strange formatting? Or a website that just wouldn’t load? This is most likely because it wasn’t optimized for all devices.
Because of the increase in mobile and tablet use, it is vital to have a responsive website design. A responsive design seamlessly fits to different screen sizes and makes your website viewable to users on all devices.
Many template website builders neglect this important component. More adaptable themes require webmasters to use both a desktop editor and a mobile site builder, which is a big inconvenience and does not adapt as well as real responsive websites.
Search Engine Illiterate
Web design companies have experience in creating websites with conversion as a priority. They research and train their teams to stay on top of marketing trends. A template website can look appealing, but it doesn’t have the advantage that years of marketing brings to a custom design. Templates have no focus on search engines.
If your website doesn’t have the tools to show up in popular search results like Google, how will users find you to begin with? Before investing in a template website builder, it is important to have a full understanding of marketing, your buyer personas, and which keywords will work best for your niche.
Not So Easy
While templates are generally thought of as user-friendly, many cases still require assistance from a web developer. Here are a few examples.
- Image editing. Special software and skills are needed for optimizing images and Flash. This will help you
avoid an excessive page load time and keep your images looking “right”.
- A how-to for the how-to. The support team isn’t quite as you expected and documentation of how to create the website yourself may read like a foreign language.
- Website crashes. Website crashes can happen for a large variety of reasons. Unless you have extensive experience with coding, fixing a crash can be complicated and stressful.
- Coding. One of the top reasons for using a template website builder is to avoid complicated code. Unfortunately, many changes will still require diving into some coding, even if it’s just css.
What do you think? We’d love to hear about your experience with template website builders! Shoot us a message or leave a comment below.