Design from scratch or use templates?

Hi guys. I’m new to web design and have a quick question or more topic of discussion. This is not specific to webflow as such.

I have my first meeting and potential gig tomorrow for a restaurant. I called my cousin who owns a successful media marketing business for the last 30 years or so. I needed a little advice on pricing and how to structure the meeting. I was shocked to find that they mostly use wordpress templates for their work and fine-tune them for finished web design. He told me to do the same and look at webfow templates to use.

There’s some nice templates there. However, it feels like cheating and I wouldn’t be learning and improving every time I build from scratch. Not to mention the sense of achievement I get, and nothing quite like starting with a completely blank canvas to get creative, and, try to bring something unique and special. Does anyone else get this?

Just wanted to get other’s views on this? He’s maybe lost his passion and more money-driven. Although I need money to keep going with this career, and need it fast. But I hope that will come as I constantly improve with my own work and imagination.

Any thoughts or views on this would be amazing.


Here is my site Read-Only: LINK
(how to share your site Read-Only link)

@Gareth_Ellison this is a little bit of a touchy subject. It’s okay for beginner designers to use templates, but the caveat is that you shouldn’t use them to avoid doing any creative work. If you are using templates, then you should be tweaking and fully customizing them and at the same time, learning from them (visual hierarchy, colors, typography etc… ).

Now in your free time, you should put in hard work to learn how to create your own custom work from scratch. Learn how to pull things from inspiration, it doesn’t just have to be design-related sources, it can be anything. Now the reason I’m putting an emphasis on this is that when you learn and you try to create more and more things from scratch, you build skill, confidence, and a true understanding of the craft which is web design. On top of that, people will be willing to pay you more because they value your original style and hard work.

Now a nice Webflow-based beginners course would be Freelance web design boot camp | Webflow University this would definitely be a great kickstart to your learning.

Now I say all of this to say, make your money any way you can. These past few years have been hard on us all. At the same time, work to cut the crutches out of your work. Good luck with your meeting tomorrow and if you need help, the forums are always open.

Hey chris_loggins. Hope your doing great and business is booming. Thanks once again for your reply. Really appreciate the feedback. You make a good point about maybe learning from some of the templates, so I may try that. But like you mentioned, you are missing out on the whole learning experience. For one I love designing anyway. I’m skint and need cash quickly, but I still want to give the customer something unique and that came from me.

I think maybe it boils down to how much you enjoy the job. If you love the design aspect then you look forward to a blank canvas. But I guess there maybe times where a basic website is needed and people may benefit from using the templates. I was just shocked to hear that an experienced and well established company here in Scotland uses templates for the majority of their designs.

Can I ask, do you do all your designs from scratch? I haven’t even gave it a second thought, as always want to start with a blank page and get creative. :grinning:

@Gareth_Ellison Yes I do, I start in Figma then everything is developed in Webflow. I have been stubborn in that way, I want things to be just as I intend them to be. I just love designing so much and I am always looking to create greater and greater things.