If you’re thinking about launching a new business or looking to give your existing company website a fresh lick of paint, you may be tempted to use a premade theme rather than pay for a web developer to create something new.
For sites that are built on popular content management systems like WordPress and Joomla, finding an attractive premade template is easy – and in many cases, free. Sites like the WordPress themes repository and ThemeForest mean that you can create a professional-looking website in no time at all, but there are drawbacks to this method.
Below, we’ve put together five reasons why you should avoid using web design templates for your business, and instead look for a custom web development solution that sets you apart.
Your design won’t be unique
Perhaps the most obvious reason why businesses should steer clear of premade templates is that the designs offered are never unique.
WordPress theme developers make their money by selling their theme at a low cost and in bulk, so the chances are that there’ll be hundreds, if not thousands, of other websites donning the same design as yours, which means your website will not stand out from the competition and may even look a little samey and familiar to some users.
Avada, for example, is a WordPress theme developed by a company called ThemeFusion. The theme has been purchased and installed more than 400,000 times, meaning there are at least 400,000 websites across the internet using the same template. If you’ve got the same design as a competitor, or a theme used by thousands, potential customers won’t remember your brand.
Your site won’t be optimised
One of the most important tasks for a web developer is to create a template that has been properly optimised for the business. Search engine optimisation has never been more important, especially when you consider that an incredible 95% of all web traffic goes to the top ten results on a Google search.
If you decide to use a generic template that hasn’t been correctly optimised for your business, then you’ll struggle to reach the first page of Google and enjoy organic traffic.
Of course, once you’ve installed a premade theme, you can use plugins to improve your search engine optimisation, like Yoast on WordPress, for example.
But if you build a template from the ground up, you’ll be able to incorporate all of the necessary optimisations that will set you apart from your competitors, and allow you to rank ahead of them and attract more Google traffic.
They’re hard to customise
Another reason why premade templates should be avoided is that they’re hard to customise and adapt to your business.
Unlike a custom web template, a premade theme is designed to appeal to as many web designers and businesses as possible, on mass, meaning that features you might need for your business won’t be included out of the box.
Say you run a beauty salon and want to add a booking form on your homepage – with a premade template, it may be hard, nigh on impossible, to include one that matches the template and provides the necessary functionality.
Colours and fonts can also be hard to change on premade themes.
If you’ve already established a brand and you have colours, fonts and brand assets that you’d like to incorporate into a new website design, then you’ll struggle when using a premade theme.
You’ll have to go into the theme’s CSS and PHP files, and if you’re not a developer, you’ll likely make mistakes or break the theme, and have to go back to the drawing board after paying for a template license.
You won’t receive aftercare
When you work with a web developer, you’ll be given a personal contact who you can reach out to down the line, when you need to request changes or new features on your website.
When you use a premade template, that level of aftercare simply isn’t possible – you’ll either have to do everything on your own or pay a freelance developer to take on your project and make changes.
Indeed, some web designers offer a retainer package, where customers can request as many changes to their website as they’d like for a set monthly fee.
Developers also ensure websites are kept up to date and secured using the latest software versions, plugins and more, whereas, with a premade template, you may have to pay to continue to receive updates to your theme.
If you don’t, your theme version could become incompatible with future versions of your content management system, or even be vulnerable to cyber attacks if you’re using outdated tech.
It shows a lack of care
In today’s competitive digital world, standing out from the crowd and offering something truly unique is important. And for ecommerce businesses, in particular, having a truly engaging and useful website is critical to success.
If you’re using a premade template and haven’t bothered to customise it to suit your brand identity, then customers will likely question just how serious you are about your business.
Remember that your website is the shopfront of your business online – if you don’t have an eye-catching window display, so to speak, nobody will want to buy from you.
Investing in a custom design for your business instead shows that you’re passionate about your brand, want to deliver great user experience, and take pride in your appearance as a business.
At Zudu, our award-winning developers offer high ROI web design, delivering stunning websites with ground-breaking functionality that you won’t be able to find as part of a premade template.
To find out more about what we do, or to see some of our web beautiful development projects in action, don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on +44 (0) 1382 690 080. Alternatively, click here to drop us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.