web design

Custom or pre-made design? Which to choose for your website.

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

OurChurch.Com has been building websites for Christian churches for over 20 years.

Over this time we have built websites using pre-made designs as well as custom designs.

So when considering a church website design, which is better?

Let’s look at the details, pro’s, and cons of each:

  • Custom created design:  Create a design from scratch, then turn that design into a working website.  This process requires a designer to create the design and developer to code the design into a working website.
    • Pros
      • Design is unique
      • Client can get exactly what they want in a design
    • Cons
      • Requires a designer and developer to be involved in the project (most designers are not developers and vice versa)
      • The process is very long
      • Very expensive because there is quite a bit of skill and time required by both the designer and developer
  • Pre-made design:  If using WordPress as your website platform, there are many design companies that create designs (themes) that can be purchased.
    • Pros
      • No designer or developer required to create the design
      • Many design options to choose from
      • Very quick process
      • Much less expensive than creating a design from scratch
      • Most designs have many features and options that would require additional development if building the design from scratch
    • Cons
      • Design is not unique (though with thousands of pre-made designs available, most churches will not be using the same design)
      • Sometimes themes conflict with other plugins used on the website
      • If you have issues with the theme, you must contact the theme developer to resolve them

I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things. -Lindon Leader

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I believe that there is a time and place for using both a custom design and a pre-made design.  However for most churches, especially small – mid sized churches who are on a limited budget, pre-made designs are the way to go.

You can check out a bunch of websites we have built by going to https://www.ourchurch.com/web-design-portfolio.  All of these websites are using a pre-made design.

What is your experience in using either a pre-made or custom design?  Post your comments below.

If you are interested in talking about a new website, please contact me here!


About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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