Bespoke vs Template Websites? We Weigh up the Pros and Cons

13th Oct 2020

Bespoke vs Template Website Design?

It’s not news that having a web presence of some kind is an absolute essential for almost every business. Whether it’s a full website, a company social media page, an App or a simple marketing page, the universal truth is that to be found, you need to be online.

In response to the rapid rise in people needing websites, a number of template-based, off-the-shelf site builders have sprung up – from WordPress and Drupal to Wix, Weebly and many more, there are plenty of options for someone looking to get an online presence quickly.

And there are some advantages to using one of these services to build a website:

  • It’s template-based so can be done quickly
  • Basic sites can be fairly inexpensive
  • They don’t require much design skill or website building experience to get them up and running

So why, you ask, would everyone not just use these types of websites instead of opting for a bespoke website?

Well, let’s just quickly list a few of the disadvantages of using a template-based site…

  • The template is not unique, so many sites that use popular templates begin to look similar, if not identical
  • There is limited customization, and any customization that can be done by a more advanced tech resource (whether in-house or as a contractor) will significantly raise costs. They may also find that customization to the level you’re requesting simply cannot be done.
  • You’ll be responsible for all the SEO – from meta-data to header tags, Alt-text to content keywording, it’s going to be up to you to get it right…and that can be a daunting task
  • If something goes wrong, you’ll need to contact support and explain the issue – you may not be able to identify it, and the investigative process can take a while.

Right, so what does a bespoke website do differently?

Well, simply put, bespoke web development is done by people who solve all the above challenges as part of their job. But more than that, bespoke website developers bring a skillset, an understanding and a raft of experience building sites to suit specific needs.

Bespoke websites take a multitude of factors into account related specifically to your business’s needs. Working with a team of developers and digital experts means you’ll receive the benefits of:

  • A proper User Experience (UX) designer who asks the right questions about what you want to achieve, and knows what your target audience’s preferred website browsing habits are so that the website can be built to maximise engagement based on this information
  • A digital marketing expert who researches your industry, competitors, target audiences, keywords and more so that your site’s SEO and content hits the right market in the right way
  • A website designer who interprets all the above information into a functional, visually-attractive website in which every element is crafted to deliver against your predefined goals.

And what this results in is a website that:

  • Unique in its design to differentiate itself from the competition
  • SEO-ready and keyword content rich to ensure you’re found for the right searches
  • Flexible to grow and evolve as your business does, without adding rafts of complexity and cost
  • Lean and efficient, without unnecessary functionality that serves no purpose

Taking it to the next level

Bespoke websites hold another ace up their sleeves – functional complexity with complication… what do we mean by that? Well, many bespoke websites require systems that support the business’s functions. These include:

  • Online shops
  • Content Management Systems
  • Customer Relationship Management tools
  • Intranets and training systems
  • Booking systems
  • ERP and processing solutions
  • Various external integrations managed by custom APIs

At this level of development and integration, bespoke websites simply offer a great deal more flexibility, stability and functional efficiency than template-based website design.

To find out more about Realnet’s bespoke website designs, contact us today on 01223 550800 or

Realnet is an established Cambridge digital agency, we have been helping all sorts of organisations with their online presence since 1998. From website design and ecommerce to digital marketing and PPC campaigns.

Contact us to make your website work harder for you.