You’ve decided to get a new website. Maybe your current site is getting a bit dated or it’s not responsive and you’re losing customers. You’ve worked out what pages you want and you’ve got your content all organised. 
So, the next step is finding the best option. Template websites are really popular – they’re cheap, and simple to set up – so they appear to be a good option if you want to save money and do it yourself. But is it really a good idea? Are you a professional web designer? Do you know how a site should be structured? Have you got design qualifications? What about optimising your site for SEO? Are you happy for your site to look like someone else’s? How important is your image to you – or more importantly, your customers? Have you got the time to devote to building a really good site? 
Here are a few reasons why I’d recommend you avoid template websites. 
1. They’re cheap 
You get what you pay for. They are cheap and they look cheap! Is that what you want as the first impression for your customers? If you’re going to get a website template, make sure you can subscribe to options that let you do some customisation. 
2. They’re common 
Themes are extremely popular, one of the best-selling paid themes from Themeforest has over 47,000 downloads. As the theme gets more successful, more and more businesses use the same website template. This means 47,000 other businesses would have a similar looking website to your own. You’re worth more than that aren’t you? 
3. They’re obviously from a template 
People can tell that it’s a template site – and that might put them off your brand. Take a stroll around the internet and you’ll see a lot of website providers that advertise their templates – and beware - if you opt for one of these, you risk getting a site that is badly designed, or not user friendly. Is that the experience you want for your customers? Isn’t your business important enough to you to have something unique and tailor-made? 
4. They’re not flexible 
Want to get creative with your site? Want a different structure that’s unique to you? Template sites just don’t cater for individual customisation. Their business model is based on a set of standard structures with simple navigations and features. Pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap. 
5. Hidden costs 
Watch out for hidden extras – what may appear to be very cheap could hide additional costs such as hosting, connecting to a domain, analytics and SEO. 
6. They’re not all mobile responsive 
Many templates are still not mobile responsive. This is unforgiveable in 2017 when most people are using their smartphones to search for services online. Make sure that you check for this if you decide to go down the template route. 
7. Poor aftercare 
Your website is your shop window to the world. It represents your brand and can be a powerful tool to bring you more business. But what if it goes wrong? What if you make a mistake? Can you get hold of anyone? Some of the template sites don’t really want you to contact them. Some don’t even list a phone number and they make you go through loads of hoops to get in touch. How much better would it be if you had a dedicated person to look after you? Or no call centre – but a single phone number. You won’t get that with a template website. 
8. Your business is unique. Templates aren’t. 
A website is an investment in your business. You need to stand out from the crowd and your website can do that for you – but only if significant thought has gone into its design. How do the colours reflect your brand? What about the images? Are they professional – or just stock images that you’ll see on lots of other sites? Does the layout work for your customers? What about the navigation or features? Can you add a blog? How easy is it to edit? 
If you want real value then you need to invest some money. (But you don’t need to spend a huge amount for a bespoke website!) A website that is search friendly, user friendly and mobile responsive will be one of your most valuable sales tools, working for your business 24/7, 365 days a year. 
We’ve helped many small businesses get more from their online marketing efforts. What you’ll get from us is the personal touch – we’ll come to you and discuss your business needs, and we’ll carefully design a tailor-made website that really reflects your brand and your customers will love. No templates, powerful editing, and personal support from a friendly, local team to help your business succeed online. 
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