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Custom Website Design vs. Template: Which Is Right for Your Site?

Custom website design is a dynamic way to help your company attract attention and viewers to its site, boosting sales and creating buzz about what makes your business special. Since 1996, Unleaded has won dozens of awards for website design.

Andrew Klein, Creative Director and VP of Unleaded, oversees the firm’s branding and leads the design output for all the 600+ websites the company has produced since incorporating in 2004. In the last five years, design firms have begun producing templates (patterns) for websites that have become increasingly sophisticated. Using them can reduce the cost of a website.

“Template solutions have become a trendy solution to get a professional website up-and-running. It can be considered a reasonable solution for a budget under $10k,” said Klein.

However, he added, there is still tremendous value to design and build a website from the ground up, which is then strategized and planned to properly represent the brand to the utmost. “Assuming the business has a clear vision of its product, a custom design allows Unleaded to dial in a UI/UX to fit the audience and emphasize calls-to-action. Conversion is key and it is worth spending the time and effort to customize and optimize that end-goal. The downside is when one tries to shoehorn a business model into a pre-determined structure.”

Even if using a template, it is still imperative to use a proven firm with quality designers and experienced developers, otherwise you're going to be investing that money down the line anyways to customize and tweak to a client's needs.

Unleaded Group built a website for Allstar Electrical of Englewood, Colo., 16 years ago and has built two subsequent sites for Allstar since the original launched.

“It’s meant a lot,” said Gary Stone, founder and president of Allstar ( “We get a lot of compliments on the quality of the website, the content and everything else. It’s been good for us, and we’ve given out numerous recommendations over the years. We’re pretty proud of it; it’s very informative.”     

Here are some of the advantages of choosing custom website design rather than building it yourself:

  1. You own the design concept. Build it as you wish, giving it a unique look that sells your products and services.
  2. You can customize your design to push your main goals: To publicize and show off your company, and what if has to offer. Make it reflect all aspects of your online and offline branding.
  3. Putting it in the hands of a professional saves you the time and expense of learning how to do it yourself, enabling you to concentrate on the more important functions of your company.

Unleaded Group offers a surprising feature as it builds websites: An algorithm predicts what a reader most likely would look at on a website, thanks to a heatmap for simulated human vision. That boosts Unleaded Group’s ability to build websites that will attract interested buyers.

A little history: Unleaded Group’s first clients included Europtics, ICG Telecommunications and Blue Cross Blue Shield (now called Anthem). In 2012, the company launched Unleaded Software Solutions Private Limited in India as a satellite production site.

For more information, send us an email or call us at 303-221-7126.

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