The short answer is NO! You should not use a template for your website. The promises of ease and simplicity may be tempting (pun intended) to use one, but they add to the code you need to build your website. They are mostly used as a springboard for getting your website up and running quickly as custom websites usually take longer. But if it’s cheap and easy, it usually means the quality will be low. Here are some common things to look out for when using a website template.
When looking at a template online, it may look great! But the underlying code is usually not SEO friendly. Developers of template websites develop the template in a way that appeals to the widest range of customers. This way they can sell as many templates as possible. The result is that you get a lot of code that gets in the way of SEO. You may not be able to control your common SEO elements like header and footer tags, meta description, and alt tags for your images. This will bring your website at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO and how it ranks.
Do I need a swiss army knife or just a blade? Template websites use the swiss army knife approach. Some of them even suggest that not using an option will not have any effect on your website. The more options you have, the more code-heavy your website will become. Each time your website gets loaded, all options get loaded with it. Even the options that you are not using. Developers have to add this code so the user can make adjustments to the website. Having unnecessary options and code on your website will affect the performance and can hurt your website in the long run.
Websites include a platform and a theme for that platform. The most common platform, WordPress, works hand in hand with the theme. All themes are not created equal. This is especially true when it comes to templates. When purchasing a theme, one should pay attention to how often that theme will get updated. Developers use plugins as shortcuts in the coding process. However, if you have not purchased the plugin yourself, you may have to upgrade and purchase the plugins down the road.
Do you own the template? If you read the fine print, you may see that you own a license for the theme. Meaning that you can use the template, but you don’t own it. This also means that you are likely stuck when it comes to making major changes to your website. Services that design and host your website should be used with extra caution. Especially when you purchase a domain name and add a web builder platform. Once you move away from that provider, does your website go with you?
eXpect3 Digital Media Agency builds custom websites that you own. We take the time necessary to find out how your new website can serve you and your clients. We then create a one of a kind design that is tailored to your image and needs. Then we develop your website to meet your current and future needs. Contact us today and schedule a free website audit to see how we can help you.