website template design

Custom Website Design vs. Website Template: Which is Best for Your Business?

Website Tips

Unsurprisingly, I get this question a lot.

Should I use a website template, or should I have my website designed for me?

(If it surprises you that I got this question – hi, I’m Amy, I make websites)

And you know I love a behind-the-scenes look at my process, so here you go: exactly how I help guide people through this decision for their business!

Do I need a website for my business?

Long story short: Yes.

Long story long: Scroll.

Having a website does several things for your business, and I recommend capitalizing on all of those benefits from the beginning.

Your website helps establish trust with your audience by introducing you, your business, and your services. It also helps answer questions and provide information to visitors (ideally, in a way that makes people want to hire you). 

Even if you exist on every single social media platform in existence (sounds tiring), your website should be the thing that ties them all together – it goes in your link in bio, is the destination for any database listings (like The Lactation Network, HealthProfs, insurance companies, etc), and actually outlines all of the information people need to know.

I like to think of your website as a long-term investment in your business health – similarly to real estate. You rent social media, but you own your website – so it gives you insurance and protection in case the algorithm decides against you, or your account gets shut down unexpectedly.

(Oh, and SEO truly can’t be built overnight – so having a domain and actually helpful site for as long as possible is a great way to contribute to your domain reputation)

What actually is a website template?

A website template, simply put, is a premade website with filler text. If your website is the online home of your business, a template is the move-in-ready option.

It's a huge timesaver because the website is already designed for you with all of the pages and sections you need, and you just add your content.

The pages included in each website template vary from designer to designer, and even template to template! But one of my favorite things about Showit and website templates is that you can mix and match to get the pages you need.

Want to actually experience it? Head on over to my free Showit test drive, where you can play on one-page website with no strings attached!

A website template is right for you if…

You need to launch quickly. Website templates are instantly available (even if you choose a payment plan!) and can be launched in as little as a few days, depending on how many pages you need to customize. 

You have a service-based business, with a small handful of service options. For example, if you have a private practice or coaching business with a few packages, and limited products (focusing on service-based streams of revenue), a template seamlessly fits into communicating your offers.

You enjoy playing around on your website, you’re just not really sure what to do with it. Website templates are the perfect mix of DIY and done-for-you – the strategy of what to say, where to say it, and how to make it easy to use and aesthetic are taken care of. Now, you get to add in your own personality and have confidence that your efforts are going to pay off.

You’re new to your business. Because they’re written to prompt your copy in addition to being a website, you can use a website template as a foundation for consistent marketing (put your best content on your site + repurpose those bad boys). A template can also help ensure that your website has a high-quality effect 

You have a smaller budget. Website templates are a smaller investment than custom design, which is great for smaller budgets, new businesses, part-time endeavors, and more. You still receive strategy and custom-level quality, but with a smaller price tag (payment plans are also available for all templates)! And honestly? The thing I care most about is helping your business succeed – which includes offering varied price points so you can still ball on a budget.

A custom design is for you if…

You don’t want any part of creating your website. (PS – no shame in this!) I have many clients who come to me and say “I’m hiring you because I don’t want to spend time figuring this out” and that’s also part of a smart business strategy – outsourcing when the time is right.

You’re expanding your offerings and your audience. Hands down, my favorite kind of project is to come into a business that’s experiencing growth and needs someone to cut through the confusion to communicate it (it’s me, I’m the confusion-cutter). 

This could mean:

  • You’re expanding from client services to business-to-business ones
  • You’re adding courses, products, or other passive income
  • You’re growing a team

You’re getting serious about content creation. Most of my website templates include a blog because I’m a firm believer in the power of long-form content creation – but in order to best capture your audience when you have a pile of content, offers, and more – you need a design that was created for your exact business.

You need long-form sales pages, support with your tech stack, and other personalized support. As part of custom projects, I often revisit the softwares that clients are using to run the backend of their business and do audits to figure out where the tech can do the dirty work for you. When your business grows beyond what you and/or your team can manage, it’s time to pull in some help.

You’d like every single aspect of your website taken care of and custom-created for you. My most popular package includes brand design, copywriting, and website design – meaning I create every single pixel and sentence that goes into the final product with strategy, so you get the absolute best product and ROI.

Still torn on the choice? Here’s more help deciding:

Browse my portfolio and get a feel for the scale and style of custom design work.

Browse the template shop and check out all of the website templates currently available for instant download.

Take a free, no-strings-attached test drive of a website template!

Introduce yourself with words to 

Download The Bestie Bio, a free guide that will reveal the four essential components to an audience-winning About page that will have your website visitors wondering just how fast they can book with you.

win them over.

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