The difference between a template website and a bespoke website isn't something that's immediately obvious to many people. If you've mustard up the courage to put your company's money and resources into a new website, buying into an important asset for your business, we think it's crucial that you know the difference so you can figure out which is the right choice for you.
Template websites, as the name would suggest are based on a template. Do you ever look at a website and get a sense of Dijon-Vu? It's common to see websites that follow a similar layout and structure but just with minor details changed, like colours and images. Often, these types of websites make use of a popular platform like Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla where there are lots of ready built themes ready to apply.
These type of websites mean the developer can build a complete website very quickly, however, like too much English in a ham sandwich, this approach does come with its disadvantages. The most obvious being that if you use a template you can almost guarantee that someone else out there has a website that looks like yours. Worse still a lot of templates are targeted towards specific industries. Take a look at this list of Wordpress themes for Dentists. If you use one of these, there's every chance you could have the same website as one of your competitors.
Using a template website also limits the flexibility and restricts what you can do with the website. What happens if there's a plugin that's not compatible with your template? Well the developer is going to have to write code to make it fit together. Take this one step further, what happens if most of the websites functionality need to be custom built? At this stage the developer might will be coding large sections of the website anyway, so they might as well skip the template all together and build something from scratch. No pain no wholegrain.
Now, I mustard-mit this blog post is a little bit of a nod towards the way we do things here at Impelling. Time and time again we meet people who have been told that a certain feature isn't possible or something simply can't be done with their website, just because of the way it's built. This is either because the budget doesn't cover the cost of the coding required to fill in the gaps and make the site and template work together, or sometimes its because they just don't know how to do it.
We build all of our websites bespoke. This means we talk to you first, find out your requirements and then design and build around these, solving business problems and automating processes along the way. The result is much more than a standard looking website, even the most simple websites we build are a true reflection of a company's brand and ethos. Building from the ground up allows us to seamlessly incorporate any feature into the website whether that's online bookings, customer management, e-commerce or billing, anything is possible.
This sounds like the Grey Poupon of websites I hear you saying. Well the truth is, yes we believe our websites are of the highest quality, but the reality is they don't cost the earth. Our tailored approach to the design and build is efficient, so you only pay for what you actually need. If you're shopping around for your next website and would like to know exactly what you're getting, give us a shout, we'll be happy to advise.
Ed Hardie, Technical DirectorA software developer by trade, Ed takes on the technical challenges involved with running a digital business. Still actively involved with the development of many projects, Ed keeps a close eye on the emerging trends and technologies within the industry. Read more posts by Ed Hardie