the web design ninja

Template vs Custom Websites

I am amazed at how many so called web designers are out there selling “custom” websites when they are actually just customizing a stock template. The arguement is that because it is cheaper?  I must be a moron, because the “custom” websites based on a template that we are getting in to repair these days all cost more then what we would have charged to build a full custom design correctly the first time.

We have been in business for 26 years now and have been in web development for 20 years. With over 2800 websites under our belt, we have the experience to deliver what the customer wants.

Let’s take a recent example – so recent that the site is not even live yet.

A local entertainment company has had a template site before and finally decided it was time to get a “Teo” website.

We listened to what the customer described and came up with few ideas for them to consider.


Design 1

Traditional design


With slider

and infoboxes


Design 2


Metro Themed

Social Media Focused


Design 3


Info Box Based

Blog Focused



The customer loved all the designs but by giving them an option – they are able to pick and choose different elements and functions and we came up with this one:




In this case – the customer did not have a logo – we took elements of their work and incorporated into design 3 an idea for kind of a logo. We took the logo idea from design 3, and the header from design3, Coupled it with the metro design feel from design 2,   Used the slider and info box approach from design 1, and tied it all together into this design.

We don’t use templates for exactly this reason. We believe our customers are unique businesses. I just don’t understand how a business can be jammed in a template box. And with our experience of having a few thousand customers, which I believe is much more than a normal small web development firm, you would think that we have seen duplicate businesses. Nope, not really. True there are some similarities, but everyone we deal with is unique and deserves to be their own business.

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