Bespoke vs template website design

By Andrew Baxter

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Opinion Web development

Having a website is no longer just a marketing tactic, it is essential. But, a website is only going to help your business if you put effort into making it an optimised tool. The first thing you should do is figure out if you are going to use a template website or build a bespoke website.

Why is it important whether you pick template or bespoke web design? 

A website may be the first point of contact a customer has with your company or organisation, or your website could be a resource for conversion. 

Either way, it is important to present a professional image that is consistent with the identity of the business within your website. Having a good website that aligns with your brand and business goals will establish immediate trust with the target audience and help build a positive relationship that will hopefully lead to conversions. 

When considering the creation of a new website, or your existing website, there are generally two options available to you - purchase a pre-built template website or have a website that is built bespoke for your business needs. 

So what are the differences between template and bespoke, and more importantly, which option is right for your business?

Template websites

A 'template' website is a generic, pre-built site and is available for anyone to purchase. The owner can choose from a set of pre-designed templates, tweak the colour palette and add logos and images. This can be done by either supplying the developer with your content to update onto the template or by using an in-built Content Management System (CMS). 

Working with a developer on a template website

When working with a developer on a template design, you most likely will not have any personal relationship with the developer, they are just there to attempt to fix any issues you might have with a template or add features to your website, within their capabilities.

When using a template website, you might not work with a developer at all, it might be more of a support / chatroom where you get questions answered. 

Content Management Systems on a Template Website 

A template website design usually offers different content and the capability to manage content across the website. Depending on which template website design business you use, you can input content like: 

  • Landing pages 
  • Blogs
  • News articles
  • And event calendars 

But, some business websites require more complexity than what a template website can provide. If you want to have a reservation system, for example, this could be more complex. Or if you wanted to sell courses or have webinars, this also might be difficult or require additional work than a template website can afford. 

Example Landing Page for Go TRI website design

Template Website Pros 

  •  Template websites are often cheap to purchase because they have already been built and they are quick to set up.

For example, a template website like WordPress or Wix just uses a general outline for a website and puts it into a template that you can personalise for your business.

  • And, for those of you who are not very tech-savy, a template website design system is usually very simple, just drag and drop different content into different places. 

Drag and drop works great for putting content into a template website in panels over each other, but has some cons as well. 

Template Website Design Cons 

  •  These pre-built websites are generally not very flexible, and the owner is limited to the parameters of the template. 

For example, say you wanted to have a map feature to show a specific area that your business covers. This would be ultimately either too complex for a template website, or too expensive to add it on and have it built for you. 

  • And, when it comes to your brand, customisation on a template website is often very limited, which will make applying the consistency of your brand and identity difficult.

If your brand uses a particular font, or a specific colour, or even moving images or logos – some template websites are not built to add in fonts, colours, or motion graphics. 

  • The functionality of the layout and navigation may not be suited to the purpose of the site and can be detrimental to the overall user experience.

Oftentimes, businesses want their websites to have forms or navigational tools to help users get to specific content in the website. But, with template websites, the only option you might have is a button, or pre-made contact forms that do get the information you need from a user. 

  • Another common problem found with template websites is that they are built using substandard and outdated code. This has a negative effect on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as finding and indexing keywords is made more difficult. 
  • It also affects the compatibility with browsers and increases the time it takes for the page to load - this can be very frustrating for the end-user.

Some template website design tools like Wordpress started out as being a blog system, meaning it was not designed to help businesses gain SEO. While this has been updated, it still won’t be the same as having a real person write out the coding for you to ensure maximum optimisation occurs. 

Bespoke websites

A 'bespoke' website is tailor-made to the specific demands of your business and is designed and built by experienced professionals.

Designers and developers will spend time analysing your requirements, interpreting your brief and will work with you at every stage to create a website design that is unique to you. 

A bespoke website also allows the identity of the business to be consistent throughout the site and will ensure an overall positive user experience.

Working with a developer on a bespoke website

When working alongside a developer on a bespoke website design, you will have total control of your online presence, from design to functionality. 

A developer on a bespoke website build will be able to build almost anything you could want in a website and will want to do whatever they can to help you and your business grow! 

Content Management Systems on a bespoke website

The developer you are working with on a bespoke website will create a content management system for you or someone at your business to add or edit copy on the website. 

It is important to remember that developers will not write the final copy on your website, that would be up to you to find someone to do this!

This is another thing to consider when working with a developer on a bespoke website, how easy are they going to make it for you to manage content? 

You want to work with a developer who knows which content management systems will work best for you and your business when building the bespoke website. 

Then, the developer can create a content management system that is on-brand with the rest of the website, allowing any additions to match the bespoke website design. 

Bespoke website pros 

  • Bespoke websites are built using the latest W3C HTML and CSS coding standards. The developer will take time making sure the website works with different types of browsers and ensure that the design looks good across many formats, including mobile and tablet devices. 

 For example, a mobile website version of a bespoke website design might need to be coded separately in order to work best, and the developer will do this as part of their bespoke website task.

  • Bespoke website design means unique website design, there is no limit on what you can do design-wise, making your business’ website able to stand out or be more creative than your competitors.

You can have a whole page be a video (that doesn’t have to link to Youtube), or you can use different colours that are not assigned to a pre-fixed pallet, you could even have a website that interacts with users, or has fun gamification factors outside of website content!

  • Different categories within a bespoke website design are limitless.

You do not have to follow a template design of ‘home page, features, about us, blog, contact’. You can ask a developer on your bespoke website design to make pages that do something completely different – like play music, create an ecommerce experience, and more!

  • Bespoke website design allows and supports business growth.

When working with a bespoke website developer, they are always going to be around for you when you have additions to your website, or you wish to reorganise. And the best part is, they will know what you want and who your business is!

  • If any issues arise in your bespoke website, you have an actual person, the developer, to chat to who physically designed your website and probably knows immediately how to fix it!

Rather than chatting to a support chatbot on a template website, who probably have hundreds of other businesses facing a similar problem and are trying to find a plaster-way of fixing it; a bespoke website has a developer who can quickly fix the code or the bug, and they will know how because they wrote it!

  • With a bespoke web design company, you have access to a wealth of experience, advice and information to help you ensure that your online presence does the things you need it to. This is partly what you are investing in when you pay a bit more for a bespoke site.

Bespoke website cons

  • A bespoke website can be more costly and can take longer to implement than a template website.

Instead of quickly knocking your website out in a day, you will be relying on someone else and their timeline. Depending on how complex your website is, going bespoke might take months. But the value in the end is immeasurable.

  • A bespoke website design requires creativity and a plan thought-out into what your business needs and wants in a website design.

Sometimes, businesses feel this is the hardest part! Being able to see all the possibilities of a bespoke website is difficult, but that is why you go with a digital design agency that can understand your business goals and outline all the creative possibilities in your website design!

JUMP X Bespoke Website Design

At JUMP, we never want you to compromise on your vision, how your business looks and is perceived by audiences, or your potential! That is why we work with you to deliver a bespoke website design. 

JUMP is built on two teams – design and development. Bespoke websites are our jam. We have developers that work to build a bespoke website, and designers who create the bespoke website design. 

Working with JUMP on a bespoke website design means your new website will not only function how you want it, but it will look completely unique and amazing. 

If you are interested in bespoke website design, you are interested in working with JUMP. Check out more of our work here.

We always want to chat! If you are interested in learning more about what having a bespoke website is – contact us!  

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