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Templates vs Hand Coding

Discussion in 'Web Development' started by toradrake, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. toradrake Member


    I have, in the past few years, found myself to more and more moved towards modifying templates verses hand coding or even using a design tool for my own sites. It seems to be easier to just take a template and reconstruct it to my specifications then it is to build a site from scratch myself. I stick mainly to free use templates, but I have seen some amazing paid for templates also out there. Which do you prefer or is easier for you to work with.

  2. SimplySidy Member


    Having done both the scenarios, I prefer doing things from scratch. I have encountered clients who got templates which were amazingly great to look at but did not have the needed functionality - and the clients needed me to build their needed functionality into the templates. This is where things start getting messy as it is not your code that you are modifying. So you end up spending more time in trying to understand the codes on the template first and then accommodate your codes to suite the template. On one occasion (in 2010) - A client got a Template for another Application (Opencart) and asked me to modify it such that it suited his application (Wordpress) and the site was nowhere related to e-Commerce :rolleyes: - This is where Templates hurt.

    However, the good experiences with templates are always around - easy to customize and quick for delivery. Keeps both the client and the coder happy.

  3. oldwriter New Member


    It depends on what you are building. i.e. if it is a static or dynamic website, a forum, wiki, etc.

    I find myself building custom website skins from scratch for single-client solutions, usually modifying pre-made templates when dealing with popular software for CMS, forums, etc.

    It is entirely due to the difference in complexity. If I'm in charge of everything on a custom website, then it's easier to build a style for it using my own rules.

    On the other hand, a theme with specific requirements for a certain forum or CMS software must be done in a way that complies with the software's own design philosophy and standards, so it is easier to “slice & dice” an already-made template for their specific case than building one afresh by hand.

    I agree with simplysidy by the way. The worst case derives from a person trying to keep the looks and functionality from a template used by a certain CMS to be transferred to another software engine. Some won't understand the internals of content management software can be quite different (and most-often incompatible) among themselves, nor the fact it isn't just a copy-paste job to transfer the style.

    Education in this case is key. Lowering expectations to basic Background & Colors can work wonders to get them to rethink :)

    SimplySidy likes this.
  4. heatherIDD New Member


    If you have time to beat, I would suggest using CMS. Coding from scratch is better if your client is not in a rush. Though hand coding is much secured and easy to fix bugs, CMS also has plugins that can be easily installed and used.

  5. jblogger New Member


    This reminds me a little of this other thread (CMS vs in-house solution) and as I said there I have done everything from scratch in the past but now I use almost exclusively Wordpress. The truth is I love hand coding but I don't always have time in my hands to create something from the ground up.

  6. KenBrace New Member


    I've never really used templates. If I'm going to build something myself then I want it to be original. The thought of starting with someone else's framework doesn't sound good to me. I'm either going to use someone else's software for my site and not do any coding because the project would be to large and would take too long to create, or I would build it myself from scratch. No half and half.

    I have actually built a full forum software suite but when I started it I wasn't as good at programming as I am not so the foundation had a few problems. In the end I dumped the project and just stored it for reference of my work or whatever. It wasn't efficient, feature-rich, or secure enough to use for a website that I would want to be top notch.

  7. Jason76 Member


    I wouldn't hand code unless I was well skilled in CSS. On the other hand, a design tool might be a useful thing, even for the CSS illiterate. Nonetheless, it's always easier to simply upload and modify a template. Nonetheless, you might have to resort to a design tool if you cannot find your dream design, even with money.

    Hand code? I don't even think template designers hand code, but I could be wrong. For instance, how many 3D computer art people refuse to use Blender? Not many I think. :rolleyes:


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