should you use a templated website?


If you’re starting up a business or looking to revamp your existing website, what will you go for – a custom build or a template?

Cost is bound to be a significant factor in your decision, and a template design is probably going to be cheaper. But is it always the best choice?

They’re quick – you can download them and stick in your content and a few images and, hey presto, you’ve got yourself a web presence without forking out fees for a web designer. But web designers exist for some excellent reasons:

  • They understand the web
  • They understand how it works
  • They know what they’re doing

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are a further five reasons why you shouldn’t go down the template route.

  1. You still have to be customised

Even though many of these templates are downloadable and ready to go, most of them are still going to have to be tailored somehow to suit your design needs. Unless you happen to be a whiz at HTML coding, you’re still going to need a web designer.

  1. Not the best for branding

Your brand has to be recognisable online. If you use a template, that’s going to be tough because you’re just going to end up looking like thousands of other sites already in existence.

It will be much better to get a custom design and make your brand stand out.

  1. Restricted zone

The template isn’t going to be easy to tweak, plus you’re probably going to be tied to licensing agreements with the template designer, which will govern how you use the website. You will also probably have to have a link back to the designer’s website somewhere.

  1. You’re not alone

Hundreds, possibly thousands of people have downloaded the same template as you. Do you want to be seen as a generic design rather than as someone with your own identity?

  1. Bad news for SEO

Many templates aren’t designed with SEO in mind so getting the search engine spiders to crawl your site could be difficult, and as for ranking…if it can’t be crawled you’re not going to rank.

If you’re serious about getting a good online presence, you’ve got to go to a professional. You wouldn’t service or MOT your car, you’re unlikely to build you own house extension, and you’re very unlikely to do your own legal work, so why try and create a powerful web presence for your business on your own?

Your reputation as a business owner relies on a good website that works and is visible in the search results. So make sure you opt for something bespoke that reflects your personality and values.


Sally Ormond is a copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting Ltd, she works with a vast range of companies, from SMEs to blue chip companies around the world to create eye-catching, compelling copy, which boosts their sales and market visibility. 

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