Website Templates vs Custom Sites: Which Is Better for Your Business?

What Are Website Templates?

Website templates are pre-constructed, almost fully-customizable foundations on which to build a beautiful website. Essentially, templates are a website skeleton with the difficult things like coding already done for you.

Visualize a house undergoing construction: you can see where each room is going to be, how big it's going to be, and what space you have to work with. After that, it's up to you to fill it in and make it yours. That's sort of how a website template works.

Whether you're looking to start a blog, launch an online store, showcase artwork, or advertise services, you can find a CMS (Content Management System) for every situation.

A CMS is a platform that'll host your website. Ever heard of WordPress or Wix?

After browsing the CMS platform's selection of templates and choosing the right one for you, you'll be taken to the design section where you'll get to personalize your website.

Most website templates give you quite a lot of creative freedom. While you can't change the basic foundation of the template, the copy (text), images, color palettes, branding, font, and a number of pages are completely up to you!

You may choose the same template as another business, but by the time you've finished designing it, they'll look like two completely different websites.

Website Templates Vs. Custom Websites

While there are pros and cons to consider for both, if you're looking for ease of use, website templates are the superior option.

Here's why.


Website templates are far cheaper than having someone custom build you a website, or learning how to build one yourself. Most CMS platforms provide a number of free-to-use templates, and while you can buy other more premium templates, they're a one-time payment that is usually only a few dollars.

While you'll be paying for the continued use of the CMS, the cost includes help and tech support, safe and secure website hosting, and the ability to edit your website whenever you want.

If you have someone custom build your website (which costs hundreds, if not thousands of dollars depending on who is doing it, and what you want) and decide a year down the line, you'd like to change your branding, or if you need a website maintenance, you'll have to seek them out to make any changes. This will come with extra costs.

If you'd like to build your own custom website, you'll have to invest in coding and web design course to make sure what you're creating is usable and bug-free.

Either way, using website templates is the way to go if you're looking to keep costs down.

No Coding Knowledge Needed

Building custom websites requires coding knowledge. Coding is difficult to learn, and for anyone who isn't a bit of a tech wizard, trying to learn to code so you can build a website will slow your progress down.

Quicker and Simpler

When you're building a website using web design templates rather than from scratch, it can take a matter of hours to create.

You could build your website in a day, and make it live to start generating sales and leads the next!

If you're building a website from nothing, it takes far longer. Even web designers who build custom websites every day can take up to a week, if not longer.

You're also relying on the person you've hired to get it right the first time. If they haven't, and you need parts changing, you'll have to wait even longer and it might cost you more in the process.

How Do You Use Website Templates?

After choosing your template, you'll be looking at a skeleton website. It'll have some images and 'lorem ipsum' filler text to show you how you could lay the webpage out, and what should go where. Assume that anything you can see can be customized, and should be to make it as unique to your business as possible.

You'll be working with a drag-and-drop function that makes website creation a dream for people who don't want to spend any more time than is necessary creating their website.

There will be pre-set elements you can browse and pick the most relevant ones for your business.

If you're an artist, you may want a 3-page, simple-to-navigate website. One page for your portfolio, one for your Story or About Me section, one Contact page to encourage people to get in touch.

If you're a business selling a range of products, you'll have several web pages and subpages. You can put the most important things at the forefront of people's eyes, and keep product collections on separate pages for swift navigation.

Website templates are almost impossible to mess up, which will always benefit you in the long run. Having a website that looks confusing or doesn't work properly will turn off customers and visitors.


One thing that makes using a website template significantly easier is that you're able to keep your themes consistent throughout each page.

When you're building on a CMS platform, it'll remember your color palette, it'll have a collection of your used and uploaded images, and will help you configure the same style on each page.

You want each page to look like it's from the same website because brand consistency is key. This will create a seamless customer experience, and it'll solidify your brand. The human brain learns visually, and repetition ensures that your brand or message will stick in your visitors' long-term memory.

Have a play around with the drag-and-drop function to see what works for you. It's easy to undo mistakes or start over after you've figured out what you want your website to look like.

The Legal Stuff

There's something that gets forgotten when someone is custom building their website from scratch, and it's more important than ever with internet dwellers...

The legal stuff!

We're in 2022 now, and almost everyone and their goldfish use the internet. If your website isn't up-to-date with the latest GDPR guidance (Europe) and data protection standards (USA) depending on where you are, you could land yourself in some very hot water.

Website templates will have a section for your cookie policy, privacy policy, disclaimers, copyright protection, and terms and conditions. Very often they even help you write them, with their own pre-made templates that you can adapt.

Mobile Optimization

So, let's say you've ignored us completely and built yourself a custom website. It's shiny and pretty and you're very happy with it. You wipe the sweat from your brow - because it was a pretty exhausting experience - but it's finished!


If you go to any city anywhere, you'll see people with their noses glued to their cellphones. Believe it or not, over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices!

Building a mobile-optimized version of your website is a whole different beast. It requires different coding, different layouts, and a whole lot of work.

When you're using a website template, they've already thought of it all. With the click of a button, they'll optimize your site for mobile use. You might have to move a few bits around, but it'll take a matter of minutes.


Or, in other words, Search Engine Optimization.

Scary words!

Terms like SEO can be pretty intimidating for the average business owner who just wants to get on and sell their product or service. It's quite vital to your website's success though, so having basic SEO knowledge will only ever benefit you in today's modern age.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to having a template-built website on a CSM is that, while they won't write the SEO for you, they'll show you exactly where to put it, how, and why it's beneficial.

Create Your Website

By now, you should have a good understanding of what website templates are and who will benefit from using them.

Of course, there are benefits to custom-built websites - it's really about weighing up both options and figuring out which one will work the best for you.

Either way, having a website is a great starting point for your business.

Speaking of your business and its inevitable success...we're experts at what we do. We don't think that's arrogant, just a fact - and we've got 773 happy clients who would agree and 9 years of experience to back up such a bold statement.

If you're looking to elevate your business and really make your mark in your sector, come and check out what Locus Digital can do for you.

We offer a whole host of (gentle) competition-destroying services that'll take it to the next level. We work closely with our clients to make sure our services are completely tailored to you and the results you want to see.

Get in touch with us for a no-obligation consultation, and let's see how we can grow your business to new heights and unlock amazing possibilities.

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