co HTML Or Template: Web Design Priorities |

When building your new small business website, should you build it with HTML from scratch or use a website template? If you decide on a template, should you use an off-the-shelf template or a custom-designed template? A free template or a premium template?

These are all important questions, but there is no one right answer. What’s best for one business might not be best for another.

Templates are difficult because there are so many things that can go wrong – and so many things that can go right. If you design your website from scratch, then you control everything. You are also responsible for everything. Good and bad.

With templates, you have to make sure that they are SEO-friendly, crawlable, and user-friendly. If you design your own website, then you can ensure each of those elements as you build. Plus, if you use an off-the-shelf template, then you have to modify it if you want specific elements that aren’t included. I would almost always recommend some modification, even with a premium template.

Nonetheless, you can often work with a template a lot less expensively. If you see one you like, then it could save you some time on the front end.

It’s always your call, of course. But you’ll need to make sure that your website can be crawled by the search engines, will get indexed and ranked, and will meet your visitors’ needs.