Too Many Templates!

Most of us are not designers. We might be decent enough at coding a basic website and arranging things to our liking, but when it comes time to design a new website or redesign an existing one, we realize we are not the expert. Much like you would shop around for a new car before purchasing, you also tend to shop around for site designs and ideas. What we are facing now, however, is too much of a good thing. There are so many site designs and web templates; it can be quite an ordeal just to browse through them.

Web Templates

Web templates are like the cover of a book. They give you a great idea of what will be inside a site and how it will be presented, but the templates are generally empty of content – with the exception of some flash or graphics. Preparing these templates has become a rather large business for many designers. Many design professionals create and distribute templates as a sort of calling card for their services.

If a webmaster likes the style of a certain template, but would prefer an original design, the contact information for the web template designer is usually readily available. On the other hand, some designers offer their templates for a small fee. With so many individuals using various designs, the designer can make a decent amount from a well prepared template.

Too Many?

Are there too many web templates online? The answer to that would depend on your purpose. If you are looking to buy, the abundance of designs is a good thing. You are able to find designs that are hopefully not already in use all over the web. It will take a decent amount of time to sort through and find the perfect design, but it can be done. Also, if you are looking to buy, you probably already have a design concept in mind and are looking for something to fill a specific need. You already know if you’re working in WordPress, PHP or HTML. Filtering is simplified and you can get results rather simply.

The abundance of templates will cause a bit of a sticky situation when you are just starting to plan a website or trying to get ideas. If you have a few keywords and a general idea of what you are looking for, searching though hundreds or even thousands of available templates may be frustrating. There are unlimited possibilities for site design, even if you have a basic idea. It is far better to build up to than to pick out a design at random.

Building up to a Design

To build up to a template purchase, you should first decide on other things. First, of course, you need a website purpose. Are you selling something? Are you providing content only? Your offering will have a great deal to do with your web template selection. Your target demographic will make a difference as well. Teenagers are looking for different patterns and graphics than SEO experts.

Once you have your purpose and demographic nailed down, it is time to think of details. It seems strange, but starting with specific details can make choosing a site wide template much easier. Is there a company logo you plan to use or a graphic you enjoy? Are you offering some sort of gimmick? If you’re working as an affiliate, are there any guidelines you should follow? If you know you need space for a weekly special offer or want the option of including an online store later on, you should plan for this as well.

The Wide World of Color

One of the biggest hurdles, and often the primary sort tool when looking at web templates is color. Almost all templates can be categorized according to color. This is where things like logos or regulations can come into play. If you love a logo that is made of blue and yellow, it makes sense to find templates with blue or yellow backgrounds and elements. Likewise, if you’re targeting teens or children, color and font will play a major role.

Some color choices are obvious such as pink and blue for girl or boy specific websites. If a baby or child site is gender neutral, beige, green and yellow are the choice colors. Websites with authority generally contain red elements, and soothing sites are done in blue or green pastels. Much research has been done about colors and moods. If you are selling a soothing home-spa treatment, you will need a soft, soothing color with flowing font. On the other hand, if you are hyping up a potential buyer about a brilliant new e-book or marketing plan, bold warm colors such as red and orange create excitement.

With all of these elements in mind, it should be rather simple to begin a search. Searching for a red site with yellow accents that can accommodate a weekly rotating ad is much simpler than looking randomly for anything that pleases the eye. Plan ahead and the vast number of templates will be an asset rather than a hindrance.