Pros and cons: building a website on a template

Asya Yasker
Asya Yasker
5 min read

Before the website gets into developers` hands, it`s important to choose its design. There are several ways, the most popular - individual design or template.

Before the website gets into developers` hands, it`s important to choose its design. There are several ways, the most popular - individual design or template. As usual, there isn`t definitely a good or bad solution - both of them have pros and cons. To choose a proper variant, you should start from scratch - learn how the website is built and then you`ll see all the advantages and disadvantages.

Almost all the websites go through the following stages:

  • development and approval of page prototypes;
  • development and approval of page layouts with considering recommended UI specialists;
  • layout layout;
  • integration of layout on the web platform;
  • implementation of the logic of the resource.

A template contains ready-made pages that you simply add to a website. Good ones also have the right UI and look attractive. If you can choose a quality template, you just skip the first three stages.

If it`s necessary, in CMS you can buy a theme that makes it real to skip the fourth stage. There are specialized themes that enable skipping the fifth step.

The features of working with templates.

Each tool has features. Most of all, templates have a pretty common and simple design that is oriented at planned functionality (depending on if it`ll be a landing, online shop or corporate portal). Moreover, there is a high probability that the chosen product is used on other resources.

Pros of building a website on a template:

  • reduction of development time;
  • a good web template contains well-developed UX;
  • affordable price, it doesn't matter how much it costs to make a website according to a template - in any case, the amount will be lower than when creating a design from scratch;
  • standard solutions are used that are familiar to the user (basket animation, entrance to your personal account);
  • having a ready-made set of elements, you can make small changes and get a unique design;
  • A template site can have excellent search engine optimization.

Cons of building a website on a template:

  • there is a possibility that there will be another project on the Internet based on the same layout;
  • a bad template may contain hidden ads, links to third-party resources (relevant for resources that allow you to download paid layouts for free);
  • layout can be done without taking into account the used "engine";
  • obsolete developments may not take into account current trends in layout optimization, use obsolete JS, CSS libraries and frameworks;
  • possible problems with the addition of corporate identity.

Well, so why do you need a unique web design?

Unique web design is fully developed for a specific customer. This allows you to work out all the little things and achieve full compliance with the corporate style. Implement only the functionality that is needed for a specific project. Make the appearance of the platform recognizable, special.

Pros of unique web design:

  • uniqueness - there is no second web portal of the same kind on the Internet (which is impossible if you create a site using templates);
  • all the wishes of the customer regarding the location and size of the elements on the page, animation, colour, font;
  • originally designed to follow the corporate style;
  • changes were made according to the recommendations of the UX-designer, SE-specialist and content manager;
  • layout is optimized as much as possible; modern technologies are used to ensure fast page loading;
  • requirements of the CMS or framework used in the future are taken into account.

Cons of unique web design:

  • cost - several specialists are concentrated on the project, so ordering a website according to the template will always be cheaper because you only need to "screw" it onto the CMS and fill it up;
  • timing - the development and coordination of each aspect takes time;
  • unobvious problems may appear in UI / UX or bugs that can only be detected when testing on real users.

So what should you choose depending on a case?

It`s worth to build an online shop on the template if you`re limited in budget or deadlines. Current templates look nice and optimized for search engines. It`s quite easy to correct them and get the required product: change header, logo, footer. Serious web sites provide information on how many times a particular product has been sold, and for a fee they can even remove it from the sale, increasing the uniqueness of the design.

If there are special requirements or the status does not allow the use of ready-made solutions (for example, BMW will order only a unique design, in compliance with the corporate style), the development of a unique design cannot be avoided. Do not forget that in this case you can analyze the competitors' web services and highlight the best working solutions or collect references from any pretty platforms. You can also add to the website everything that is on the Internet - the main thing is to evaluate the relevance of decisions and do not forget about the features of your target audience.

Content of the article


A web template is not universal evil. It is always important to correlate the pros and cons, choose the tool that best suits the situation - you can create an online store or website on MODx with a non-unique design if you are running out of time, there is no sufficient budget or need for a unique product.

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