Difference Between Custom Websites and Template Websites

Difference Between Custom Websites and Template Websites

February 11, 2020


Difference Between Custom Websites and Template Websites


Nowadays, most of the websites are developed with content management systems which are also popularly known as CMS. This allows the companies to quickly and easily update their websites without any form of technical support. Until now, the most popular among them is WordPress, which is an open-source tool for blogging and content management system. As of 2017, WordPress has almost 50-60 percent of the worldwide content management system market. Among the other content management system platforms, we have Joomla, Drupal, and DotNetNuke. The content management system that a developer uses while creating a particular site depends on different kinds of factors, which include the technical requirements of the server being used and also the user’s level of expertise and wisdom in various platforms.

The websites that are built using WordPress or any other content management system platform might be custom, where we can see that the entire website has been built from scratch for any particular company so that it can fit the needs and brand of the company or by using a pre-existing template or ‘theme’ that have been either downloaded for free or brought off from the shelf. Both of these methods have their very own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs, budget and goals of the user, but all of the websites are not created equally. This article covers the basics of custom and template websites and how to differentiate between the two different kinds of websites respectively.   


A template website is often a viable option, in case the project is quite simple and not needing any extensive features – for instance, a website that is actually an online brochure.

Template sites are more affordable than custom sites

The use of template sites is significant for the fact that most of the coding involved with the website is rightly in their place without any need for the developer to lift a finger. This is the main reason why the template sites are easily much more affordable in comparison to customized websites. Custom websites take time and effort from the developers to make sure all aspects of the site are working properly before handing it back over to a client. This is where you will see significant differences in pricing depending on who you choose as a developer. A lot of template developers choose quantity over quality so they will try and sign you up for a website for as cheap as possible to just generate recurring revenue from you.

The template sites are fast to implement

This is again because of the fact that all of the coding is already done. It is only just a matter of weeks when the template website can be launched in general, given the fact that the content is all set and ready to go (however, this is often not the case and quite often getting the website launched becomes a significant barrier) and also the developer’s schedule is all clear. The time taken for building a custom website is directly proportional to the fact of how complex the user wants their websites to be and how much content from the client is readily available. So while custom sites may take more time, they usually have more thought and process involved in them. Be wary of developers offering websites that can be done “next day” or even in 2 days.


However, there can also be significant disadvantages of using templates, specifically if the developer is not properly skilled. They include:

The websites might look similar to other websites

For the most part, the popular themes are downloaded more than a thousand times so your website might end up looking like any other website. This is one of the biggest issues in that your template, while it may look good, is more than likely being used by thousands of others and may even look identical to that developer’s portfolio pieces.

Limitation on navigation capability and customizability

Users are largely stuck within the parameters for customizing and navigation. They can be just simply designed parameters, such as the limited choices of icons or even much more serious issues such as the inability of having the functionality that the users want. Majority of the time any feature outside of a simple text or button is going to be an issue on templated websites. 

Bottom line

While template websites sound great and the promise of a cheap and fast website looks good on paper, in the end, custom work will always trump templated websites. Someone who is in the market looking for web developers and at the same time looking at proposals must evaluate them according to their individual needs. If someone comes in with a quote that is significantly less than the others, odds are that they are building you a template website. So before choosing your web developers, make sure you ask questions before getting started. Cheaper is not always better.

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