Today is the era of lots of pre-sets. You can include web design templates in this. Does this mean that custom websites (and services for custom web design, by extension) are defunct? Are they a thing of the past? Not necessarily. In fact, not at all.
Custom website design services are still very much alive. There is still beauty in a web page that looks nothing like the other web pages out there. And here's the proof.
Website Templates – Not the Best Idea
When building a website, you have one goal in mind: create a brand identity. Even if this goal is not written verbatim in a company manual or anywhere else, it's still the main goal. One’s brand identity must be unique. It must stand for the values and messages that only a specific company exhibits and promotes. The website is a good place to start when building that identity.
Using a website design template eliminates this individuality. These templates are often too rigid for creative comfort. In fact, there is little to no creativity in using a template. Some may argue that templates only serve as guides. But then, these guides give their version of a good website. What about your vision? How does that come into play, when working with a template? Templates will make you stick with their recommendations, unwittingly. If you're looking to build an online brand, individuality is critical in standing out. Website templates do not offer enough opportunities for creativity and brand building; and, therefore, not enough avenues of individuality, either.
On SEO Value
A custom website's SEO value cannot be understated. Website templates have limited SEO value. For instance, template providers such as Wix won't let people use SSL, when it plays a major role in SEO success, especially in recent times. There are countless other website template providers that have their own way of doing things. With how search engines also like doing their own thing, this is not a good match. SEO success, after all, begins and ends with satisfying a search engine's requirements. Custom websites help greatly in that regard.
Custom websites are not dead. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.