Templates Vs. Building From Scratch

Hello Everyone,

While I can definitely see the facility in working through projects that involve building an HTML/CSS from scratch, I wonder how many working developers actually do this?

Do most of them start off with a rough template or sample or do they actually go all in from scratch based on a client’s needs?

Would love to hear any insight into this. I’ll be plodding away in the meantime. :slight_smile:

It depends on client’s wants and requirements but I think most developers start out with templates especially using CMS like wordpress. In this way, the developers can quickly build without starting from ground up. A lot of plugins and widgets like payment processing and blogging functionalities are available that can be easily integrated for speed building the apps.

Therefore, I would use a template.

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Thank you for your reply @shimphillip. That’s very helpful information. I have a bit of experience using CSS to tweak my own sites but building them up from nothing seems a bit too much like reinventing the wheel to make sense of.

I can see, however, why we’re asked to build from scratch here, though. There’s no better way to get a deeper understanding.

Thanks again.

Hey @Trevorton27, I think it comes down to the client, just as Phil said. In a big IT shop for a big company they could afford to build from scratch to get exactly what the design team envisioned.

Most of us end up working on less prestigious websites with more modest budgets. So in this case absolutely yes, customizing a high quality theme is the most likely thing to do. As long as some care is taken in the selection of the theme, you get a tremendous boost cash wise for you client. But just be aware a large percentage of themes out there are not so great… There are a lot of bloated, broken themes being sold, so do your research.

Thank you for your reply @rickstewart. That makes a lot of sense. I can see having a site built from scratch would be a great service for those with the budget. But for those without it, thank goodness there are premade templates. I really enjoy the Divi theme for WP. It seems to have the best balance between pure visual buidling, code editing options and a lot of cool kind of middle ground options, too.

Learning more about the core structures of HTML and CSS is proving very valuable, however. And giving me a new found appreciation for how webdesign works.

I know this is an old topic but I just came across this and felt the need to give my 2 cents :slight_smile:

Using a template (like an HTML template from themeforest) is not the same as using a CMS like wordpress and I think equating using a template as using wordpress in this thread is misleading.

There are vast differences between a static site (for which you can still use a template) and using a CMS like wordpress. As has been mentioned this really comes down to the clients needs, but if a client is looking for a static website with a few pages to advertise their business and provide a contact form why burden them down with wordpress (which is going to bulkier, significantly slower, and more complex to customize)? Now if the client wants a blog or has significant content they want to manage than a CMS (like wordpress) could make a lot of sense, then you take advantage of alot of features that are built for you. It’s almost always preferable to reuse than to build from scratch but this shouldn’t come at the client’s detriment, and I think it is detrimental to use wordpress for a static site.

Now if you don’t want to code the CSS from scratch I think starting with a basic template that you are familiar with can get you to the finish line faster. There are a bunch available from themeforest as mentioned (https://themeforest.net/category/site-templates). Once you get familiar with one of these templates (or even create your own) then you can quickly reuse the template for future sites.

I’d definitely recommend leveraging a CSS framework like bootstrap and grid layout to handle responsiveness. You can also leverage SASS to easily customize the template for future needs.