If you’re looking to build or upgrade your website, you might consider hiring a professional. While we recommend this approach, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re hiring her to help with. Specifically, do you want her to build you a custom website or would you prefer that she use a theme? 

Customized sites sound good on paper, but they aren’t always advisable. In fact, a fully customized website often isn’t worth the price, especially when you can pick between equally viable themes. A theme still allows you to pick custom text, photos, and videos; additionally, you can add links and graphics to make your business stand out. In short, themes allow you to customize what really matters without needing to pay for anything you won’t be using.   

Here are three reasons why custom websites are out and themes are in:  

1. Custom Websites Cost the Big Bucks  

Custom websites are expensive. Sure, these expenses can be worthwhile if they increase traffic to your business. But a flashy website isn’t necessarily going to drive more traffic than a website based on a theme. What really matters for website traffic is SEO, which is based on keywords, navigability, and rich content. A template or theme can easily incorporate all of these factors, thus ensuring your intended audience reaches (and interacts with) your site.  

2. Custom Websites Take More Time to Build 

A custom website doesn’t just cost a ton of money—it also takes days or even weeks to build. This process can be delayed even further if something goes wrong in the code. To add insult to injury, you’re losing additional money every day that your site is down—because even if the site’s not working, you’ll still need to pay someone to host it. On the other hand, a template can be installed the same day you buy it. Once installed, a professional can quickly help you fill said template with SEO-rich content and graphics.  

3. Not All Customization is Good Customization 

Limitless customization options sound good on paper, but in reality, they’re a hassle. In the same way that a child at a toy store has too many options, limitless customization potential usually means poor choices. To expand on the metaphor, although a child can buy every Lego and racecar in the store, that doesn’t mean he’ll actually have the space for them. And even if he gets every customization toy he wants, will he actually use them? Or will they just sit there unnoticed? 

When everything can be customized, it can be hard to choose what to customize. Additionally, just because something can be customized doesn’t mean that it should be. Of course, there are certain situations where a fully customized website is an investment. For instance, if your company has unique needs that go beyond an existing template, then customization might be worth the time and money. But most of the time, a template already offers everything your website needs at a fraction of the cost and time. And with a professional’s help, you can optimize your website’s SEO while showing off who your company is and what it has to offer.