The debate between templates and custom built websites can be an extensive one since both have their pros and cons.

If you are thinking about creating a digital platform for your business or launching an eCommerce-based startup, somewhere down the road you will find yourself pondering over whether you should opt for a custom built website or simply rely on the already present templates that suit your preferences.

In this article we will look at the pros and cons of using both, in an attempt to facilitate your decision-making process.

Themed Websites

Themes are a great cost-effective option if your business needs a basic WordPress website. They provide the code and overall layout for a website and it’s ready for customising to your company branding. Websites requiring a ton of customised features might be better served with a fully custom coded site.

WordPress Themed Websites should cost between £300-£600 depending on the price of the theme itself, and if web hosting is included or not.

Very often site owners will simply go to a WordPress site and purchase one of their built-in templates that caters to the purpose of their business. An alternative to this is services like Wix that allow you to choose from different themes and build your website within the framework of the theme that you’ve selected. These themes and templates come with built-in features which can prevent you from giving your website a more personalised touch.

Using templates is a faster and cheaper solution as they have a shorter development time. There is a wide variety of templates that you can choose from so there are chances of you finding a template that goes along with your liking.

However, there are certain drawbacks of using templates. The final layout of your website won’t have a unique touch as other websites might also be using the same template as you. The customisation feature in built-in templates is very limited and attempting to reformat the code could end up in making your website slower and weigh it down.

There is also the issue of compatibility because the template you choose might not always be adaptable to different devices or search engine friendly. Templates run on a structured system which makes it almost impossible to make any technological advancements for your website. Overall, using a template is a quick but inflexible solution due to the rigid nature of the built-in design.

Custom Built Websites

Depending on your budget, bespoke websites are better, but there are some really good premium themes available that you can use as a base.

Custom built websites are completed by a web design specialist. They build the exact website you want, including specific design and integrated features. Bespoke builds are great if your business needs a website with advanced functionality and lots of custom code. The website wireframe and pages are designed, then the unique pages are coded into WordPress template files using HTML, CSS and php. Custom websites are more expensive and take longer to create than WordPress themed websites.

An example 5 page custom built website and blog should cost between £700-£1500+ depending on lots of things including what functions are required, how much custom code is needed, and if web hosting is included or not.

Custom built websites are a result of putting together a stream of ideas and thoughts and different people coming together to form a team that ends up on the same page about the layout of the site. This means deciding and debating over your target audience, the content of your website and other features that will enhance user experience and boost traffic.

Unlike templates, custom built websites give the final product a very unique and personalised touch. Developers are able to optimise the website through different steps of website development, resulting in a much more superior and easier to use website with higher search engine rankings.

A major benefit of using custom-built websites is that they hand over control, of the entire development process, to the website developer. This means that the purpose of your business can be incorporated into the final theme which will then go hand-in-hand with your branding. Custom building your website means that you can design your site in such a way that it caters to all your future updating needs without creating any hassles. Custom built websites are usually more search-engine friendly and are more adaptable on different devices.

However, custom built websites will cost you more than buying a template and the process of building the website will take up a larger chunk of your time and you will come across various errors and problems that you will have to resolve. However, you can always leave the developing part to professionals and in the long run custom-built websites prove to be more efficient for the growth of your business.


Despite the sophistications and advancements in templates and the developments that are being made to simplify the process of custom-building your websites, both the options have their drawbacks. However, opting for custom-built websites correlates with stronger branding and is a more sensible solution if you’re looking for a long-term solution.

Your website is a very powerful tool for the marketing of your business; therefore, it is essential that whether you choose templates or custom built websites, your final result should optimise the functioning of your business. We would advise you to not back down from the high investment costs that come alongside custom built websites as they usually yield more profits.

Revotion believe a digitally focused business, professional brand identity and an optimised, mobile-first website promotes a strong digital footprint, and a solid foundation on which your business can thrive. Don’t know where to start? Talk to us today!

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