A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of undertaking a bathroom renovation. Oh the joys of driving around looking at every tile, tap and toilet under the sun.
The final decision to be made was, what kind of bathroom vanity do we want. To us, it was the logical choice to go to Bunnings and Ikea, and choose one from their selection. But we struggled to find exactly what we were looking for.
A familiar scenario
The experience immediately drew similarities to creating a website. Effectively, our decision was either to choose a pre-made vanity, or hire a cabinet maker to build one from scratch. Which is the same sort of experience when you are creating a website. Do I use a template website, the kind of services Wordpress, Wix etc offer, or do I go the bespoke route, and get a professional to create exactly what I want.
Obviously the first glaring difference would be cost. Hiring a professional to build something exactly to our specifications requires time, and time equals money. But what we quickly realised, is that extra investment upfront, would pay for itself in having something that is usable for our needs and the satisfaction of having exactly what we wanted.
The second noticeable difference is the plumbing. Ikea vanities require plumbing to be done 'the Ikea way'. Which would lead to additional costs from the plumber, and makes choosing a 'non Ikea' basin an impossible task. In effect, you're 'locked in' to their way of doing things. The same applies to using a template for a website, making what should be simple changes, are an audacious task, and would require considerable effort to make it work.
It'd be like trying to get a round peg into a square hole if you try to make a template work around your requirements, and will result in a big ol' fat mess.
Don't get me wrong, if you're on a budget, and 'just need a website up', then these template website services are great. But if you have a list of requirements for your website, and a template website won't cut it, then you're better off going the bespoke route.
I recently wrote an article comparing Umbraco to Wordpress which gives a great comparison of the two content management systems.
Your future self, and more importantly your customers will thank you for it.