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Custom Built Websites vs Prebuilt Themes: A Delicious Comparison

18th September 2018

It occurred to me recently that websites are a lot like lasagne.

As you probably already know, I design and build WordPress websites. There are two types of WordPress website; Those that are custom built (like the websites I create) and those that are made with pre-built themes.

So yeah, Lasagne. Pre-built themes, much like a microwave ready meal are quick to make and cheap but are ultimately not good for you in the long term.

For custom built websites, imagine eating a meal prepared by a professional chef using high quality ingredients and based on a recipe that’s designed just for you. It takes longer to cook and costs more money but you’ll ultimately get is a far superior meal.

Web Design With Extra Cheese

Custom built websites are purposefully designed specifically to do what you want.

Just as a chef would choose the best ingredients to use for your ideal recipe, I would work with you to design a website best suited to your needs.

Do you want your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter? I can design the sign-up form to stand out in a prominent position and add the option to subscribe to the newsletter when you use the main contact form.

The newsletter subscription standing out against the dark background on the Furbellow & Co website.

Pre-built themes come fully formed so you are limited to whatever layout/functionality they are already built to do.

I often receive requests to change functionality on websites created with pre-built themes. This is like having to dig out all the mushrooms from your ready-made lasagne: it gets the job done but would you want to serve it to your guests?

Low in Fat

Whatever your purpose, every website I build is low in fat and will load fast thanks to high quality code.

Stockport Old town website locations archive as viewed on an iphone

The Stockport Old Town website

Most pre-built themes I’ve come across are bloated with code and files you most likely don’t need. As it was not designed for you specifically, it may do 100 different things, of which you only need 3.

Page load speed is a major factor in how well search engines such as Google rate your website. If you value search traffic, a custom build is always the way to go.

If your website takes too long to load (particularly on phones), your visitors will lose patience with your brand and go elsewhere.

Let’s Get Cooking

I’m confident a custom built website will always outperform a pre-built one in terms of conversions, usability, page load speed and search engine ranking.

That said, going for the cheaper (albeit lower quality) option is totally understandable for anyone with a limited budget!

I want to make high quality web design more affordable, which is why I’ve developed the Bo Framework, a high quality starter template which acts like a skeleton that I can use to quickly build a beautiful, professional website for you.

If you’d like to chat to me about your website please feel free to get in touch today.

Paul Jardine Web Design

About Paul Jardine Web Design

Paul Jardine, freelance web designerI’m a friendly and creative freelance website designer and developer based in Stockport just outside of Manchester.

I have over 9 years experience working with digital agencies in Manchester and now operate on a freelance basis, offering web design and development services to private clients, digital agencies and charities around the UK and internationally.

I have also worked as a guest tutor at the University of Salford, where I taught a web design and development module.

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