Templates vs Web Designers: Which Way to Go?


We live in a world of technology. It’s the digital age–everything is online. You can shop for clothes, order groceries, pay bills, and pretty much anything else all from your phone or personal computer.

From a very young age, kids are learning how to use technology and becoming very adept at it. As a result, they know and expect quality in all the sites they encounter.

What does this mean for someone who owns a business, or has been developing a brand?

It means you need a website to be found on the internet. People aren’t using physical listings like in the past. Your business listed in a phone book or newspaper means essentially nothing. You need an online presence to find success.

With there being such a powerful emphasis on quality impressed on all of us, you need to make sure your website is not thrown together haphazardly. Ten years ago you might have been able to get away with a subpar site, but in today’s world, it will get you nowhere.

There are two ways to build a site if you aren’t an experienced web developer yourself. You can either purchase a template-based website or you can hire a web designer to help you out.


Using a template-based website may come in a couple of forms. One may be a subscription-based plan to a site like WordPress or Wix, where they host your website and provide template and website plugins in return for a monthly or annual subscription.

The other option would be to buy a template from a company who designed it, and they provide you with access to the content management system (CMS) where you can make changes. You would probably pay a yearly or monthly service or hosting fee, depending on the business in question.

So, what are the benefits of using a template?

1) Simplicity

Template-based websites are generally simple to understand. The whole point of templates is that you want something easy to use. You want to be able to do your work without needing to know HTML or other programming languages. Templates help you keep things simple while still looking fresh and clean.

Template websites are not going to be the fanciest, and that’s okay. They will provide you with a good, user-friendly website for customer use. Templates are designed by professionals, so they are of professional quality. They just aren’t typically tailor-made to fit your needs.

2) Control

By using a template-based website you have control over how things look and flow. You are the one making the changes, so you can do it to meet your exact preferences. There will be no back-and-forth between you and a designer, you can simply make changes when and how you want.

This may mean you are limited in your choices because you will have to choose something already programmed into the system. If you are okay with the basic options provided and want creative control, then this is the way to go.

3) Cost

Template-based sites are going to either be a one-time payment or a payment for a subscription, as previously mentioned. This means you can create your website without having to shell out a ton of money to someone who will customize it.

As a business owner, you are surely always looking for ways to save money. This could help you save a significant amount of money upfront. Again, it is important to remember that you can find quality templates out there online. The fact that you are saving money by going with a template does not mean it will look bad.

4) Time effective

You have your business to worry about. A designer is likely working on projects for multiple clients, so you’ll have to work with their time table. You are looking to make something that looks nice and you need it up quick.

A template website will help you quickly put together your site. You can easily change what you want to. If you don’t like the way something looks, you can immediately change it rather than having to email the designer and wait for the changes to be made to decide if you like it.

Hiring a Web Designer

Using a web designer is also a great option when designing a website. It allows you to work with a professional, who knows a lot more about this stuff than you do, to build a breathtaking website.

You may be billed by the project or the hour, though that all depends on the designer or business in question.

1) Human Factor

Something templates will never be able to replicate is the human factor. Yes, a human-created them, but having someone keeping a watchful eye over every step of the process can’t be replicated.

A designer is going to make sure that everything is done correctly, and they understand what changes need to be made. They can elevate the overall quality of a website exponentially simply because they are an experienced individual who is not bound by the restrictions of templates.

2) Customization

A template-based website is constrained by the number of given options for customization. A web designer can customize whatever you want. They know how to do simple or complex things and can ultimately use their knowledge and skill to make things far outside the realm of templates.

If you are looking for a personalized site with lots of unique features, you might want to look into hiring a designer to do that for you. There are some great template sites out there, but they may not be exactly what you need for your unique ideas.

3) Quality

With a web designer, you may have to pay more money and it may take a little longer to get the changes you need, but it is worth it. A designer will have the expertise to increase the quality of a site drastically.

Again, template sites can look great, but the quality and availability of features may be limited in a way that a designer will not be. They can design what you want, how you want it.

4) Keep You In Mind

A template doesn’t know or understand you or your business. A designer does. They know who you are, your goals, mission statement, audience, etc. They can use all that information to personalize the site to you and your business or brand.

I have seen some great, high-quality websites. While they may look great for a tech company, that same design isn’t going to be what your local veterinarian wants. A designer can keep you in mind when making decisions so your website matches you.

Template-based websites and web-designer-made sites both have their advantages. Smartly Done Websites utilize template-based sites that have tons of unique features, and we offer customizations from our in-house designer. It helps combine the best of both worlds. This allows the best possible option for you—affordable websites, expertly done.

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Hi, I'm James George, the founder of Mind My Business NYC and author of this blog. I am an entrepreneur and internet marketer. My wish is that this website helps you to grow your business and achieve your goals.


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