If you’re thinking about launching a new website or redesigning your current site, you might be tempted to try to save a few bucks by using a free or cheap template design. You can download these pre-designed websites, plug in your content and images, and have a new website up all without paying a web designer. Sounds great, right?
Well, while there might be some small benefits to using a web template (I admit it, I’ve used them), there are several drawbacks that might make you think twice about going this route. Here are 5 good reasons not to use a template design.
- Your template has to be customized anyway—Most templates aren’t ready to be used right out of the box. They require some tweaking to fit your unique design needs. And guess what that means? It means you either better know a good deal about web design and coding or you’re going to have to hire a designer anyway.
- Templates aren’t great for branding—Your website plays an important role in your overall branding efforts, and if you’re using a generic design, you’re going to have a difficult time creating a recognizable brand online. You’re much better off creating a design from scratch that captures the look of your brand.
- Templates often have restrictions—You don’t have a lot of freedom with web templates. Not only is it often incredibly difficult to tweak the template to fit your needs, but there are also licensing agreements with the template designer that govern how you can use the website. You’ll also be required to link back to the template designer’s website somewhere on your own website.
- Others are using the same template—You’re not the only one downloading that fancy new website template. Chances are, hundreds or thousands of others are downloading that template too. And what are your customers going to think when they see you have the same generic design that they’ve seen time and time again?
- Most templates are terrible for SEO—Many templates just aren’t designed with SEO in mind. A lot of template designers aren’t familiar with SEO best practices, so you could end up with a website that’s difficult for search spiders to crawl and rank.
Have you ever used a template design? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the replies.