Since the mid 2000's having a website is essential for businesses of all sizes, and there are a multitude of packages for all. With numerous options available, selecting the right solution for your website requirements can be challenging.

This article will discuss why a modified template design (often called hybrid design) can be the best choice for your business website, exploring its advantages and comparing it to custom web design.

Advantages of Modified Template Design


One of the most significant benefits of using a modified template design is its cost-effectiveness. Custom web design can be expensive, with prices often reaching thousands of dollars. In contrast, modified templates are more affordable while still providing a professional look and feel. We have a free website price cost estimator to get a rough budget idea. 

Faster deployment

Building a custom website takes time, often requiring several months of development. With a modified template design, you can launch your site much faster, sometimes in just a few weeks. This quick deployment means your business can start benefiting from its online presence sooner.


Modified templates offer a great balance between customization and ease of use. You can tailor the template to fit your business's unique needs and branding while still enjoying the convenience of a pre-built design. Subtle Difference has the expertise to guide you through the customization process, ensuring your website reflects your brand identity.

Search engine optimization

Many template designs come with built-in SEO features, making it easier to optimize your site for search engines. This means your website will be more visible to potential customers, driving more organic traffic and leads to your business. We start all of our hybrid designs with a baseline for SEO to assist in speeding up your search engine optimisation endeavours.


As your business grows, your website needs to grow with it. Modified templates within our RealOnline CMS are super scalable, allowing you to add new features, pages, and content as needed without the need for extensive redesigns. 

Disadvantages of Custom Web Design

Higher costs

As mentioned earlier, custom web design can be costly, making it an unrealistic option for many small businesses. Subtle Difference can help you find budget-friendly alternatives, such as modified templates.

Longer development time

Custom websites take time to develop, meaning your business may have to wait months before it can start benefiting from its online presence. By opting for a modified template design, Subtle Difference can help you launch your site more quickly.

Complex maintenance

Custom websites often require specialized skills to maintain and update, which can add to the long-term costs of owning a site. With a modified template design, maintenance becomes simpler and more manageable.

Tips for Modifying a Template Design

Choose the right template

It's essential to select a template that suits your business's needs and goals. Consider factors like layout, features, and design elements when making your choice. We have built hundreds of websites with the vast majority using hybrid designs and can guidance in selecting the perfect template for your business.

Prioritize user experience

When modifying your template, always keep user experience in mind. Ensure your site is easy to navigate, has clear call-to-actions, and loads quickly on all devices. The rule of sameness in design (well the importance of consistency) assists in dictating how to present to your users so that they can easily get to content in need.

Optimize for mobile

With over 50% of all web traffic on mobile devices, it's vital to optimise your site for mobile users. Ensure your modified template design is responsive and looks great on various screen sizes. This is a core function we have been doing since 2013. (in fact some of our super early work is still live and working today)

Incorporate your branding

Customise the template to reflect your business's unique branding. Adjust colors, fonts, and images to create a cohesive look that aligns with your brand identity. Subtle Difference has the expertise to help you seamlessly integrate your branding into the modified template design.

In summary, a modified template design offers several advantages for businesses seeking a professional website without the high costs and lengthy development times associated with custom web design. By choosing the right template, prioritizing user experience, optimizing for mobile, and incorporating your branding, you can create a website that effectively meets your business's needs while staying within budget. The team at Subtle Difference is ready to guide and advise you on the best solution to achieve your desired outcome while keeping costs in check.


Q: Can I still achieve a professional look with a modified template design?

A: Absolutely! Many high-quality templates have been designed by professionals and provide a polished, professional appearance. By customizing the template to suit your branding, and with the help of Subtle Difference, you can achieve a unique and professional look for your business website.

Q: How much technical knowledge do I need to modify a template design?

A: While some basic web design skills can be helpful, many templates come with easy-to-use customization tools that require little to no technical knowledge. Additionally, there are numerous online resources and tutorials available to assist you in modifying your chosen template. The experts at Subtle Difference can also provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Q: Will a modified template design limit my website's functionality?

A: Not necessarily. Many templates come with a wide range of built-in features, and additional functionality can often be added through plugins or extensions. As you select a template, be sure to consider the features your business requires, and consult with Subtle Difference for expert advice.

Q: Can I switch to a custom website design in the future if I start with a modified template?

A: Yes, you can always transition to a custom website design later on. Starting with a modified template can be a cost-effective way to establish your online presence while you build your business. When you're ready to invest in a custom design, you can migrate your existing content and branding with the assistance of Subtle Difference.

Q: How do I ensure my modified template design is SEO-friendly?

A: Choose a template with built-in SEO features, and be sure to optimize your content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords, writing high-quality content, and using proper header tags. Additionally, make sure your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate, as these factors also contribute to your site's overall SEO performance. Subtle Difference can provide expert guidance to help you optimize your website for maximum search engine visibility.


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