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The Pros and Cons of Free Business Card Templates

Whether for personal or business reasons, business cards are essential. They’re a surefire way of cultivating your professional image and establishing your brand, not to mention a handy way of dispensing contact details.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget to sit down with a designer to create their perfect card. Along with professional printing costs on top of that, getting memorable cards made can seem financially prohibitive. For those who still want to dabble, free business card templates can seem like a good, affordable option, particularly if you choose to print at home.

There is a whole host of free business card templates available online that are also printable. When it comes to these free templates, there are two main options for editing when you have little prior experience with design: templates that can be edited in Microsoft Word (or a free word processor); or templates that can be edited in a browser program.

In this article, we’ll be covering the pros and cons of both of these options, and ultimately explain why the best value option with the most professional finish is to try our new Business Card Maker.

1. The pros of free printable business card templates in Word

There are many free templates available online and in the Microsoft Word software itself. For some people, creating a business card in their word processor is a perfectly fine option for the following reasons:

It’s ideal if you want something simple with no frills.

Free templates for Word are pretty basic in design, but if you view a business card as merely a placeholder for your contact details, then these are a perfectly valid option.

You’re in control of the process

The level of control you have will obviously be dependent on how much experience you have editing in Word. Some templates are more editable than others, so if you feel comfortable tweaking text, images, colors, moving sections about, etc, you can download a template that allows you more alter the different sections. If you want something more straightforward, you can choose a template with an aesthetic that suits your industry and just replace the text with your own details.

Printing time can be almost instant

If you already own or have access to a good printer and ink in the desired colors, you’ll have your business cards in no time at all.

graphic of a businessperson presenting a business card to another business person

2. The cons of free printable business cards in Word

There a few reasons why printing free templates at home isn’t as straightforward as you might think:

The learning curve

As we mentioned earlier, the amount of control you have over your business card template is dependent on your level of experience. Many word processors can be notoriously finicky, so it may take some time to get your card to look the way you want it to.

There are limitations to printing business cards at home

Printing your business cards at home is instant in theory. However, it will take some trial and error before you get it right. And that’s if you get it right. You can get pre-cut business card paper to make things easier, but it can be tricky to make sure what’s on your screen aligns with the layout of this paper. Plus, your cards will have perforated edges instead of smooth, professionally cut edges, which will definitely reveal your cards to be a DIY job. You can obviously try smoothing them out with scissors or a blade, but this adds more time, effort, and you run the risk of ruining them altogether. Your color options will also be limited. Vibrant color printing can be difficult, so it really is best to stick to black and white. Plus, ink can get expensive. Which brings us nicely to our next point.

Printing free business card templates isn’t really free

Printing costs can really add up. You’ll have to pay special paper, ink, and subscriptions to your word processor of choice if you haven’t already. When you weigh up the costs of doing it yourself and printing professionally, you probably won’t be saving as much money as you think (if you’re saving any money at all).

Your business card won’t be unique

There are a whole host of free business card templates available on the Internet. In all likelihood, you won’t be the first to opt for your template of choice. For some people, that might be okay. But if you truly want to stand out from the crowd, this might not be the best option for you.

It’s difficult to achieve a truly professional finish

Unless you have the skill, access to printing materials, as well as the time to put into making your business cards the best they can be, editing and printing free Word templates won’t make for the most professional business cards. In fact, shoddy, cheap-looking business cards might end up having the opposite of your intended effect.

graphic of a businessperson presenting a business card to another business person

3. The pros and cons of free online business card editors

In comparison to editing business card templates in your word processor, online business card makers with free templates can offer you a lot more control over your design without a steep learning curve.

Pros:

  • Often easier to use: Online editors can be more user intuitive and the result a bit more unique and professional.
  • Generally more options for customizing: It’s more straightforward to give your cards a personal touch.
  • More unique and professional finish: Using a tool that’s created specifically for designing business cards typically results in a more sophisticated-looking end product.

Cons:

  • Limitations to free versions: Many of these “free” editors want to reel you in so that you ultimately pay for the premium version. With free versions, there are often fewer, rather basic templates, with poor color and text choices. Sometimes you can’t add even add your logo.
  • You can’t always edit the back: They don’t always allow you to put anything on the back of your card.
  • Pay extra for watermark-free version: You often have to pay extra to get your design without the editor’s logo.
  • They aren’t always easy to use: While these editors are often created with user ease of use in mind, this isn’t always the case
  • Printing options aren't great: If you opt to print at home, you’ll run into the same issues as printing Microsoft Word templates. Some online editors offer professional printing, but they can often have shoddy results or be prohibitively expensive.

Try Namecheap’s Online Business Card Maker

For creating and printing professional, stylish business cards on a budget, Namecheap’s new business card maker is a great choice. It’s free to start designing – you only pay for the high-quality printing, and delivery is free. It’s a more affordable option than many online printers, and will likely even save you money over printing “free” business cards at home. We use high-quality paper and you can choose a matte or gloss finish for your cards, ensuring the results will be professional every time.

Business Card Maker’s easy-to-use interface features a range of sophisticated templates that are suitable for all industries. You can customize with a multitude of colors and fonts, upload a logo, and even edit the back. In the end, you get a watermark-free proof of your logo for free, which you can use wherever you like.

Conclusion

While free business card templates can seem like the most affordable and easy option, this isn’t necessarily the case. Results can be shoddy and unprofessional, and the cost of home printing will more than likely add up. Try Business Card Maker today to make and order low-cost, professional business cards in just a few simple steps.

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