Why Templates Can’t Replace Custom Websites

Co-Written with Randall

In the age of digital do-it-yourselves, it’s difficult to think of things the internet cannot help you with. Want to bake a soufflé? Repair a microwave?  Build a spaceship? The internet has got you covered.

So naturally, it would make sense that do-it-yourself website building templates—like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly—are all the rage. Sure, they might save you time and money in the short run. But to have a truly effective and functional website experience, it is better to leave it to the professionals.

Pros of Website Templates (Hey, we gotta throw them a bone)

Any good argument requires both sides of a story, so we’ll start out by listing, yes, the benefits of using website templates. Because there are certainly benefits to them–the distinction merely comes down to whether you are looking for short term or long term success.

  • Templates are a good option for starting your business’s website during the intermediary stage, before shifting to a full-blown website launch. If you are a startup, for instance, and just need something out there for people to reference, templates may be the way to go.
  • Templates are ideal for small-scale, personal needs, such as wedding sites, simple self-hosted shops, or blogging.
  • Your site isn’t something that needs high traffic, but still needs to exist.
  • Templates are very easy to set up on your own. Most of the time, all you need are a few pictures and solid content to get your site up and running.

Cons of Website Templates (Now, we’ll take the bone away)

Custom Design is Built by Experts

There is so, so much more to an excellent website than beautiful illustrations and flashy animations. While website templates don’t lack the “pretty” factor, they absolutely cannot build a website to your exact specifications.

  • Does a website template, or the person using the template, understand how to craft a seamless user experience?
  • Does it know how to structure a visual hierarchy and page flow that will draw users in?
  • Does it have the ability to make your site responsive? (If it does, would you know how to prioritize your content?)

With custom built designs, you are guaranteed to have a team of designers and developers who combine best practices and years of expertise to create you the most ideal website for your business’s needs. (For more you-get-what-you-pay-for musings, check out a past blog about outsourcing design and development.)

Custom Design Keeps You, and Your Brand, in Mind

The difference between a website template and a custom built website is the difference between a custom tailored suit and a hand-me-down.

You want a website that intimately incorporates your branding, business strategies, brand requirements, and goals? You should give a custom website serious consideration.

At the end of the day, a website template is not making organic, carefully considered decisions—it’s making a catch-all answer in attempt to fit your needs. It will opt for the most general solution to a problem, which may force you to spend more time trying to figure out how to warp the limitations of the template to do the exact task you want.

When we build sites for our clients, we aren’t just taking guesses as to what you’ll need and where it should exist. We work with you to make sure all the website’s functionality is implemented properly.

Custom Design Provides Tailored Support

If you’re experiencing trouble with your website, who are you going to call? (No, not the Ghostbusters.)

Would you rather speak to a website expert who can walk you through the problem in detail? Or would you want to go to an online support center where you may or may not get the answer to your question?

Web agencies, like WDG, provide custom support for your custom website. We will not ask how it works, we make sure that it works.

Custom Design Can Create Brand New Functions

Your website is a reflection of who you and your business are. This means that your website should grow with you, not limit you. Some templates, like Wix, will not let you change the look and feel of your template without you building out an entire new website, once you have made the final template selection.

With custom design, our experienced developers are capable of creating anything that can be imagined.

(Besides making great websites, we’ve also built unique plugins and specially built technology to fulfill the needs of our clients.)


Need a feature for your site, but it isn’t available to buy? Do you have a wild, intricate product that runs on the internet that’s never been done before? If you can dream it, we can build it.

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