What to Pick for Your Umbraco Website: Custom Vs Template Websites
If you’ve decided to pick Umbraco as your CMS for your website project, you’ve already made a great choice with one of the top server applications across the web.
The next big question you’ll be faced with is should you use a pre-made ‘one-size-fits-all’ template or a “theme” bought off the shelf, or even downloaded for free for your Umbraco site. Your answer will largely depend on what suits your needs. Both custom, as well as ready-to-use templates, come with their advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s discuss how either of these two options fare for an Umbraco CMS based website.
Tailored to specific needs, a custom template design is built keeping in mind a particular goal. Experienced digital agencies usually offer web development services around a client’s unique business needs, where they develop a website exclusively for a company.
Made to Fit: Umbraco can be custom designed to meet your specific needs, no matter how large or small.Custom designs are built keeping in mind the needs of a business. In that, they are unique and one-of-a-kind and can be tailored as per specifications. You won’t find another website that looks just like yours! In a crowd of countless websites, this definitely helps to stand out!
Room for Strategy: One of the advantages of a custom design is that it allows one to build a website keeping the marketing strategy at the core of design. This isn’t just about developing a great look, instead, it’s about making an effective website. You can be more deliberate about your site’s structure, building it to suit your marketing needs. The custom coding of your Umbraco website makes it search engine friendly, a key step to your website’s success.
You’re in Charge: With a custom website you’ve probably already taken care of many of your website’s needs. This lets you keep your plugins to the minimum.Since Umbraco doesn’t include plugins for expanding the core functionality, this has to be done through coding. So you have all the control to tailor and customise your website. This means you can plan to score high on website performance with apt planning.
Grow your Business: Umbraco as the .Net solution, is easier to integrate with other systems, this makes it very useful for advanced applications. A customisable website firstly allows you the room to brand your website to emanate your business. As your business burgeons, it also provides ample room for you to scale up online. When the right architecture is set up in the beginning, this isn’t just a long-term money saver, but a choice that’s in the interest of a growing business.
Time Consuming: Since custom websites intend to incorporate specific needs, they take longer to design and build. It can be tedious to develop, manage and maintain.From research to planning to the development where a lot of programming and designing is required, custom spells extra effort.
Expensive: Customisation does come at a cost, they are steeper than ready-to-use templates, at least in the beginning before its benefits start showing.
Quality Tests: The work doesn’t just stop with building a website, a robust custom website needs to undergo several quality tests for zero bugs.
Limited Visual Options: Customising usually means limited visual options. Most clients can expect a maximum of two design options. The focus is on overall healthy and functional website rather than just visual design, so window shopping is out of the question.
Depending on the size and goals of one’s website, some businesses may prefer pre-designed “templates.” Here are some of the pros and cons of these easily available templates to help access if they are right for you.
What You See is What You Get: With a ready-made website template, there’s no suspense. You don’t have to imagine what the finished product will look like. Umbraco themes are fully integrated with a ready-to-use starter kit. When installed you get a fully functioning website (design, layout and CMS integration) seamlessly on top of the Umbraco CMS.
Spoilt for Choice: If there’s one thing you can be sure of, you won’t run out of options on the internet when it comes to template designs. There will be enough visual choices to look through and take your pick.
Quick Development: Templates come with basic features and since time is not spent tweaking and customising them, they’re up and running much faster than custom websites.
Budget Friendly: Umbraco has free and premium themes that start at a nominal rate. This is a key factor for many who choose templates over a custom template. You can pick a template to choose your budget. Since they come with basic pages with no customisation, what you are paying isn’t.
Security Concern: With ready to use themes, outdated files can sometimes be a huge security concern.
The Cookie Cutter Approach: Lots of other businesses and competitors could be using the same template which means your site won’t stand out as much.
Out Goes the Strategy: Theme codes are not designed keeping SEO friendliness of your business in mind. Being rigid and inflexible, they are limited in how you can incorporate your marketing strategy. However, if you need any customisation or SEO work done on the template it may actually cost more to have an Umbraco developer to customise your chosen template, depending on your needs.
Goodbye to Personal Touch: Forget modifying themes beyond a point. What you see is what you get isn’t always a good thing.
No Support: Template sites will most likely have limited period support system or in many cases, no support whatsoever.
A website template choice depends on your need as well as the resources available. Remember no matter what you choose, for your website to make it you will need good planning, consistent work and regular quality checks to stay ahead of the game. However, if time and money can be stretched, picking a custom design can give you a head start and be a worthwhile return on your investment to your Umbraco website.
Elizabeth Raj | Blogger
Naveen Kumar M | Senior UI Developer