To create professional websites is not an easy task by any means. There are many things that you got to take into consideration like easy navigation, strategic links, clean coding, professional layout, easy downloading, scanability, usability and so on. These are the elements that differentiate a professional website from a mediocre one. So in a way it's not designing the website that counts but how the website is designed.
The only option that most of us have in order to design a good website is to hire a web- designer. Web-designers can help you come up with a great website that looks professional and is coded to perfection, but what about the time factor, leave alone the costs. Here's where web templates come to the rescue.
|Website template examples|
What are web templates?
Wondering what web templates are? Well, to put it in simple terms, web templates are semi-finished, pre designed web pages that can be used to create and host websites in less time. They are coded and have everything from graphics to logos and can be customized if required to add new pictures, content etc.
Why are web templates considered semi finished WebPages?
Web templates are semi finished in the sense that they are not ready to upload as they are. You need to add certain elements to make them look complete. Some of the main elements that you need to add include
Page titles/header/footer and Meta tags
Company Logo, images etc
After adding these details the web template becomes ready to be uploaded using a web host for the world to see.
What is the price range of web templates?
Web templates range in price depending on the type of templates, terms of usage, package deals, membership deals, files provided etc. Typically a professional template with non-exclusive rights could cost you anything between $20 to $100. This is way lower as compared to what a web designer would ask you for designing your website, not to mention the time factor. Copyrighted templates with exclusive rights could cost you anywhere between $350 to $1800 per template. Some template providers like TemplateMonster.com can offer you high quality templates for much lower costs.
What are the files I should get with the purchase of a template?
The files that you get on the purchase of a template differ from vendor to vendor depending on the type/feature of the template. Regardless of the type of template some files that should accompany your purchase are as follows:
Jpeg/gif image files, font files
External CSS Style sheets
What kind of rights do I get over the web templates?
Basically there are two types of templates; exclusive (copyrighted) templates and non- exclusive (non-copyrighted) templates. An exclusive template gives you ownership rights over the template whereas a non exclusive template does not give you ownership rights but only usage rights. Exclusive web templates are a bit costly and will ensure that the template is not resold to any other customer. You may use the template as your like and even resell it to other customers. A non-exclusive template on the other hand is cheaper and gives you only usage rights over the template. This means you can modify the template as per your needs but cannot resell them to a third party. Non-exclusive templates also mean that the same template can be resold by the template provider to more than one customer.
How do I edit the web templates?
Basically editing involves inserting the content, changing the style and adding/changing graphics. This can be done using the psd, index.html and other files that the web-template provider gives you on purchase of specific templates.
Editing images and graphics
You would require PSD files in order to edit images and graphics like change image color; add/remove image layers etc. PSD files are those created using Photoshop and can be edited using Photoshop, ImageReady, imac or other image editing software programs. You can also change images to your liking. The best place to look for quality images for your templates is 'gettyimages.com'.
If you only need to change/insert content of the template, you can go for editing the index.html file. The index.html file is provided by all template providers and can be edited using Html editors like FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Golive etc. You can also edit content using text editors. Index.html can also be used for removing/replacing images, changing links, adding meta-tags, adding alt texts, adding title and changing image sources.
Editing layouts and styles
For editing layouts and styles you would require a CSS style sheet. A CSS style sheet is a document that lets you make changes like text color, text/paragraph spacing, headings, links etc to multiple pages. Always ask your template provider to give external CSS style sheets as they are easy to edit. CSS can be edited using any HTML or text based editors.
In case you find the editing part difficult you can make use of web template customization services that are provided by most template providers.
Domain registration and hosting
Domain registration and web hosting are crucial for your website to appear online. There are many template providers who offer allied services like domain registration and hosting. Some even provide services like content development and search engine optimization. So be sure to buy templates from template vendors who offer these additional services. Some template providers offer template related services irrespective of where you actually purchased the template from.
Where can I find quality web templates?
The internet is filled with websites that offer web templates. All that you need to do is insert a keyword like 'corporate web templates' in google or yahoo! to get a SERP crammed with web template providers. But finding quality templates from this crap is a bit difficult. A template many look glossy on your screen but may contain bad coding and low grade graphics. Some may be cheap but will have bad or no service associated. So how to find the best web templates in this heap load? The best way is to ask your-self these seven questions before making a buying decision.
Questions to ask before buying web templates
Are the templates conversant with my company objectives and goals?
Will they appeal to my end users?
What kind of support does the web template provider offer?
Does the web template provider offer complimentary services like hosting, customization, SEO etc?
Is the template compatible with all editing software programs?
What kind of files does the template vendor offer me?
What are the membership options available?
Free Website templates. Sounds too good to be true?
Well, giving away free web templates is not a big deal for a web design company or any web designer who likes sharing his works. It's just the way to promote the resource as well as skills. Some guys require backlinks some don't so just browse around and you are sure to find something absolutely free without any obligations.