At LSEB Web we create all websites from scratch, individually for each of our clients, because we think this is the best solution for most small businesses and as such believe many of the other sites (often classed incorrectly as free) which offer . Therefore our view of the drawbacks of template sites may seem biased, but please understand, it is based on our experience in the e-commerce and website world. We are looking from clients who have tried running an on-line business via a template store package, and found it did not meet their needs. Different things work for different businesses. What counts is what will work for yours!
Most template providers are pretty big companies, and you may end up feeling like a number with them. The total responsibility for the success or failure of your on-line business will depend upon you, rather than having the comfort of a professional"s advice. What may seem like a good deal up-front may turn out to be costly. Most of the features needed for running an essential web store will cost more. Basic quoted costs may simply not offer the features you will need, so do read carefully. Do take into consideration that the company can raise their fees at any time.
Please keep in mind that potentially hundreds of other businesses have the exact the same design as yourself. If you website does not look unique, or doesn"t have a ‘wow" factor, chances are you will bore the visitor who will then navigate to another site, and you have then potentially lost business.
Template providers can, and do, go out of business. If this happens, so do you, as your store will exist on their servers. It's important for you to understand that if you ever wanted to move your business elsewhere, you can't take your template store with you. It belongs to the template provider - not you. This has caused countless businesses huge headaches after years of time and money were put into developing their template based store. If you buy a template store, you're stuck with it, even if it ceases to meet the needs of your business.
There are 2 major problems with template providers. The first of these is that the majority of template sites are not designed to be search engine friendly, and in most cases, you cannot overwrite their unfriendly code with friendly code. This is a huge problem if you want Google, Yahoo, etc to find and index your site. If they cannot find if nor will your visitors. So, this is a major concern when judging template packages. The second concern revolves around lack of training. If you are running a web business in the Internet marketplace, you will be competing against my clients, all of whom are benefiting from my years of experience as a designer, developer and SEO professional. If you are not a professional, how will you get your site to outrank your competition, especially when your competition retains professionals to help them win the top search engine rankings and abundant traffic?
A business owner who is determined to go it alone has simply got to devote the time it will take to learning SEO and Internet Marketing skills. Few business owners seem to have the time to do this. If you are really going to do it all yourself, you've got to be realistic about the time it will take for you to develop better than average SEO and marketing skills, as well as the time it will take to be constantly improving the value of your site for the life of your business.
When looking to design a website and save money, try and save money on other things but don"t cheap out on the design trust me, it will come back to haunt you soon enough.