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Are Templates the Past or the Future of Website Development?

When you start a business aspirations are too many. You want to project a serious image but your space allows you to do a limited bit. While you want your office to be in the best commercial space, you end up starting it from your own garage as you can’t afford to build a custom website. Although you have that compelling urge to create your own website, as a startup you first need to check the feasibility and traction of your business ideas by hosting Facebook and LinkedIn pages, which act as God sent catalyst that helps you start with limited cash flow.

While investing in your first Digital Media asset (your website to be specific), which is often before you invest in an office space (as you really don’t want to invest too much of time or money, simply because you don’t have enough), you work with templates provided by various online website builders, rather than custom web designs. Similar to taking up a rented office since you are invested in many other marketing propositions that may lead you to quicker top-lines and conversions.

future of website creation

What exactly are website templates provided by a website builder? It’s a pre-designed and customisable structure (mostly a single-pager or at times even a multi-page website) that allows you to fit-in your content and images to deliver your business messages. It’s almost hassle free, used by a huge chunk of the digital population (who knows nothing about coding) and a super economical way of getting your business online, on a ‘website’. It would make only a little difference to you at this stage if this was your ‘own’ website or a ‘page’ on a third party domain name, like that of Facebook or LinkedIn.

Though such website templates are free sometimes and others much less expensive as compared to hired web developers (or digital agencies), the economical price point doesn’t mean that these templates are non-appealing or non-aesthetic. You can always find one that is suited to your taste and business, to create your own website, with the only limitation of what you chose is what you get and there is less room for further customisation. Having said that, it saves a lot of time, as there is no miscommunication that is involved with a hired web developer. Here, in a template environment you can do everything yourself giving you a very satisfying look-n-feel to your Business eBrochure (your own website) as you can translate your dream better than none online.

For getting your business online, you could choose to work with either or all of the ‘three’ service providers of ‘template-based-website’ services: domain name providers, online website builders and social media platforms. While Domain Name Providers such as GoDaddy, Bigrock and Net4India; and Website Builders such as Wix, Weebly and Jimdo, would ideally give you anywhere from a handful to more than four dozen templates to chose from, social media pages follow a stiff-structure with only one template to offer.

However, Facebook and LinkedIn are extremely familiar platforms with a huge consumer base, you don’t need to spend time in learning how to upload content and fill necessary details about your business (because you already have a positive affinity with their UI-UX and command controls). That being said, the templates provided by Domain Name Providers, such as GoDaddy, BigRock and Net4India; and online Website Builders, like Wix, Weebly and Jimdo are not tough and they equip you with quite a lot of customisable features optimised for a good user experience; definitely more than what you get from Facebook and LinkedIn (especially on custom look-n-feel, however the same template is also being used by millions – but to your satisfaction, you look somewhat different from your competition).

When we talk about optimisation, website templates have been and are regularly used by over a million people for creating their business websites. Therefore, the user experience has evolved and matured over time to give you ease-of-use, making sure that there is very little room for error. Establishing the fact that template-based websites are error-free and widely crawled by SEO robots, they are highly search engine optimized by-default. Ideally Google will know where exactly to go and look for what content (inside your website) since a huge number of people have used the same template earlier, for profiling their businesses.

When it comes to SEO, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn Pages have an upper hand because of the sheer size of the population that is present on their platforms. Regrettably, your own brand capitalisation is ZERO, since only the social media platforms get promoted (your pages are bound under their domain names, like facebook.com/CompanyName, even when your customers visits your Facebook and LinkedIn business page or searches for the same). All the more, you advertise Facebook and LinkedIn links and at times also advertise on LinkedIn, paying them money to promote your LinkedIn Pages. Whereas, this money you should have invested in advertising your Website on Google, using Ad-Words and capitalised this marketing investment, as your domain name would have become more popular and not of LinkedIn and/or Facebook.

Nevertheless, the goal of Domain Name Providers such as GoDaddy, BigRock and Net4India; online Website Builders such as Wix, Weebly and Jimdo and social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, is to get you online as soon as possible in the easiest manner possible. Therefore, all of them resort to templates. This is where you get all your website making basics covered, no worry of .net, php, sql, linux or windows, and no worry of being responsive to all screen-sizes and operating systems. But don’t assume that the template is the ‘be-all’ and ‘end-all’.

A website template that you choose to create your own website is just a look and feel of your ‘to-be’ online presence, i.e. your website. Adding content specific to your business and making it your own will make your website stand out from the crowd. Let’s assume that millions of people have used the same template, as you have, for your business website and suppose one or two in a million have a similar business proposition to offer. What differentiates you from them, when it comes to your eBrouchure? To make your website memorable, content is the only factor that you need to work on. This is where and how you engage with your audience and leave a lasting impression. As long as your content is strong, represented innovatively and engages audience differently, you will stand out no matter how similar your template or your business ideology is to your peers.

If you are a startup and constantly browsing through templates for your first website why don’t you check out eventfulindia’s FREE Website Builder? There are talks in the market that eventfulindia’s online Website Builder is offering progressive features and enticing look-n-feel for all kinds of businesses, big or small. Will it be able to match or outweigh the likes of templates provided by Wix, Weebly, Jimdo, Bigrock, GoDaddy or Net4India? Do subscribe to eventfulindia’s newsletter to be updated with anything new in the similar direction…

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