Looking for advice: templates vs coding from scratch


I’m starting a business that’s part of the share economy. More or less like airbnb dot com for camera equipment. Obviously, the website is a huge part of the equation. As I’ve looked around for someone to build the site I’ve gotten a lot of responses that seem to fall into 2 categories. Developers that want to code it from scratch and others that want to use templates and then build it from there adding on the specific functions I need. These needs include phone and credit card verification, users emailing each other through the site, searching for products by item and location, creating a template for people to list their item, paying for the item plus adding it together with any accessories that are rented. I take a small fee and the rest of the money is turned over to the owner. It also must take a deposit that is refunded once the item is returned. I confess that I do not understand the nuts and bolts of how to build a site or how to accomplish any of this functionality. However, I understand this is a lot. After looking at your site there seems to be a lot of very smart people on this site that may be able to assess and give their opinion of the differences. Obviously people that want to code from scratch want a kings ransom for this and the templates are significantly cheaper. So my questions are will I have to sacrifice functionality to save money. Then its not worth it. Can you add on the functions I need if using pre built templates? People have mentioned expressionengine and joomla. As the business grows will the templates become overloaded and I’ll have problems in the future. Being that a lot of these sites have a very similar look and feel I’m not especially worried about having a totally unique looking site. Any other thoughts or advice would be completely appreciated. Obviously, anybody I talk to that wants build it wants to sell me their way is best. Hopefully here I can get some opinions of people that are knowledgeable and don’t have a horse in the race. Please forgive me if this is to long a post. I just want to give as much info as possible. I

Hiya hiya. Welcome to the forums. :slight_smile:

An off-the-shelf template/design can be a lot cheaper, but it’s never going to suit your content as well as a layout designed around your content. So, as with everything, it’s a matter of budget: if you can afford a tailor made suit, it will always fit better than a cheap, off the rack one. If you are a serious player in the business world, it’s best to invest properly in your business. But if the budget is tight initially, it’s understandable if you want to dip your toe with a cheaper option.

yes i would recommend if you can design your content from scratch it will be a beauty.
tampletes are not a good option.

I would go with the template and customize it to fit my needs. It will save you a lot of time.

It all depends on two things: Time & Money!

If you’ve got 6 months or more and have got a reasonable $ then you may go for “from scratch” type. Otherwise there are templates available with full payment processing, checkout, shopping carts etc = you only need to customize them and get your content, info and images in them.

Yes, the “scratch” thing gives you full power over your project - and could make it unique.

The “template” one would give you speed - precision but may not be unique and could lake features.

Today there are several CMS (content management system like wordpress, Magento, Joomla) available on the web where you can find several read made templates and customize it according your requirements. It is also affordable than manual web development.