We get it. Templates save money and time. Right? But do they really? Let’s look a bit harder.
Isn’t the best way to build a website in 2017 driven by determining FIRST what content you need to show and how you need to show it? Should all designs start with that strategy in mind? Of course! So trying to cram your content into predefined areas doesn’t make much sense.
Your website is who you are online. It’s your brand’s story, and it’s where impressions are created. But before we make recommendations let’s consider a few reasons why templates are just an awful idea to start to build your brand upon.
Not unique. They are often reused and customers can smell that canned look a mile away. The Risk? A Poor impression.
Space driven, not content driven. Once you buy a template you must try to cram your info into predefined areas. Fail.
Extremely hard to customize. Trust me on this. You are jumping into spaghetti code here.
A hacker’s dream. More templates are hacked - especially WordPress - than any other type of site.
They are SLOWWWWWWW. Templates are crammed with code you don’t need and will never use because they are trying to serve all markets. The result: sites that are 3-10x slower than the sites built from a solid platform just for your brand.
Nightmare security updates. Each month Drupal and WordPress have security updates, and installing these into a theme all crammed with code is a recipe for disaster and huge tech support costs.
No technical support. Who’s going to pay for your 100 lost hours of time for something you paid $20 for?
So, what are your options for a website for a new business or an established business looking to improve their online presence?
Build a custom website. Start with a strategy. Build it for mobile first, then desktop. This takes time and obviously costs more money, but it is the best way to create a unique experience and make an impact on your market. You can learn more about custom websites here: http://www.imageworkscreative.com/content/custom-web-design
Find a company that has its own framework. Instead of using a template, a framework uses code that is reusable without being pre-designed. It’s essentially formless. You can still design your site around YOUR content and not stuff it into predefined areas. Is it more restricting than a full custom site? Yep. But it’s still a great option when you can’t budget for a full custom site. Here is some more info about the framework we have built at Imageworks: http://www.imageworkscreative.com/content/start-template
As always feel free to call or email with questions, or you can leave a comment, praise, rant below!
Scott MargenauCXO Imageworks Creative