Let us start with couple of very simple questions.
What is a template?
A template is a pre-designed CSS style sheet with all the elements like images, rows, logo, columns, menu, buttons etc arranged in the style that you may like for your small business website. It has very limited to moderate number of changes that you can do to customize it for your business.
What is a custom design?
A custom design is a design which is specially made for your small business website and considers all your micro and macro requirements.
Troubles with Templates
Templates are generic designs. Your small business can somehow be identified but cannot be completely branded and reflected on your website because templates always have restrictions.
All template makers supply different type of files that may require you to have multiple editing programs as flash, photoshop, etc.
You are still required to do the editing / changing of pictures in terms of pixels, shadowing, transparency, layering etc. If you are not familiar with the editing programs, a template can prove very hard to work with.
Though most of the templates are available for a low price but there is catch that if you want it with the exclusive rights, the cost of $50 will go to $2500.
There are certain template providers that charge per year, not one time.
You will not be able to add custom promotion, time period, sale prices etc. if the template was originally not designed to do so.
You still need to replace all the content from sampling to your actual content.
In most of the templates, the footer links are not customizable and do not permit to place some ad contents e.g. From Google adsense.
If you are required to use extensions, plug-ins etc, (most of the times we do) many templates will need CSS code adjustment to manage and put up with these extensions / plug-ins and even the bigger issue is that the template provider may or may not offer any help when it comes to the compatibility with these extensions / plug-ins.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is generally not considered in bulk template creation and it can limit the presence of your small business website.
You can always have copyright issues because the same design is used by others for personal or business use.
What is the solution?
We at Marvel Websites, recommend using completely custom designs for your business / personal website. We specialize in custom designing for small businesses / personal use and all our designs are uniquely made considering the client-in-hand needs.