Website templates have been growing in popularity over the years and they are more popular now than ever before. With hundreds of websites offering website templates that can be purchased online and downloaded, templates may appear to be the answer to your website requirements…but are they really?
Why not buy and use a website template?
Yes, we are a website agency, so arguing why website templates are not worth using is probably something to be expected and may even possibly appear biased. BUT, there are things that one needs to take into account when purchasing a template to use as their website.
We have had a number of people come to us asking for us to take over their website maintenance. These client requirements are to have their website updated / changed e.g. new menu options, new pages, etc. Some of these clients have had their websites developed by website companies who developed the site from scratch and some from which used a template. Ones who have used a template are definitely MORE difficult to work with or MORE time-consuming.
But, to answer the question of whether to use a website template or not, we’ve put together Pros and Cons to using a purchased website template:
- Slightly cheaper than having your website developed by a website company
- Quick and easy to implement, especially if you have HTML knowledge and know how to change the text and images
** Please note this is based on our experience with website templates
- Slower / heavier to load – This may not always be the case, but it’s often the case that a template has been setup by a designer that doesn’t specialise in fast loading sites. So, they design the website and then simply “slice” the design up. In these cases, images are often used when other techniques could be used that would make the website load much faster.
- Difficult to maintain- again, in some instances, when the site hasn’t been built in the best or optimal way possible, adding text (especially large volumes of text) can be an issue. For example, if the site has been built with a gradient, if the site hasn’t been built to cater for more text than the original design, the gradient and look of the site could be affected if more text is added.
- Can workout more expensive. If the template you like loads slowly, or you need some one to plug in the text, you are going to have to find someone with HTML knowledge. If you land up going to a web agency for this, you may land up paying more as the web agency may have to adjust things and could take longer than a web agency building the site from scratch.
- Limitations and Restrictions. Templates are designed according to someone’s idea they had in their head. There are some lovely looking templates out there, but sometimes they don’t cater for the future of your site. If you want to start your website with only a few pages with the intention of expanding and adding more pages and info in the future, your site needs to be designed to cater for that. A number of templates won’t support this.
- Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) is affected. Templates are very often or even more than often not designed and coded with search engine optimisation in mind. If SEO is a factor for you, then using a template should be something that is VERY carefully considered.
- Not unique design. If you want a website that is unique that no one has seen before, then using a template is definitely NOT an idea. Templates are available to the public to buy, so you run the chance of someone else having the same design.
** Refer to our blog article on website coding for more information or explanations on some of the items mentioned above.
Ultimately the choice of using a template is yours. Think very carefully when you choose to buy a template online for your website. Consider how many changes will need to be done, the future of the website and search engine optimisation.