Pre-made Template or Custom Website?

When you are in need of a website for your business, portfolio, or personal blog one major question comes to mind. Where do I start?

Two options are available for you to compare and contrast:

  1. Should you go with a free/purchased pre-made template?

  2. Should you go with a completely custom website?

Free/Purchased Pre-Made Template:

Before using a free/purchased pre-made template, see if any of these statements are true:

If any of these statements are true, a free/purchased pre-made template may be the best option for you. Start by writing down your needs for your website (ex. I need four pages, one for home, about, portfolio and contact). Next, search through a credible source for templates that will work for your website platform (ex. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.). If you don’t know what platform you are building on… ask your hosting company. Once you have found out which website platform you are using, search the internet for ‘WordPress themes’, or something similar with your platform in the search box.

Completely Custom Website:

Before hiring a web developer to build you a custom website, see if any of these statements are true:

If any of these statements are true, a completely custom website may be the best option for you. The next step to take, is to write out your ideas on what you need from your website (ex. I want my customers to be able to register online and shop through my website). Make a list of features that may be custom (social media integration – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, a gallery for images, custom email form, etc.). Once you have listed out everything that you can imagine consult with a local web developer and discuss your ideas and ask questions (ex. Do my needs require custom development or is there code already available for what I need? What do you suggest, that I need on my website?)

I have made my choice, now what?

If you chose a free/purchased pre-made template:

If you chose to go the completely custom website route:

Disclaimer: This is to be used only as a reference and guide toward choosing between a free/purchased pre-made template or a completely custom website. This information assumes you are using a website platform such as (WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla). This information was written to help the viewer that has little to no knowledge of web development. Please refer to your website hosting company for questions or more details on how to begin.

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