One of the key decisions your clients face is choosing between a custom build or a template. This choice is not as straightforward as it seems, with multiple factors at play. In this article, drawing from real experiences, we'll provide a deeper understanding of these options. We'll break down the pros and cons, and offer some guidance to help your clients make a well-informed decision. Let's dive in and explore.
As a Webflow freelance, you’ve probably built a few Webflow sites for SaaS companies, as these are the ones that obtain huge value from having their marketing site built on Webflow. And you’ve probably found yourself discussing with your client if a specific project should a be a template-based or custom build. This was me a few days ago. While I clearly know my arguments why a custom built is better from a developer point of view, I lacked the ability to present the pros and cons of one and another approach to my client.
This article serves to identify the factors that should drive the decision of choosing template-based or custom approach when discussing it with a client.
Before we dive into it, let’s define two things
As a CMO or CEO of an early-stage start-up, your client’s goal is to ensure that their marketing website, aligns with their overall business objectives and provide the greatest return on investment. That's why when making the decision between a template-based or custom build in Webflow, it comes down to four factors: brand identity and differentiation, budget and timeline.
If your client’s priority is to be differentiated and bring a unique user experience to their visitors, the custom build is the way to go. On the other hand, if budget and/or timeline are a big concern, the template-based option is the winner.
This factor does not tilt the scales to one or other approach on its own, but is worth noting some details if we choose one or the other.
A well-suited template, paired with a well-defined marketing growth strategy, will facilitate the seamless expansion of the website as the marketing initiatives continue to evolve. Keep in mind a clear marketing plan is key for scalability on this option. Otherwise, the template chosen could influence your next marketing move. Make sure you have a clear marketing roadmap before choosing your template, instead of the chosen template defining the site’s growth.
Webflow's incredible powerful and flexible CMS allows you to build custom content structures. While the vast majority of template bring widely used dynamic content structures for blogs, projects, solutions for name a few, a custom build will allow you to build more advance dynamic page systems such as ads landing pages, lead-magnet pages, events and form success page among others. These dynamic content systems often have nuances unique to a company and its industry, which are nearly impossible for a generic template to accommodate.
In conclusion, whether you opt for a custom or template-based build in Webflow largely depends on the unique needs, goals, and constraints of your client. Understanding these key factors is crucial in guiding them to make an informed decision that best aligns with their business objectives. Remember, your role as a freelancer is not to push your own preference but to present a balanced view, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches. Ultimately, the aim is to deliver a solution that's scalable, aligns with the client's brand identity, and offers optimal returns on their investment. No matter the chosen path, the power of Webflow's flexibility and robust CMS ensures you can build a website that serves their purpose, now and in the future.