Web templates can be an ideal alternative to much more costly custom-built websites. It is especially true if you are running a small, growing online business and there is no way you can spend thousands of dollars on the professional web designer and developer help. Time can also be an issue, since overall site making process may last from a few weeks to several months. So, if you need to create a quality website fast and relatively cheap, a full-featured web template is your best choice.
However, choosing the right template may be a challenging task, since there are quite many of them available on the market. This is a crucial thing and many people are still not sure how to make the right decision. I highlighted some of the most common mistakes when using web templates for website design.
- Concentrating too much on the unique look. It is actually really important for your website to stand out of the crowd. This will increase your brand awareness and so on, but it is sometimes much more important to find the professionally made template. Though using the most popular templates may look unreasonable, it’s not the worst option – all you have to do is to spend some time on customization. It is better to concentrate on a few major upgrades, than on many minor ones.
- Choosing the wrong design. When choosing the design for your website, always keep in mind your prospective clients. Even if you like the visual side, you have to think if it will be appropriate as your corporate website, not a personal one. Choose wisely: this is especially important with regard to colors and overall style. The structure can’t be neglected as well: all fonts and icons need to be easily readable, so try to make them large and attractive enough.
- Using a flash-based template. Fully flash templates sometimes may cause much more trouble, than their visual look worth. There is almost no way to customize them, they are much more heavy and work bad with SEO (search engine optimization). Now, when HTML5 is working correctly, you can choose the template that will look almost as good as flash, but with much less things to worry about.
- Neglecting the template’s flexibility. First of all, your template should be ready for customization - this is quite obvious. Look for the one with easily understandable HTML and CSS codes. Next, check the template for the features you might need in the future - navigation bar, video/audio support, plugins, etc.
- Using wrong file types and sizes. When you are designing your website, based on some template, it is extremely important to remember about its main mission and prospective visitors. Even if your goal is to sell really expensive stuff for rich people, your website should load fast. Never use large images, when the smaller ones will do the job (this may apply to all files, especially audio and video ones). Use the alternatives to file types like WAV or BMP (OGG and JPG respectively will work just fine), since they ensure ultimate quality, thus improving the load time of your website.
Using a template for your website may save you a lot of time and money, since there are thousands of them on the market and you can find the one for your specific needs. Though, you have to remember that you are making a website not for yourself , but for existing and prospective clients. This means that the most important thing is to make it easy to access, read and navigate. Try to use friendly colors and fonts, so they won’t distract your client’s attention. Did I miss something? Feel free to share your comments below.
December 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm
I agree with you on all the points and especially on the Flash templates one. Search engines do not like flash at all.
Thanks Martin for this great article.