Template vs custom website

Templates VS. Custom Built Websites

Are you on the search for a new website for your business? If so, you have come to the right place. Choosing the look and feel of your new website is easier than you think. All you have to do is figure out whether you would like a custom website design or a template website. If you are not sure what the difference is or which one will better suit your business, Smashed Media, a web design company in West Palm Beach, will explain the differences in this article.

Website Builders

If you’re not too familiar with web design or have any web development experience then it’s a good idea to start with a website builder, also known as a CMS (content management system). A CMS can be set up by you or a web design company and requires a hosting provider like Godaddy or Ionos for installation. Although that may sound complicated, all hosting providers offer automatic installations that allow you to get set up easily.

One of the most commonly used website builders included with many hosting providers is WordPress. WordPress is a free CMS that gives you more functionality and capability than other website builders. Once installed, you can add a theme to your WordPress website that will let you adjust the look and feel without needing to modify any of the code on the website. These themes are also commonly referred to as templates.

Website Builder

Drag & Drop Builders

If you’re looking for a turn-key solution that doesn’t require having your own hosting provider, services like Wix or Squarespace may be a more user-friendly option. Note that both Wix and Squarespace are subscription-based website providers and charge a monthly fee. Like WordPress, you can also add a theme to your Wix or Squarespace website to further customize the appearance.

While drag and drop builders are easy to use, they are limited in functionality and capability. If your website requires a specific function, it may be hard to accomplish using these services. Additionally, migrating your website from a drag and drop builder to another platform is nearly impossible since the website is coded to function specifically with that platform. You will be forced to remain with the same provider until you build your website using another platform. In contrast, a website built with WordPress can be easily migrated from one hosting provider to another without any restrictions.

Choosing A Template Or Theme

In 2019, the most important requirement when choosing your website template is that it is mobile-friendly. Simply stated, this means that your website design will appear differently when being accessed by a mobile device vs a desktop computer. Desktops used to be the most common way to reach a website, but today most websites are visited using a mobile device and require a unique look and feel customized for the smaller viewing experience. Choosing a theme that is not mobile responsive can have drastically negative effects on the overall user experience and even your Google search rankings.

Template websites are a great option if you need a website set up quickly, if you are looking for a simple website, and if you don’t have any custom functionality requirements. Without having any development experience, it can be quite difficult to make custom changes on a template site. Templates are generally limited to the features and functions they are built with. Below are some more pros and cons if you choose a template website.


  • Lower upfront cost. Good for business’ with a lower budget.
  • Can be set up quickly.
  • A large number of designs to choose from.


  • Themes are sold publicly. Your theme may also be in use by another website.
  • Modifying or customizing the theme will need to be done by a professional developer.
  • Some designs may not be mobile friendly and require costly modifications.
Website Design

Custom Built Websites

Custom built websites are not only unique but they also require an experienced web developer to build them due to their complexity. These sites can either be built using a CMS as a backbone or from scratch, without any pre-existing infrastructure.

Custom websites allow you to dictate exactly how you want your website to look and function, with your financial budget being the only true limitation. Additionally, web developers can optimize for mobile responsiveness and best SEO practices as they create the website. As with any custom creation, a custom website takes more time to build than a template website. This is because the website design is being tailored to your business and set up with any additional website functions that your business needs. Below are some of the pros and cons of a custom built website.


  • Your website design will be unique.
  • Developers can make changes or add as many website functions as you would like.
  • Built to look and function nicely across all device types.


  • More expensive.
  • Takes longer to build a custom website.

Overall, template and custom built websites can both be great options. When making this decision, it is important to consider what your business’ needs and budget are. Either option you choose, it is helpful to have a web design company with a skilled and experienced team develop the website for you. You will want your website to be working at its optimal performance. A web design company can also be a great resource to call when you have any technical issues or are looking to change or add something on your site.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of which site to choose and how having a web design company create your website can be beneficial. If you would like more information, Smashed Media is a West Palm Beach web design company that can explain more about template vs custom built websites and help you decide which is right for you and your business. We have developed many unique and high-converting websites for clients looking for both custom and template-based websites. Our team at Smashed Media has worked with a variety of business’ niches and know the best features to use for each type of business. If you’re ready to start building the right website for you and your business, contact us today and we’ll gladly help get you in the right direction.

Web Development


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