Weighing the Pros and Cons of Templated Websites

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Ever since the inception of the web, many individuals and organizations have made it their ultimate goal to create a website. After all, it allows you to gain traction, develop your portfolio, or promote your services. But as you may already know, building a website isn’t something you can pull off within a few days, especially if you’re not an expert at web development and design. On the bright side, there are several ways to create a website. And one particular method that you’ll often hear about from other people in your industry is the use of templated websites.

What Are Templated Websites?

Templated websites are pre-made sites that one can purchase or get for free. Afterward, they’ll gain all rights to that template. They can keep it as is or change a few things here and there, such as the color palette or the theme. They’re also known for their numerous benefits, so naturally, many individuals and organizations prefer such a method. But if you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably heard that custom websites are the way to go. You’ll even find agencies that design custom sites like Smartly Done. For more information about this, you can visit this site. This may lead you to wonder whether you should build a website from templates or make one from scratch. To answer that question, you should first weigh the pros and cons of templated websites, and that’s where this article comes in handy. It might be best to start with the pros.

Pros Of Templated Websites

You may already know that templated websites bring numerous benefits, but it’s still important to understand them and how they can affect website creation. That way, you’ll know whether it’s true for you. On that note, here are the pros of templated websites:

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#1 It’s The Fastest Way Of Building A Website

If you’re like any other website creator, it’ll probably take 14 weeks of your time, at a minimum, to build a website from scratch. That doesn’t include writing the content or populating the site. On the other hand, if you were to use a template, it’d take at most 100 hours. That’s barely four days. In short, the difference in time between the two methods is quite vast. This would explain why experts hold templated websites in high regard as the fastest way of building a website.

#2 Updates And Support Is Always Available

One of the main struggles with managing a website is regularly updating the plugins and other site elements. That way, you can minimize the occurrence of bugs and errors. Usually, you need to keep the website up-to-date by yourself, but if you’re using a template, the creator should administer updates. This will save you time and give you peace of mind. Furthermore, if you encounter issues with the templated website, you can always rely on the creator or their staff to provide the corresponding solutions.

#3 You Can Find Free Templated Websites

Templated websites usually cost around USD$100, which is relatively cheap, considering the elements that come with them. But if you’re tight on budget, you can also use free templates. Yes, there are free templated websites if you aren’t aware. They may be a bit lackluster regarding features, but they should still be decent enough for a starter website. In short, you can build a website without spending any money.

#4 Templates Are Compatible With Most Plugins

One of the essential steps of web development is the installation of plugins. A plugin is a piece of software or program that adds to the functionality of your website or web browser. Typically, when installing plugins, you must ensure your site is compatible and optimize the website. However, in the case of templated websites, that’s often not necessary since most templates are compatible with all sorts of plugins. This would save you the hassle of optimizing your website, making it suitable for plugin installation.

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#5 It Doesn’t Take A Coding Expert To Master

In the early 2000s, if one wants to create a website, they’ll have first to become an expert at coding or programming. That’s because before, there weren’t any website builders. So, if you want to create a website, you have to be quite proficient in coding, and you have to do the following steps:

  • Select and download a programming language, HTML/HTML5.
  • Create your Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
  • Build the website with coding.
  • Register the domain name.
  • Select a web hosting provider.
  • Install plugins by adding their codes.
  • Add the content.

As you can see, it was quite a hassle back in the day. However, times have changed. With the help of templated websites, you no longer have to spend thousands of dollars and several months learning web design and development. All you have to do is read the instructions, and you should be all good. Of course, it still takes skills to create a decent site, even with a templated website. But compared to the previous methodology, it’s a piece of cake.

#6 There Are Countless Options You Can Choose From

When looking for a template, you’ll often hear about how using a template means your site would look like everyone else’s. While that statement has some truth, it’s not entirely true. With the right resource, you should be able to find hundreds or even thousands of templates. Hence, you don’t necessarily have to build a website from a template everyone already uses. But remember, not every templated website uses the same markup language or framework. Here’s a closer look at what these languages or frameworks are:

  • Bootstrap
  • WordPress
  • HTML5
  • Adobe Muse

Choosing the type of template that works best for your purpose is paramount. For example, WordPress templates are often easy to deal with. On the other hand, templated websites using Bootstrap are easier to be responsive or mobile-friendly.

Cons Of Templated Websites

While templated websites bring many benefits, it still has flaws. That’s precisely why there are still individuals that create websites from scratch. Therefore, if you don’t want to regret your decision, you should first grasp the disadvantages of using templated websites. Below are a few examples of these disadvantages:

#1 Templated Websites Are Often Unresponsive

Regarding web development, responsive means the web pages are presented nicely on various devices. For example, you open a site on your desktop. The images should be pretty significant. But if you open the site on a different device, say, a 6-inch phone, the photos should adjust to the device’s size and become smaller. If it’s significant as how it is on a desktop, then it’s not responsive. That’s often the case for templated websites, which typically ruin the user experience.

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#2 Scaling Would Prove To Be Difficult

Now and then, website owners update their sites whenever their business or organization grows. For example, if a startup creates a website, it’d usually consist of the following:

  • Homepage
  • About page
  • Contact page
  • Products/Services page
  • FAQs page

However, once it gains traction, it’ll need additional pages, such as a page dedicated to blogs or one that contains testimonials. Unfortunately, adding these pages or modifying the site with a templated website is challenging. Scaling would be complex, so business owners often prefer making the website from scratch, not a template.

#3 Functionalities Are Limited

When creating a website, you must add functionalities to help your users within your site. You can do this by modifying the website’s code and inserting the program for each function. Examples of functionalities that website creators commonly add include:

  • Forms
  • Search
  • Social sharing
  • Gallery
  • Filter

If you visit numerous websites regularly, you’ve probably only seen a handful of websites with numerous functionalities like the ones above. That’s because while templated websites are compatible with most plugins, the number of free plugins is limited. If you want a specific function, you must code it into the site, and you can’t do that with a template.

#4 You’ll Struggle With Organic SEO

Not many people know this, but a piece of code within the website tells a search engine whether the site is unique and made from scratch or using a template. And as you may have guessed, search engines rank those unique much higher than those byproducts of templated websites.

#5 The Outcome Is Usually Unoriginal

While it’s true that there are numerous options for a template, considering the number of websites nowadays, you should expect that you’re using a template that’s already been used by others. In short, the result of the web creation process is usually unoriginal and tends to gain much less traction than those made from an original idea.

Final Words

Many people often hail templated websites as the easiest and most efficient way of building a website. If you’ve been paying attention to this article, you should know where those people come from. However, it should also occur to you that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution like what most people make it out to be. It also has its flaws. Nevertheless, with this article, you should be able to decide whether templated websites suit your goal.

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