4 Reasons to Design Your Website from Scratch
Are you thinking about using a template to build your website? Maybe you’ve found a nice template online and you really like the vibe. Or, perhaps you’re still looking for the perfect template and you’re gathering ideas for inspiration.
Website templates can be useful, but they come with limitations that could be a deal-breaker for your business.
No matter where you are in the design process, if you’re looking for a template, here are four reasons to consider a custom design instead.
1. Custom designs allow for a full brand expression
When you start designing a website with an existing template, you have to adapt your content to fit that design. Since every brand has unique needs for content placement, starting with an existing design limits your ability to fully express your brand through your website. On the other hand, creating a design from scratch gives you infinite possibilities.
For instance, Organic Web Design explains that starting with your own concept allows you to create a site that is an organic expression of your brand’s unique identity and value. That’s important because when your site fully expresses your brand, you’ll have an easier time generating leads and sales.
2. Filling in content areas doesn’t truly customize a design
You might be under the impression that once you buy a template, you can customize that template by adding your own content in the designated content areas. While this can technically be considered customization of the text, it isn’t true customization. You’re only customizing within the boundaries of the template.
Templates have predefined content areas that consist of a specific shape and size. Even when those content areas automatically expand and contract, it’s still a limitation.
There is no one-size-fits-all way to arrange content on a website. One brand might need a grid consisting of 3 rows and 2 columns, while another might need a single row on top of four columns of content.
Other brands might have entirely different needs for content area placement.
3. Some visual editors make customizing a template challenging
You can customize a template to a degree when it’s designed to be compatible with certain visual editors. For example, there are visual editors that can give you significant control over how your pages are laid out. However, it’s easier said than done.
Although visual editors (also called WYSIWYG editors) were created to make it easy to edit content without any technical knowledge, they can actually complicate the process. They also limit functionality.
Even if you don’t care about functionality and you just want a simple website, you’ll probably find these editors frustrating. For instance, there is often a steep learning curve just to set up content blocks and add content. As you create more content, the visual editing interface will become increasingly complex. Sometimes it can take several clicks just to access one block of content.
Why are most visual editors so complex? The features need to account for every possible combination of content every website owner might possibly want. That means you have to click through all the possibilities until you find the layout options you want to use. That’s time-consuming and tedious.
When a designer builds your website from scratch, they’ll design your content blocks exactly to your specifications so you don’t have to struggle with a complex page editor. Your designer will also set you up with a much simpler editing system that gives you direct and easy access to your content.
4. Free website builders are too cookie-cutter
The last thing you want is a cookie-cutter website. Your website needs to stand out from the crowd. If you’re using a free website builder like Wix, your website will look like every other website made on the same platform.
While paid templates can look cookie-cutter, a website made with a free web builder is even more identifiable as a template. Although some sites can look good at first glance, if you look closely, the designs all look like small variations of one another.
A custom design will give you exactly what you want. There’s no better reason to build your website from scratch than getting exactly what you want. Whether you’re building a personal or business website, a custom design from scratch will support your goals much better than a template.
If you haven’t consulted with a designer yet, start calling around and looking at portfolios. No matter your budget, you can find a designer to work with your needs.