semi custom vs. custom website design thumbnail | Semi-Custom Vs. Custom Websites & Which One’s Right For Me? | Lenya Creative

“Custom website design allows you to work IN your business, rather than on your business”

If you are on the hunt for your first website or you’re ready to upgrade a website you did yourself, you might have heard people refer to a “semi-custom website” or a “custom website design”. There are key differences between a semi-custom website (or as some refer to a templated website) and a custom website. Each one has their own benefits and best for certain business types and I am going to compare and contrast semi-custom vs. custom websites today! 

Visual Differences

Custom Website:

Custom Website Design is one of the best ways to have complete control over every aspect visually on your webpage in order to tell your brand story to the highest degree. You can work close with your designer and they can help bring to life *almost* anything you can imagine for displaying your amazing abilities.

Examples of custom website visual designs

Semi-Custom Website:

With a semi custom website you start with a template that was created by a designer (either one you find online or one that your designer you’re working with has already created) you will work from the template and add small touches like colors, typography, and your own messaging on the site to make it your own.

Strategy & Layout

Custom Website:

A big part about custom website design is the fact that the designer you work with will take into consideration your business & site goals when designing your website. This means, not only will it look great visually as mentioned above, but it will also have a purposeful flow to optimize the way your visitors browse your site based on your specific needs and goals.

Example of custom strategy & layout design:

Semi-Custom Website:

Because semi custom websites are premade they already have a generic or sometimes an “industry standard” structure. This means that the site will not be structured and layed out specifically for your needs and goals. It will instead have the same structure as many businesses that also use that structure.

Brand & Messaging

Custom Website:

Working with a professional designer on a custom website will allow you to showcase your brand through the words, messaging, and layout to best convert your visitors into customers.

Semi-Custom Website:

For semi custom websites most of the time you have to provide your own copy and messaging. You also are not going to be able to tell a unique brand message because of the limitations of the structure of your site.


Custom Website:

As the saying goes. “Time is money” and I know that you understand that because you too are an awesome business owner and you get it. Custom website design allows you to work IN your business with clients, rather than ON your business slaving away at trying to teach yourself how to build your website to make it look even somewhat presentable. Get rid of some of the stress and leave most of the responsibility to the professionals!

Semi-Custom Website:

Any type of semi custom design will mean that you will have to put in a bit more work than the custom route where your designer can do most of the work for you. If you choose to use a template, you will have to learn how to upload, edit, customize, and set up your own site which means time spent deep down the google rabbit hole. If you choose to work with a designer, semi-custom design websites can be almost a 50/50 partnership where your designer will help guide, build, and execute your website. .


Custom Website:

Last but certainly not least, and probably the reason you’re here; the price. Custom website design will be your bigger investment option averaging anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 but I have seen website design cost up to even $100,000 depending on the project! 

There are a few things to remember about custom websites. 

  1. You will get to have a website that looks & feels completely yours with your personality uniquely intertwined throughout the entire website.
  2. You may have a bigger ROI as you will have a completely custom website design with strategy to back it up.
  3. The copy, messaging, and text throughout your site will be done for you. All you have to do is communicate with your designer and together accurately showcase your brand. 
  4. You won’t be adding any additional stress to your plate since your designer will take care of most things for you.

Semi-Custom Website:

A semi-custom website will be your more economic route. Because semi-custom websites are templates, you can go with buying just the template on your own, or working with the designer. Depending on if you just buy a template or work with a designer to help develop your site, semi-custom websites can run you about $1,500 plus.

Which type of website is best for me?

So now that you have compared and contrasted the differences between semi-custom vs. custom websites, which one is right for you? Let me give you a few examples on who might benefit from both types of websites.

Who might benefit from a custom website design?

  • 1+ year old businesses ready to take the next step
  • Businesses that are struggling to grow
  • E commerce
  • Personalized and unique service based businesses
  • Online Based Business
  • Booking services
  • Coaches

Who might benefit from a semi-custom website design?

  • New businesses/side hustlers
  • Etsy owners who will link back to etsy
  • Businesses for simple portfolio needs
  • Landing pages
  • A source for minimal business information

At Lenya Creative, we provide both custom & semi custom websites for our customers. If you are interested in working with us or learning more information about how we much we charge for these services and what we can do to help your business or side hustle show up online, contact us below!