Template-based vs. Custom Development

14 Dec 2019

#Product Design

#Startup Library

#Versus Article

#Web Development

Template or custom platform? When it comes to web development, this question must be answered in the early stages to ensure that the end product will meet a client’s expectations.

A custom website is developed from scratch — everything from architecture and structure to graphics and design is unique and crafted specifically for the case. Template-based platforms, as you can guess from its name, are built on a pre-existing template — layout — and include a limited set of functions.

It’s crucial to determine which one is the right choice to fulfill specific business needs. Both template-based and custom development has its benefits:

Market competitiveness

In today’s oversaturated market users have the right to be picky: according to stats, your website has only 10 seconds to impress users and capture their attention or they will leave. So distinguishing yourself from competitors is a matter of survival. Template solution doesn’t provide such a level of uniqueness and user-friendliness as a custom-designed one.

Custom platforms are crafted to promote your products or services and increase your brand awareness. They are built specifically for your target audience ensuring top-notch user experience.

“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”
― Paul Cookson

Development timeframes

Sometimes it’s important to launch a product as early as possible and time to market becomes the most important factor for a client. In this case template-based development is a solution, as it requires significantly shorter time than a custom one.

But the extra time needed for custom platform allows providing a unique solution with functionality requirements tailored for client’s needs.


Here comes perhaps the most important factor in determining which solution is better for the client. The more complex and unique set of functions a client wants, the more custom design makes sense. On the contrary, if a modest online presence is needed, a template-based platform is just enough.

Marketing and SEO

Template-based solutions offer very little when it comes to SEO optimization. Custom development allows building SEO components into the website’s architecture. It helps to optimize content, increase traffic and brand awareness.

Summing up

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to development. Template-based development requires less time and efforts while custom development provides a website tailored solely for your business needs and unique design that helps your brand to stand out of a crowd. Nowadays a lot of services offer customizable templates but still unique products need a unique approach.

Take into account all the above-mentioned criteria and choose the solution most optimal for your specific business needs.

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