Template vs Custom Website Design

Most business owners wonder, why hire a web designer when they can just purchase a website template or build it on WIX. You might also be wondering why you should pay a website developer to build a website based on a ready-made template. Well, all your questions and anxiety as a business owner will be answered in this blog!

Template-Based Website Design

Templated website design is where a website developer/agency will buy and usually buy a template on your behalf. Usually, most agencies will get a whole list of templates and options for you to choose one that suits and fits your brand.

At KBA Web, we send 5 templates at a time until you find that template that you like! So, if you don’t like the first 5, we send we’ll send another round of 5 templates until we find a template you like!

We recommend that you should hire a developer for templated website design instead of doing it yourself. This is because a templated website will still take a considerable amount of time to customize the template to your brand and need. There’s also a steep learning curve with doing simple things like changing colours, margins, CTAs, content management and other additional features on your website.


  • Templated website design is usually quite fast and can even sometimes be done in a couple business days
  • Templated website design takes a lot less time to plan and design the site therefore is usually quite inexpensive


  • Templates usually have a lot of plugins and unused code that will slow down your website’s loading speed.
  • Templated websites have slow loading speeds, poor browser compatibility and other factors that mean that it will be harder for your website to rank for competitive keywords for SEO.
  • You can’t customize a Template (other than colours and logos) for your brand, and you can’t build a custom strategy for important things like conversions and sales.
  • A templated website is bought in scale by thousands of people. This means that it will result in a generic-looking website and won’t be as user-friendly as a custom build.
  • Templated website design is less secure because it’s because the same template is being used by thousands and you have less control over the design, plugins, third-party software etc.

Custom Website Design

an illustration of a custom web design

Custom website design and development is usually where the developer will build a custom build from scratch or a bare minimum template depending on the platform being used. At KBA Web, we give the option to the client to choose between WordPress and HTML website development and you can learn more about the difference at – WordPress vs HTML Website Development Difference.


  • Custom design solutions don’t use third-party plugins and tools and the code is quite clean.
  • Custom design solutions are usually more user-friendly and actions and layouts are planned.
  • Custom website design is built for SEO & conversions.
  • You get to customize the website with your own ideas and values that align with your vision and your brand.
  • A custom web design solution is a lot more secure than a templated solution.


  • Custom website design takes time in the planning, strategy and design aspects. This obviously means that it will take more time to build it.
  • Because the website takes more time and experience to build a custom website; it is usually very expensive.

Website Design Factors

Here are some factors and questions you should think about and ask yourself before deciding which solution is right for you.

web designfactors illustrations


Before you decide which solution is best for you figure out how urgent this website is and how long you can wait for it to be built. Ask yourself when you need this website built and how urgent is it. Can you wait 1, 2, 3 months or longer or do you need the website next week? If it’s urgent, then we’d recommend that you do a templated design first and if you need a custom design solution then that can be made while the templated version is live.


If you’re a small local business being branded or unique may not matter to you. But if you’re a medium or large corporation with more than a couple of staff and multiple different locations then you should probably go with a custom solution. When you’re a medium or big-sized company, you probably what to put your colours and brand forth and you’d need something that stands out from the rest of the competition. You need something that also fits with your brand.


Are you a small local business, a Fortune 500 company or somewhere in between? Be realistic here, there’s no need to spend more than what’s required. Ask yourself how much are you willing to spend on the site to get it running and how much upside will there be with this project. If you’re a Fortune 500 company owner and your conversions increase by 10%, then that could result in the MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) spiking by tens of millions of dollars. If you’re a small local hot dog stand, then a 10% conversion increase may mean an additional couple of bucks a month.

Website Customization

How much design customization do you actually need and how often will you be updating this website? Just like how cars need regular repairs and inspects, websites need to be taken care of and regularly updated. Keep in mind, just like how a Lamborghini will usually have a higher maintenance cost than a 2012 Toyota; bigger websites will need to be taken care of more and will need to be updated and checked regularly.

If you’re from a bigger company and are going to update the site more frequently then you need more customization for your website so these updates and content updates can be done efficiently and quickly. If you’re a bigger company a template probably won’t really align with your brand or your views.


Security is something that is overlooked when talking about the debate between templated vs custom design. A template is used by thousands of different companies usually on WordPress and has a lot of third-party plugins and software. This means that templates tend to have more vulnerabilities. A small error or vulnerability can cost large corporations tens of millions of dollars!

Which Solution Is Right For You?

You should consider and take into account all of the factors above before you decide which solution is right. It might also be best if you let a Web developer or agency decide which solution is better as they have more experience in the field and will usually make a better decision. Ask yourself are a small local business or a large corporation, what’s your budget and how urgent is this website?

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