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The pros and cons of custom versus template websites

So, we’ve convinced you that you need a website, and now you are wondering whether to invest in a custom built site or if a template will suffice.

Or maybe you do not even know the difference – so we’ll start there: As the name suggest, custom-built sites are uniquely developed for your business. There will be no other like it and they are a must for bigger companies who need to stand out from their competitors. Templates, on the other hand are good for small businesses, with a corresponding small marketing budget. While they cost less and are quicker to build, there is no guarantee that your competitors won’t be using the same template.

So what are the pros and cons of each? Let’s start with template websites.

There are literally thousands of templates out there, using a number of CMSs – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, osCommerce, Magenta and more.

Put simply, a template is a pre-packaged design that can only be slightly modified – if at all. It defines the overall look of your website including the background, main navigation links, and masthead area. It may have some colour choices and some flexibility with regards to column widths and number of menu tabs. But there will be limits.

The pros are that it is cheaper than a custom-built website (templates range from free to about $100, and Direct Sites Online can modify them for a fraction of a custom-built site) and it can go from nothing to a finished product more quickly. The cons are they are, well, a template, which means they have a somewhat generic look and there is no guarantee that another website won’t be using the same exact template as you.

On to custom designs, which are created by scratch based on your preferences, specifications and design brief. The pro – and it’s a big one – is that they give your website a unique look and feel that matches your brand, while the cons are that they are more expensive and take longer than templates to go “live”.

Direct Sites Online would be happy to talk to you about your web requirements and come up with a solution that suits your needs and your budget. Contact us at or phone 02 9557 7623.


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Brands and Businesses we are proud to be working with…

  • What Clients Have Said……

    We used Direct Sites Online Services for domain registration/ website design and also email hosting.
    Since having our website designed & lauched, our work has increased and we have had many comments regarding the high standard and design of our website.
    They have been very helpful and professional from start to finish.
    We would recommend this company to people.

    Amber Driving School
  • We have been using the services of Direct Sites Online for well over 10 years and can recommend them highly. We are an Australian based national company, and have multiple web sites designed and marketed by them. We have always appreciated their attentive support, first rate web site designs and can confirm our business has grown significantly thanks to the SEO and online marketing consistently delivered by Direct Sites Online.

    Tony Bilos ASC Pty Ltd