Website templates bring a lot of power to the world of web design. They’re fast and easy to set up and get a site running in a matter of hours rather than days or weeks. They’re cheap in comparison to custom web design. They can still be highly customizable. Yet they all still have telltale signs of their template nature, which begs the question; can using templates hurt your site SEO?
The Death of Custom Web Design
About ten years ago, there was this impression that if you wanted to have a website, it needed to have a truly unique design if it wanted to get anywhere on the web. This is the era where a lot of big name sites were founded in various styles. You have sites like Slashdot, with their minimalist news style. You have sites like Reddit, with their strange anti-forum threaded comments system. You have sites like Delicious, like Digg, and a whole lot more. In part, these sites grew and thrived because of their spearheading position in web content. In part, though, they thrived because of their unique web design and branding.
Then, back in about 2013 or 2014, people started wondering if the value of a unique designed site was really still there. Many unique sites were being pann…