When you’re just getting your business started, you may be counting every dollar. You don’t want any unnecessary expenses, so the idea of using a free, do-it-yourself template for your website is definitely attractive.

“The only problem,” said the design specialists at GreyBox Creative, “Is that those free website templates can end up costing you a lot over time. A template isn’t designed to be adaptable to individual needs, and it can create problems that turn off would-be consumers. That will ultimately hurt your business and limit your growth.”

How Can a Website Template Hinder Your Goals?

Sites like Squarespace and Wix can offer no-cost and low-cost websites that you can use to start building your site the same day you buy your domain, but you’re very limited in what you can do with them. 

Here are the problems you’re likely to encounter:

  • Time drains: Building a website with a template is fast, but actually making that website workable can take hours. You have to invest time learning the platform, and more time making sure that you’ve got all the crucial elements you need to operate. All that work will steal time you could otherwise devote to your operations.
  • Generic appearance: When you’re trying to establish your brand’s credibility and niche, you don’t want to look like every other website in the business. Unfortunately, templates are designed to be generic so they can appeal to the broadest possible base.
  • Poor search engine optimization: Templates aren’t designed with SEO in mind. They’re rarely optimized so that your target audience can find you on Google. Ultimately, that translates to missed opportunities and lost conversions.

Essentially, when you use a website template, you’re trading customization for convenience and cost.

What Does a Web Design Agency Bring to the Table?

When you work with a web designer, your website will be just as unique as your business. A customized web design gives you the following advantages:

  • Aesthetic fit: Your website will have a color scheme, spatial balance, and features that fit with your brand identity and goals. Your site’s visual appeal is key if you want to keep visitors from bouncing.
  • Ease of use: If your website isn’t user-friendly, you will lose people long before they convert. With a custom design, you can organize the logical flow of the space so that it’s simple to navigate, ADA-compliant, and intuitive.
  • Better functionality: A good design will maximize your site’s search engine optimization, take into account your security needs, and leave room for additional growth. That will make ongoing site maintenance much easier.

The only “con” to hiring a professional to handle your web design is the cost, but the return on your investment that you can expect is definitely worth it. 

Your website is an investment for your company’s future, so work with a web design agency that will keep your unique needs in mind. A template is good when you need a website fast — not when you want a website that lasts.