Template vs bespoke website: Which is best?


Anyone can build a website – did a digital agency really just say that?! – The thing is, not everyone can build the website that they want.

There are over 644 million active websites out there, and the number is growing. The popularity of template-based tools means more and more people are starting to build their own website. And at the start of each journey, you will always be faced with this question: Do I use a template or have a bespoke website?

The rise in ‘easy-to-use’ template-based website builders leads many to question the need for investing in a bespoke website. With so many different platforms and companies all telling you how easy it is, you may wonder why this question is still being asked!

So, to help you find the answer, we’ll need to start by explaining the difference. However, if you already know the difference and are looking to jump ahead to the practical advice bit, you can click here to skip the differences.

What is a template website?

A template-based website is one developed using a set of pre-built structures. Users can typically change colours, images and general layout, but these are usually limited to a few options.

These types of website are usually cheaper because the work has already been done and they’re very quick to set up.

Template websites are ideal for people on a limited budget and want a website quickly. However, depending on the template, changes (even if they’re considered minor) are usually very time/cost intensive or sometimes even impossible.

What is a bespoke website?

A bespoke website is one that is tailor-made for you and your consideration is required at every level. You have control over every aspect, including the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). This means you need to think about every colour, button, image and text placement (within reason).

Bespoke websites are perfect for people who know exactly what they want. They are usually more expensive, may take longer to develop and they need a lot of thinking time. However, an experienced web agency (like us), will take away a lot of that thinking time by making sure they completely understand what you’re trying to achieve before they ever put fingers to keyboards.

Which is best?

As with most things, the main difference between a template and bespoke website is cost. However, it’s crucial you don’t confuse cost with money!

A template-based website may seem like the best option at the start of a new venture, but they can end up costing you more in the long run (in both time and money). Template based websites are often built using outdated codes and are more vulnerable to attack. They may not be compatible with modern browsers, and they usually don’t get the best SEO performance. Most importantly, they won’t demonstrate your unique brand personality.

When building a website most people forget about the actual population (images, text and metadata). It takes a lot of time to fit the various elements of a website together. You are in control of your content with a bespoke website. In contrast, the limitations of a template can get people frustrated and they never quite get what they wanted. This is also why most template-based websites end up looking so similar.

Bespoke websites may cost more money, yes, but they’re more secure, they’ll last longer and deliver a much better return on investment – if you use the right agency of course!

Finally, regardless of which decision you make, if we go back to the point made at the start: anyone can build a website, but not everyone can create the website that they want – websites are more than just putting a few bits of text, logos, links, images on a webpage. There are 644 million websites out there. You need to stand out, you need to be noticed, and you need help from people whose job it is to get you there:

Hi, we’re Wondrous, we can help!

As a digital agency, we’re highly experienced in understanding what it is you want to achieve and then guiding you to the best platform; be that a template or bespoke website. Take a look at how we’ve transformed our clients’ ideas into reality!

Of course, building your website is the first step into the world of digital marketing. Find out more about maximising it’s performance in our article: What is digital marketing?

Wednesday 30th May