Custom-Built vs Template-Based Website: The Pros and Cons

Having a website is crucial for any business, no matter the size or industry. But deciding between custom-built vs template-based website can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to do your research before making a decision.

To help you out, we’re outlining some of the pros and cons of both custom-built and template-based websites so that you can make an informed decision. We’ll discuss topics like scalability, cost, design options, and more. Whether you choose to hire a website builder or go with a template-based solution, you can rest assured that you’ll have the best website possible to represent your brand. So let’s dive in!

What Is a Custom-Built Website?

Have you ever been curious about the differences between custom-built and template-based websites? Custom-built websites are a great option if you’re looking for a site that is tailored to fit your exact needs and specifications.

A custom-built website is created from scratch by a web developer, so there’s no worry about an existing template being used by someone else. Designers and developers work with your vision and objectives in mind to create a unique site that meets your business’s specific needs. The code and content are tailored specifically to you, giving you total control over the design and functionality of your website.

You’ll get all the features you need, along with an intuitive interface that makes updating content or tweaking settings such as SEO optimization super easy. Plus, if there’s an issue with the website, you’ll be able to pinpoint the source of the problem quickly—no need to sift through an overly complex template code!

Advantages of a Custom-Built Website

If you want your website to stand out, then a custom-built website is the way to go. The main advantage of a custom-built website is that it allows you to create a unique design that is tailored to your needs and brand. This gives you more control over the look and feel of your site, allowing you to create something truly unique.

A custom-built website also offers more flexibility than template-based sites, so you can add features and functionality as needed. It also boasts better scalability, allowing your site to grow along with your business. Finally, custom websites are often more secure than template-based sites, as each one can be built with added security measures in mind.

Disadvantages of a Custom-Built Website

Let’s talk about the disadvantages of a custom-built website. The main downside is that it can often be a lot more expensive than a template-based website. So, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to break the bank, you should probably go with a template-based option.

Additionally, because custom-built websites are often more complex in structure and design, they may take longer to develop than your average template-based website. You’ll need to consider this if you’re looking for something that can be built quickly without sacrificing any features or functionality.

And finally, custom-built websites are usually harder to modify and update once they have been completed, since every single element has been designed from scratch with specific coding and coding languages. So if you know that you may want to make changes down the line, it might not be the best option for you.

What Is a Template-Based Website?

You might be asking yourself, “What’s a template-based website?” In a nutshell, it’s a website that’s built on an outline or template. A template comes with predefined designs and layouts, which you can fill with your own content. Template-based websites are great if you need something up and running quickly and don’t have the finances to customize one from scratch.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using a template-based website:


  1. It’s quick to launch since it doesn’t require any custom development
  2. It usually has a more budget-friendly price tag
  3. It provides basic functionality that includes SEO optimization and mobile compatibility
  4. You can use tools like WordPress to make changes to the website yourself


  1. You’re restricted to only what the template offers in terms of design, layout and overall look & feel
  2. If you want additional functions such as ecommerce capabilities or complex integrations you will have to hire a developer who can customize the template
  3. Your website design may not stand out from your competitors since they could be using the same template as you

Advantages of a Template-Based Website

If you’ve decided that a template-based website is right for you, there are some definite advantages. The main one being cost—it’s usually a lot less expensive than a custom-built site, which makes it perfect if you’re on a tight budget.

Another great thing about template-based websites is that they’re usually easier to maintain. You don’t need to be an expert coder or web developer to make changes to the website, because there are usually plenty of options in the back end that allow you to make adjustments without needing a pro.

Then there’s speed—a template-based site tends to get up and running quickly because all the coding and design work has already been done. All you need to do is add in your content and hit publish!

Plus, modern templates are created with mobile responsiveness in mind, so it should be relatively easy for your visitors to have a good experience no matter what device they’re using.

Disadvantages of a Template-Based Website

When it comes to website creation, there are two main options available: custom-built sites, and template-based sites. Template-based websites can be a great option for small businesses, as they tend to be cheaper and faster to launch. But there are some downsides to using a template-based website that you might want to consider.

Limited Design Options

The most obvious downside of using a template-based website is that you’re limited in terms of design and customization options. Templates usually come with pre-set design options, so you won’t be able to create a truly unique look or feel in the way that you can with a custom-built website.

Limited Technical Capabilities

Using a template also means you’ll have limited technical capabilities and less control over the development process. While most templates will have basic features already built in, such as contact forms, blogs and ecommerce capabilities, if you need something more complex then you may find yourself relying on plugins or third-party applications instead of having access to the full range of features available through custom development.

Poor Performance

Finally, if you choose a poorly coded template then it could lead to performance issues down the line. This is because templates generally have outdated coding practices from when they were first created, which often leads to slow load times and other technical issues in older templates.

Cost Comparison Between Custom-Built vs Template-Based Website

When it comes to cost, custom-built websites are often more expensive initially than template-based ones. But while a template website may require less of an upfront investment, you’ll need to pay for ongoing maintenance and additional services such as hosting, or if the design or functionality needs to be updated.

Custom-built sites can in fact offer a better value over time. This is because they’re tailored towards each business’s specific user requirements, goals, and branding. The cost of custom-building a website pays for itself over time as customers enjoy a seamless experience that drives conversions and increases engagement. Here are some ways that you will save money with a custom-built website:

  1. Lower hosting costs: Custom websites are designed specifically for the hosting environment you choose, so there are no extra plugins and scripts that can slow down your site, leading to lower hosting costs.
  2. Less maintenance: Templates often come with bloatware that can cause issues down the line requiring frequent fixes which take time and can add up in labor costs. Custom designs cut out the bloatware entirely so your site stays up to date without having to constantly monitor and troubleshoot any issues.
  3. Increased scalability: Template designs are often built on frameworks which have their own limitations when it comes to scalability or customizability of features and functionality as your business grows or changes direction over time. Custom websites however can be easily modified to fit your evolving needs while still staying true to the esthetics of your branding guidelines or overall look and feel of the design you originally chose.


In conclusion, custom-built websites can be a significant investment, but for many businesses, the payoff can be greatly beneficial. It offers more customizability, scalability, flexibility, and security than a template-based website. It also gives business owners more control over the design and functionality of their website.

It’s important to weigh your options and decide which website type is right for your business. Custom-built websites are likely the right choice for larger businesses, while template-based websites can be a good option for smaller businesses that are just starting out or are on a tight budget. No matter what type of website you choose, it’s important to ensure that it is designed well and contains valuable content.

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