Custom Web Design
The web is already cluttered. Billions of websites form the worldwide web. Website templates are also too many out there. Although its very easy and cost effective to use a template design you bought from someone else in a marketplace, there are a lot of caveats that you should consider before you choose to skip the designer for a ready bought template.
First and foremost its the design itself. The author of the design earns his money by selling it, so the more it sells the better for the author. Keep this in mind for later: His ultimate goal is to sell as many as possible to make a profit. Thats why its so cheap to buy a ready template, the volume of sales help the author put food on the table. A custom template on the other hand look great and it's unique because it was made for you and for you only. It follows your brand completely and it feels like its yours. People know when something just feels right.
Another big problem with templates is the code. You'll never know the quality of code of these templates until you buy them and see for yourself. Most of the time they are very poorly coded. Why? Remember we need volume, most of the people buying these they don't care (or know how) to check the code. Templates are very hard to maintain (some impossible). You have to be able to read code written by someone else and understand it if you want to maintain or change something. Whereas with a custom template we know all the code because we have written it all. We know exactly where is everything so we can maintain it for the years to come. It also infinitely easier to do redesigns.
Its very usual for us to come across templates that are so slow, the authors need to export them to static html and cache them in order to feel fast in their demos. The demo is the only thing you can see before you buy it. Remember we need volume so the demo is the place to convince you to buy. Template authors can easily get around with that because there are many factors for a slow website. On the other hand our custom templates contain only relevant code, written according to global coding standards and refactored many times for maximum performance. We always test our custom templates with very strict standards about speed.
When talking about php templates (eg WordPress), security is a big issue. Since php is a back-end language that can talk with the database, it can potentially do damage if code is bad. Many ready-made templates use poor php code which is often insecure and sometimes potentially dangerous by opening holes in the system itself making it easy exploitable. Our custom themes don't have these issues for a couple of reasons. Usually are not written in php templates but in Twig since our CMS of choice when it comes to custom projects is Drupal. Twig doesn't run back-end code so its completely secure in that aspect. Even if it is written in php for some reason, for example our client might need a custom website in Wordpress, all php back-end code is written or checked by our back-end software engineered and is always written using php best practices.
Stuff you don't need
Remember, ready made templates need to sell high volumes. In order to achieve that they need to be able to serve many possible scenarios. That's why the authors bundle lots and lots of stuff that eventually make them bloated, heavy, slow and insecure. Most of the features they advertise are useless. Statistics show that you will only need about half of the features these templates sell you. The other half just sits there potentially harming your site. By investing in a custom design we build it around the features you need. It contains only relevant features and code. It includes everything you will need for your project to succeed without excess code and bells and whistles that you will never use.
Yes. It can be quite more expensive than a ready-made template bought from a marketplace. The major reason for that is again, volume. Your custom design and theme will be unique. It will sell only once. It will take weeks to be designed and developed and the designer and the developer will have to be paid only once for their creative work. Versus a template at a marketplace that might be sold hundreds if not thousands of times potentially making more money than your custom template with probably less quality.