Premade vs. Custom

May 27, 2017

So you’re ready for a new website! It’s an exciting, and often stressful time for companies, who’s executives and decision makers are always working within a budget. Ultimately, a company is faced with a decision: do we go for a custom design or do we buy a premade template? So, in the hopes of helping companies out, we thought we would break down the reasons to spring for one versus the other.

Custom Website versus Premade Template

Know Your Goals

In order to make an informed decision about whether to move forward with a premade template or custom design, you should first understand your goals for the site. Are you simply looking to bring your website design into a more modern era? Or do you have a more specific goal in mind, such as increasing the number of calls received or form submissions? Do you have custom functionality you want included, or is your site primarily text-based (i.e. informational)?

These questions can help aid you in your process of choosing a template and a designer, so it’s crucial that you understand your own goals before moving forward with either a premade template or custom design.

What are the differences?

So, now that you have your goals in mind, you can begin to decide which option might be best for you. And in order to do that, you will need to understand the differences between a premade template and a custom design. We should start by describing what each is.

What is a custom website design?
This can, of course, vary with each company. However, for us here at ACS Quantum Design, a custom website involves starting from scratch at every step and designing/building for our individual clients. We start with a discussion about your goals for your site (told you they were important) and design a website to meet those goals exactly.From there, we build a site that not only reflects that design, but is built to be managed for our specific client, making it as easy as possible for them to maintain their site without our help.

What is a premade template?
A premade template is a website that has been designed and developed to meet a number of clients’ needs and goals. When you purchase a premade template, typically, you will simply download the website files and install them on your host, customizing various aspects through provided modules. These templates have been, as you might expect from the “premade” aspect of their name, built previously, and are done so to meet a clients’ general needs.

So what are the overall differences?
To put it simply, a custom design is designed and developed for you specifically – everything in its nature exists to meet a goal, or goals, defined by you and you alone. A premade template is designed and developed prior to knowing your goals, and therefore, might meet them on a broader and less precise way. As such, custom website often come with a higher price tag than premade templates.

What are the pros and cons of each?

Each of these options come with a variety of pros and cons, so it will be up to you to determine which works best for you needs. However, below is a handy list to make that decision easier.

Custom Design
  • Pros
    • Designed to meet your goals
    • Developed to meet your management style
    • Unique look just for you
  • Cons
    • Higher cost
    • Longer timeline
Premade Template
  • Pros
    • Lower cost
    • Shorter timeline
  • Cons
    • Designed for general goals
    • Not a unique look


So, when should you choose a custom design versus a premade template? It’s all going to come back to those goals that you should define. Generally speaking, if you’re simply looking for a more modern look and easier navigation for your users, a premade template will do the job just fine. But if you have more specific goals or a higher level of functionality you want incorporated, you should consider a custom design.

Either way, ACS Quantum Design, is fully capable of providing websites that meet your needs. If you are interested in a premade template or a custom design, contact us for a quote!

Image Credits: Template Monster, Noble Image Website Design

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