The canned affiliate marketing websites that clutter the Internet are often mistaken for website templates. Affiliate sites are 99% identical in appearance and content. The contact information included on the site is often the only distinguishable difference between two affiliate sites that are marketing the same product for the same company. This is not what web design firms are selling when they include website templates in their product offerings.
A Tale of Two Websites
In all likelihood, most Internet users have visited two websites built on the exact same template without even noticing it. Often, the appearance of a quality template is fully customizable through an easy to use Admin Console. Depending upon the options included with the template, businesses may be able to switch their site between several different basic layouts, change font styles and upload different graphics for the header. For most businesses, the decision to purchase one website template over another is more a choice of built in functionality than the stock appearance of the site.
The Benefits of Using Website Templates
There are many benefits to using website templates over hiring a designer to build out a completely custom site from scratch. The most obvious is the cost associated with putting up a templated site over a custom coded one. The licensing fee for a good templated site is often less than $100. Custom coded sites can easily run into the thousands, depending largely on how labor intensive the design is.
Sites built on templates can also be completed much faster than custom coded websites. Most of the hard work of getting a site online is already completed with a templated design. Businesses need only customize the appearance of their site, upload their content and test to make sure everything is functioning properly. These sites can be ready to roll within a few days. Custom coded designs could take weeks or months to develop, test and launch.
Templated websites also have a low total cost of ownership. Since they are easy to install, customize and later update when changes need to be made, businesses usually do not need a dedicated web master on staff. Much of this work can be completed by a person with minimal technical skills and training. Custom built sites usually require more skilled staff to keep running.
Getting The Best of Both Worlds
Businesses that require a unique web design may still be able to use a website based upon templates. Many reputable web design firms offer exclusive rights to some of their templates. With this option, businesses are able to enjoy the speedy launch and low total cost of ownership that can be delivered with a website template while still having a design that is unique to their company.