Pros and Cons: create a website from a ready-made template

Olya Ratinova
Olya Ratinova UX/UI Unit Lead
4 min read

Before the programmers start to develop the site, they need to decide on the design. There are several options, the main ones - individual and template design. As always, there are no clear good or bad decisions - they both have advantages and disadvantages. To choose the right option for a particular situation, you need to start from the beginning - to understand the development of the site, and then - to learn all the pros and cons of each option.

Almost any site goes through the following steps:

  • development and approval of page prototypes;
  • development and approval of page layouts, taking into account the recommendations of the UI specialist;
  • make-up of layouts;
  • integration of the layout into the web platform;
  • implementation of the resource logic.

The template contains ready-made pages, which you just need to add to the site. Good options, in addition to this, have an elaborate UI and look stylish 😜. If a person was able to choose a quality web template, he skips three steps at once, which saves quite a lot of time.

If necessary, for popular CMS (for example, if the site is on Wordpress) you can find and purchase a ready-made theme, which will allow you to skip at least the fourth step. There are also specialized themes - their use, with some restrictions, will allow you to skip the fifth step.

Features of working with templates

Any tool has its own characteristics - templates, most often, have a fairly common and simple design, focused on the planned functionality (will it be a landing page, online store or corporate portal). In addition, there is a high probability that the selected product is used on any other web resources.

The benefits of using templates to design a website:

  • reduced development time;
  • a good web-template contains an elaborate UX;
  • affordable price, no matter how much it costs to make a website on the template - in any case, the amount will be lower than when creating a design from scratch;
  • used standard solutions that are familiar to the user (cart animation, login);
  • having a ready-made set of elements, you can make small changes and get an unique design;
  • template sites can have excellent optimization for search engines.

The disadvantages of creating a website from a ready-made template:

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

Pros and Cons: create a website from a ready-made template

Why custom design when templates are so good?

A unique web design is fully developed for a specific customer. This allows you to work out all the details 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 and special.

The benefits of custom design:

  • uniqueness - there is no second such web portal on the Internet (which is impossible, if you create a website based on templates);
  • all the wishes of the customer about the location and size of the elements on the page, animation, color, font are taken into account;
  • initially designed to follow the corporate style;
  • changes were made according to the recommendations of the UX-designer, SEO-specialist and content manager;
  • layout is maximally optimized, modern technologies are used, which provide fast loading of pages;
  • the requirements of the CMS or framework used in the future are taken into account.

Disadvantages of custom design:

  • cost - several specialists are focused on the project, so order a website on a template will always be cheaper, because it only needs to be integrated to the CMS and filled;
  • timing - the development and coordination of each aspect takes time;
  • there may be unobvious problems in the UI / UX or bugs that can be identified only when tested on real users.

Pros and Cons: create a website from a ready-made template - 1

When it is advisable to use templates, and when you can not do without a custom design?

It is quite justified and reasonable to order a website for the online store on the template, if there are restrictions in the form of tight deadlines or a modest budget ☝️. Modern web templates look good, and even optimized for search engines. It is easy enough to make adjustments in them, resulting in a more suitable product - change the website header, logo, footer. Serious exchangers provide information about how many times a particular product was sold, and for an additional pay they can even remove it from sale, increasing the uniqueness of the design.

If there are special requirements or status does not allow the use of ready-made solutions (for example, BMW will order a unique design, respecting the corporate style), the development of a unique design can not be avoided. It should not be forgotten that in this case you can analyze the web services of your competitors and highlight the best working solutions or collect references from any sympathetic platforms. It is also possible to add to a website everything that is on the Internet - the main thing is to assess the relevance of solutions and not to forget about the characteristics of your target audience.


A web template is not a universal evil. It is always important to correlate the pros and cons, choose a tool that best suits the situation - you can create an online store or website on modx with a non-unique design, if deadlines are tight, there is not enough budget or the need for a unique product.

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