People often ask me to explain the difference between the custom WordPress™ website I can build and the $25 template WordPress™ website they can get online.

First, let me define a template website. It’s a website made from a template, a prototype that can be used to adequately meet the typical needs of most websites owners. It provides foundational structure and style for a broad range of applications and uses.

What’s wrong with that? It’s not made for you, your business or your visitors. If you’re just starting out, a template website can help you begin. Once you identify your exact needs, often discovered after getting lost in the site’s overgeneralized backend, it can become difficult to rely on a template website to grow your business smartly, online.

Website designers who make template websites need to make $5,000 to $30,000 per creation. Their goal is to sell as many $25 licenses as possible. They spend an incredible amount of time creating somewhat flexible fonts, colors and themes, but they rarely spend any time on ecommerce adaptability, forum stylings and precise usability.

Example: You buy an e-commerce theme. You want to display color options for your products. That isn’t a part of the theme, so you can’t easily do it without help. Plus the site is bloated with code to meet everyone’s needs. That makes it perform very poorly.

The purpose of any site is to organize and manage content, and to make that content as accessible as possible. That’s what a custom WordPress™ website can do for you.

People who already have proof of concept know how important it is to have custom functionality that meets the exact needs of their clients or customers. They appreciate a dashboard with custom tabs and fields to make updating content easy. It takes more money upfront, but they know the payoff of more website conversions is well worth it.

The difference between template websites and custom websites is akin to buying a chair from a department store and buying a chair made for your butt. If you aim to sit for a very long time, I hope for the sake of your sciatic nerve that you choose the latter.

If you’re a part of an established business that’s in it for the long haul, get a custom website that takes less time to update. Make it the best online resource for your brand.