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For any user or entrepreneur who wants to develop their website, or online store, or a web or mobile application, and who does not have experience and technical knowledge, will find the dilemma of commissioning a custom design and development, or, use a template or theme as the basis for the website. A dichotomy that can be profiled in many web design service offers when performing a search on Google, or any other search engine
The reading we have done, about this topic in many blogs and companies of the "competition", implies that in general, the user is being deceived. “Professionals” without ethics, and probably without adequate training, try to tell their audience that one or the other option is better, without even considering the respective requirements of their clients and particular situations sell one or the other option as excluding and as “the best” , without even clarifying or arguing that this corresponds to their business models, and not necessarily to the needs of the company that has decided to hire this type of services.
This article is aimed at those types of users who try to hire the design and development of a website and are tired of reading what one or another company offers, with its more or less certain arguments, without having a clear and reliable reference about who offers accurate information and who is cheating to get a sale and a service contract. Therefore, this article aims to guide, in a transparent way, about what is a custom web design and development and what is a web design and development based on a template, then we offer a series of advantages of what constitutes our approach, which we could define as a mixed approach, this is "a custom web design and web development, partially based on a template".
We must say that a web design and development of a custom website is one where all the elements of the site have been created according to the specific needs of the company, in a personalized and unique way.
This means that it has been designed taking into account the measure to fit all its elements to the graphic identity of the company, and that each element of the user interface has been duly studied and positioned for a reason, also that the sales strategy fits perfection with the sales rules and business model of the company. It also includes each of the features present on the website and the administration of those functions.
In a custom website, there is no room for phrases such as: "WooCommerce, Prestashop (or you name the CMS or framework chosen by the company you have hired) does not work this way", "the plugin works this way and not in this another way ”, or“ it must be administered in this way because the platform works like this ”. Simply a custom developed site, implies a custom development and the professionals in charge, if they have offered this, must be able to offer just this in the full extent of the word.
A web design and development based on a template or theme of any CMS, is one that uses a predesigned solution, which can allow for variable margins to adapt to the design and business model needs of a group of companies and that has been developed to function in line with some more or less popular Content Management System (CMS), such as Wordpress, OpenCart, Drupal or any other. In a strict sense of the word, when we talk about a web design or development based on a template, we mean that this template will not be modified in any way, beyond the manageable options it offers included.
At Dharma Web Studio, we usually offer and develop solutions that are halfway between a custom design and a template-based design. We start from the client's needs, from their brand manual, from their corporate identity and business needs to create a website, and from this starting point, we can usually offer our clients a custom design and development based on a premium template, with guaranteed license awarded to our customers, to take advantage of some of the advantages it offers, while doing considerable customization work to meet the objectives and requirements of the project and obtain a product with a cost below of the average.
The use of a template does not exclude the possibility that it is susceptible to customization in different degrees, varying from customization through the options that allow it to be modified using the template, such as the color of fonts, typographic fonts to use, the use of widgets to display content, and can be customizable and extensible in a considerable percentage in a custom development, although, it never will be because it is assumed that it has been chosen to leave from a template, to shorten times of development and take advantage of functionalities that the staff offers, and that otherwise, would be developed in a very similar way with the lastname "custom", but with the consequent consumption of time, human and economic resources.
The cost of a template is very low compared to a custom website and with it you get the possibility to advance considerably at a minimum cost, and where the custom development work, which depending on the complexity and characteristics that have the project, it will obviously represent a higher cost.
We must not forget that in a web development project the publication of the site is only one of the first steps in its life cycle. Template updates are usually included and accessible for a certain time when purchasing the license of a premium template, so that with a development methodology adapted to this scenario, it is possible to keep the site updated, and lengthen considerably the life of the project, without having to reprogram functionalities whenever the core or extensions of third parties are updated.
In today's world, time is money. Using templates, a web page can be done in a short time and this is because in principle a good part of the site's programming is already given and you only need to enter information and customize the necessary elements; as well as the development of functionalities that need to be implemented as custom.
Today, any CMS (including Wordpress, OpenCart and many others) allows overwriting and adding new functionalities to a template, through compatible development procedures and methodologies, giving flexibility to a template. This is why the template design that is selected does not imply that it will be the design that will always be used. The needs of what you want to communicate on your website, should be able to adapt according to the options present in the template. Adjust fonts and colors, move the elements, use any of the content widgets presented by the template are customization possibilities that do not require web development, but on the other hand, it is always possible to design and develop new functionalities that allow you to achieve business and company goals adding elements and functionalities to the application.
Generally, you don't need much computer skills to use a template and most of them are designed in a friendly way, so that common tasks such as changing the text, adding photos, videos and social networks or changing the colors of the website are as simple as using any social network app. If, in addition, the design and web development of your site has been based on a template, but adapted to the needs of your company and focused on them from the beginning, we will result in new functionalities that harmonize with the way of doing things in the selected CMS (such as Wordpress or OpenCart).
One of the great benefits of using a template and developing a custom site from it, is that the tests have probably been performed by hundreds of users who have previously purchased the template, and also evidently by the product quality team of the company that has developed the template. In today's marketplace, companies that develop premium themes or templates compete against each other in a rather aggressive manner and cannot afford to sell outdated designs, or that are not very functional. In this way the templates usually present no errors, or very few, in terms of layout, adaptation to different devices (mobile, tablets, desktops, laptops, TV screens, etc.), performance on different servers, etc. This means considerable resource savings for all the elements and functionalities that must be inherited from the template.
By using templates or premium themes, the developers of this template are obliged to solve any problems or bugs that may exist. By basing the design or development of the website on a template, and finding an error that corresponds to those responsible for the template, it is easy to manage the incidence and delegate that work to third parties, eliminating the additional costs that this may have in the development of a custom site, based on templates.
We do not want to close the article without indicating that these opinions are ours and are biased according to our work methodology, our way of providing services and approaching solutions quickly and economically for some of our clients. The final decision about whether to use a template exclusively to design your site or web application, design and develop a custom site, or make a combination of both, should depend on the unique characteristics of each project and company needs.
If you wish, you can always contact us and we will offer you free advice about what your options may be.