When taking that leap into acquiring a new website, many businesses will be offered the choice between either a template based website, which tend to be cheaper, or a bespoke website, which generally look more professional.
With a bespoke website you will have a fully custom design which suits your unique branding. You can offer specific instructions on how your content is presented and how the website works. These website are produced from scratch to your specifications, and as such, are generally more expensive to develop than template websites. The key advantages are that you will have complete control of your online image, and you can determine how the website looks and functions, with little restriction. It is also possible to add a content management system that enables you to edit sections of the website yourself without affecting the overall design. Bespoke websites invariably appear more professional, and they put you in the driving seat. Illicit Web Design specialises in bespoke websites, so all websites we make are designed and developed from scratch with unique client needs in mind.
Template websites are pre-made. Often, you select from a set of existing web designs to which you may add your logo, images and text. Template websites don’t take much time to produce and so the key advantage is that they are generally less costly than a bespoke design. Some template websites offer a content management system, so that you can edit parts of the website design and content. The main downsides are that template websites offer very little in the way of design flexibility, by definition templates lack uniqueness in functionality and design, and – most importantly – they generally look considerably less professional than a bespoke website. Illicit Web Design do not offer template websites, although we can see their advantages in terms of cost.
So, which is better?
If you are on a very tight budget (e.g. less than £200 to spare) and require an entry level website to support a basic web presence, then a template website may suffice for your current situation. However, if you are looking for a uniquely branded, high-end design and the ability to develop the website along with your business, then a bespoke website is certainly the way to go. Your investment will be rewarded with a website that has greater longevity, and is more likely to retain more traffic with a professional, unique appearance.