There are many web hosts that offer free build your own website tools, so what are the pros and cons of using them?
When you would want to use a web template:
- You do not want to pay a web designer or webmaster to create and update a website.
- You are wanting to test out an idea or get on the Web as inexpensively as possible.
- You plenty of time to create your website and consider it a labor of love and fun to learn and do.
When you would NOT want to use a website template:
- You do not want your site to look like other websites.
- You may want to move your website at some point. (A template site will not be transportable so your work and design cannot be moved.)
- You do not have the time or artistic inclination to make the site look good.
- You want to have your site place well on search engines. (Many template driven sites do not allow access to the source code to change meta tags.)
- Flash is pretty but will not place well on search engines and you want good organic placement.
- You do not want to be restricted by the template design, what if you want to put something where you want not where the template demands.
- A professional webmaster will be doing your updates. Webmasters will want to work on your site quickly and not download software or learn an application in order to do a website update for you.
These are just a few of the things that you should consider when you think about using a website template. Now, the other thing to keep in mind is that some templates are better and nicer than others.
One of the biggest issues is that your sweat equity in your site is not transportable. Want to ever move to a new web host? Your site cannot come with you, the web host or template owner owns the images, page layout, and technology that makes it easy for you to update your website. From experience, this is the most important issue that many who are using templates forget!
Another comment, as a professional webmaster, we pass on updating and webmastering all template driven websites. It simply takes too long to work on websites of this nature and the constriction of the template for power users, such as us, is frustrating at best. So template sites are best for novices who are going to work on their own website as long as they have it.