Free Design VS. Custom Design

As we all know, first impressions are everything, and your website is usually the first thing that people notice about your online business, which means it needs to look good. In fact, it needs to be both memorable and remarkable.

If a website is ugly, hard to use or simply outdated and does not load properly on the market’s newest smartphones, our visitors tend to not only pass judgments on the company, but they also leave the site faster than the speed of light .

We should all agree that creating and managing a classy, easy-to-use and fully modernized website is the way to go. But wait, have you just entered the online community, or have you been around long enough to afford and make those necessary changes? Would you benefit from a free design or a custom design more? Let’s find out.

To customize or not to customize

Deciding whether to hire a web designer or purchase one of the hundreds and
thousands of pre-made templates online can be quite the challenge. For some business owners, hiring a custom web designer is considered waste of money since you have the freedom to buy a website template for as little as $10, what they don’t realize is that the lack of originality and functionality can affect one’s online presence overtime.

For starters, a custom web design is going to meet the needs of your business. The team of web developers that you will work with must have a solid understanding of your company’s branding and what personality you’d like to shine through. The end result will
be personalized to suit your marketing presence and strategy. Changes are inevitable, especially when your business gets a solid upgrade, and we’re confident that a web design team will help you reach its full potential.

A relatively free design, on the other hand, will only allow you to change a few things, like the background color, a bit of the logo and header images. Also, the layout is not exactly flexible to constantly make changes on, so it normally ends with what you see is what you deal with ninety-nine percent of the time.

Am I after what I can only use now? Or what I can continue to upgrade later? Does it  need to show more of my business? Or am I find with current arrangements? If you went with questions two and three, then you are definitely on the right track.

Originality or similarity

Now, if you do go with a pre-made design that you can easily obtain online, you’re pretty much going to find out that there are other websites out there that look exactly like yours. And I mean, super identical. Well you won’t be encountering this problem with a custom design, since it will be built to look exactly the way you want it to be and more.

Uniqueness or simplicity? Would choosing a more accessible design benefit me for the long run? If you’re not too keen on going above and beyond, then there’s no harm in going for a free design for now. But if shining like a diamond in the crowd is your thing, then you’d better stick with pursuing a custom design for your business to continue standing out from the rest.

Look and feel

Creating high-quality presentation and user experience for your website visitors is essential in fully optimizing your custom design’s overall appeal. A pre-made template, however, might be your cup of tea, if you’re not fond of adding visuals and functionality in the mix.

If you’re selling products and software, your website going to be the first thing your beloved site visitors are probably going to critique you on. Presentation and user-experience should go hand in hand, and you will want to go with a custom web design instead. If you’re more of a personal trainer or a regular consultant, then your site might not really affect their point of view of you, and a free design might work for you in the meantime.


On a tight budget? The free designs is screaming pick me over the other, please. The only downside to a custom design is that the starting price is much higher, typically ranging from $800 to a whopping $20,000, depending on your products, needs, and desired outcome. And yes, there will be more pages, forms and templates, then the more costly the web design is gonna be.

Please do keep in mind that a professional web designer will ensure your website is search engine optimized, as it is critical to get the CSS and HTML code right, which gives you a decent head start in search engine rankings. There is no guarantee that a free or pre-made design can give you the quality results you deserve.

Design timeline

Another thing to remember is that a custom web design takes typically takes weeks or even months to finish, depending on how large the content is and how vast the changes you request to rapidly meet the demand.

Will you need to have your site up and running right away or within the next few weeks? If you’re a little impatient, stick with a ready made design, and go with a custom one when you’re willing to wait for your ideas to come to life.

Note: You have to make sure that you get a design that is mobile-responsive, as 56% of traffic comes from mobile users. Plus, you should also choose a template that comes from a trusted web design agency; this is way safer bet than just taking one off of WordPress or SquareSpace, since you will at least have a couple of people available who can help you with even making a
few changes in the beginning. Take note that custom designs gives your business credibility.


But if you’re all set with getting a custom web design, we’re ready to lend you a hand. We’ve got some killer designs for you to choose from while you’re waiting for your dream website to come to life.

Still unsure with where to go from the starting point? Shoot us a message for a free consultation. You can tell Team Panalo anything and everything you have in mind. We can help you determine what’s best for you, your team and your brand.