Website Templates for Building a Great Site
Don’t you feel that the more website templates you look at, the more they look the same?
Let’s just get this out of the way… you’re not the best designer around — and you’re not weird.
It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed when it comes to picking the right design for your website.
Choosing a template to design your website can either be a lot of fun, completely overwhelming, or for most people – somewhere in between.
Initially when you sit down to build a web page, it can very often be hard to know how to begin, but that is not the case when you harness the power of professional and well-designed templates.
Here is a brief explanation for each section:
- Visitor Interaction: what will visitors be able to do on this website? List all the activities they will complete while visiting.
- Editing, Updates and Administration: how will the website be updated? Define the process for adding new content and making editorial changes.
- Sitemap and Navigation: what is the structure of the website? List the sections and content categories of the website.
- Content Management: how will content be managed on a day-to-day basis? Is there a need for a Web Content Management System?
- Tracking: what are the reporting needs of the website? Define a list of Key Performance Indicators that stakeholders and other interested people need.
- Search Engine Optimisation: how will the website be ‘promoted’ in organic search results? List the items and activities to enable this, such as, a unique title and description tag on every page.
- Editor Interface: how will editors update website content? Define the editor environment and everything required to allow editors to do their job.
- Accessibility: how will people with special needs use the website? List the requirements to allow access by screen-readers etc.
- Styling and Design: what is the look, feel and brand of the website? Identify the broad styling and design considerations.
- Security: what will be in place to make sure the website is secure and safe for visitors to use? List all security considerations.
- Hosting: how will the website be hosted? Identify the type of hosting (cloud or physical servers) and the site (own hosting or third-party).
- Maintenance and Support: what are the requirements for supporting the website? Define the time periods and level of support needed, including disaster recovery and service continuity.
- Other Requirements: list anything not covered in other sections of the document.
- Exclusions: anything that will not be delivered as part of this project.
- Considerations: list anything that needs accounting for as part of this work and any constraints that may exist.
- Assumptions: list any assumptions made about the proposed website.
Most times, when you see a template website, they all feel the same, with only a few differences in colors and graphics.
The great range of templates from which to select is impressive, and their quality is that of a high-priced graphic design.
The templates should have more to them than just looks though, they have smarts too.
Lets say that you’ve just finished entering an lot of content and you come across a new template that fits your website even better than the one you’ve already chosen. .
This convenience is not only for single pages, though. With the Global Design Control you can apply changes across every page of your site.
Don’t like the font? Just a few mouse-clicks and all of your site’s pages should be updated.
Tweaking Your Templates
That is the reason you can design your own templates which draw on the self-design power of the program.
Make a few little changes to an existing template or create your own from scratch, then save it as a new template that you can apply to any new page you create!
This feature is perfect for sites that incorporate Google Adsense or other advertising features. Don’t set up ads on each individual page, just do it once, save it as a template and apply it to all of your pages.
There can be no doubt that by using a quality template you can build a professional looking website in minutes!
Types of Website Templates
There are two main types of website templates you should consider for your business website. Those are static or HTML templates and WordPress templates. Let’s take a closer look at the two.
1. Static Templates
Static site templates have their own set of pros and cons.
Static Website Template Pros:
- Little to No Maintenance – Once your website is live, there is no need to install any updates or perform regular backups. In most cases, the initial backup is more than enough.
- Low Requirements – Since static templates don’t use PHP or a database such as MySQL, they can run on a cheaper server with few resources needed which lowers the hosting costs.
Static Website Template Cons:
- No Updates – Unless you are familiar with HTML/CSS, static website templates can be very difficult to update for beginners which often translates into hiring a developer even for simple tasks.
- No Additional Features – If your business grows and you want to add a feature to your website like a store, you will have to hire a developer to do this for you.
- Costs – Even though website templates are pretty affordable, they can quickly prove to be quite expensive if you require lots of changes and updates.
Now that you know the pros and cons of static website templates, it’s worth mentioning when a static website template makes a wise choice.
A static website template is a perfect choice if you are absolutely certain that you won’t want to update, change, or add anything new to your website.
Or if you know how to code and can easily make changes to your website yourself. Similarly, if you don’t have the time nor the resources to develop content for a business blog, then a static template is a better choice.
Here is a popular static website template – Pillar, which has a built in page builder to help you craft a variety of html sites:
2. WordPress Website Templates
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS).
A CMS such as WordPress is built with the programming language PHP and MySQL for the database, which contains all your data.
So, there are more components built into a WordPress template compared to a simple site template.
You access all those components and setup your site through the WordPress interface, as well as add plugins and manage your site.
The biggest advantage of any CMS is the ability to update your website from a user-friendly interface.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using WordPress.
Pros of Using WordPress
- Easy to Update – Thanks to an intuitive user interface, WordPress makes it easy for you to create or update pages on your site.
- Professional Templates – There are thousands of ready-made templates that you can use on your site and most of these templates include a user-friendly interface which allows you to change the colors, fonts, layout, and much more with just a couple of mouse clicks.
- Incredibly Powerful – WordPress has a huge library of plugins which allow you to further extend the functionality of your website, such as: adding a contact form, adding a reservation system, adding a photo gallery, and more.
Cons of Using WordPress
- Learning Curve – While WordPress is easy to use, it takes a while for most beginners to get familiar with the software. However, the Internet is full of helpful resources centered specifically around WordPress.
- Maintenance – If you use WordPress, it’s extremely important to keep it up-to-date, as well as any themes and plugins you have installed.
- You can either do this yourself or use a managed WordPress hosting provider which will take care of this for you.
So decide which types of website you are going to lunch. Then choose a proper website templates for you site. They are available free and paid versions.