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7 Smart Tips to Choose a Website Template

The tools are out there that make it possible for you to make a professional and respectable website even if you're not an expert developer or designer. This is in large part due to ready-made templates that let you make good websites without having much knowledge, if any, about the subject of web design. When you decide to start on the project of creating a great website using templates, the first obstacle you have to surmount is just which template to pick out. The abundance of options might seem like a benefit at first, but as you start sifting through them, you might find that choosing one, in particular, is quite daunting, particularly if you are new to all this. The following are 7 specific tips you can use to make the process of picking the best possible match a much easier process:

1) Know The Kind Of Website You're Aiming For:

There's one thing that ought to be the most crucial factor in selecting a template, but it's not always immediately obvious. What kind of website you're aiming for will simply eliminate many templates from consideration because they simply don't apply. Does it shock you that this particular tip even made this list, much less came number one? Many realize this should just be a given. No webmaster should create a site without first knowing what both they and their intended audience is looking for. On the other hand, the wide variety of templates has so many possibilities that pop and appeal to you, that it can admittedly be hard not choosing one that looks beautiful more than it is functional.

No matter how many websites fill the Internet, each one has its own distinct nature to it. You're not likely going to build a great blog using an e-commerce template, regardless of how great the layout might look to you on the screen. When you know what features your website needs in advance, you'll have a much easier time choosing the right template, especially given how many webmasters overlook this part of their selection process.

2) Don't Underpay:

The market has plenty of templates, spread across free options, paid possibilities, custom choices, and even premium offerings, among many others. You need to take a number of things into consideration, and the price of any template is certainly a primary factor. Keep in mind that you're not just investing your money, but also your own time and sweat equity too. Ask yourself if you'd rather spend your time and trouble customizing your own website or would you rather put your time into focusing more on whatever your product or service is? If it's the latter, then you need to look into off-the-shelf templates; they're more expensive, but where they cost you money, they make up for it in saving you a ton of money.

The temptation of using free templates in order to keep your costs down can be quite tempting, but this can also backfire. Templates that are free of charge often have issues in terms of substandard performance and lack of available technical support. Paid templates are more likely to have robust support and are more likely to have been coded by professional developers among the industry's best. Such templates mean you'll spend less of your time putting a website together, which is more time where you can emphasize your product or service.

You should know that none of this means you should just skip over free templates, because there are a number of great ones out there. On the other hand, just make sure you're not choosing them for the short-term gains that compromise quality later on. If you decide to spend money, do so wisely and as an investment in managing your time and work.

3) Be Patient And Persistent:

The thought of launching your website likely excites you, and it should, although you might get caught up in it, just grabbing any template you can find and then rushing out your site right away. That might meet the goal of launching your site, but does it really set the stage for success? Picking out a bad template and then gradually adding things is a lot more work than you suspect. As your website starts gaining traction, you have to be able to respond to developments fast, and a basic template just might not be robust or nimble enough to handle this, meaning you'll have to go back to the drawing board.

So, never rush anything, because a deliberate and solid single launch can still happen faster than rushing a launch on a bad template before having to retool and start over again.

4) Keep An Eye Out For Options Offering Customization And Flexibility:

More than likely, you'll need to tweak your template in various ways in order to individualize the site so it's more than just another carbon copy of the base template. If you rely only on templates without putting in your own ideas, choices, designs, or content, your website has no chance of standing out from the hundreds or even thousands of other sites that might be also using that same template. Template developers know this is a possibility, so many provide customization options. Some templates might let you customize almost anything, but others won't let you make changes to particular elements.

If you're not into development that much, you might actually consider flexibility as something that complicates the process of building a website, making it easier to prefer the simplicity of limited customization. On the other hand, will this backfire in the future? You might need elements that aren't default options on your site, and you might only get or even maintain the functionality you need by adding customized options.

5) Whenever Possible, Pick Responsive Templates And Features:

Much like the first tip, this one should maybe prove so obvious as to not even warrant being stated on the list. Simply put, a non responsive site is just outdated according to David Sessford of ReadySteadySell. A responsive template lets you adjust your site layout simultaneously across varying screen sizes and even different devices.

A considerable and growing portion of Internet traffic is happening on smartphones, handheld devices, tablets, and other mobile technology. In fact, smartphones sometimes dominate online traffic above all other sources, and that's only going to grow over time. You have to serve this market segment. Regardless of your target niche or demographic, or whether you're offering a blog or service page, your business model is going to suffer if it's not available to such devices.

There was a point in time where having responsive design was simply optional, but that ship has sailed. The majority of modern templates have mobile-ready themes and options. Unfortunately, there are still a few templates out there that don't. Don't use these outdated options.

6) Know Who Provides Both The Template As Well As The Customer Support:

You can't possibly count how many developers provide their templates online. Sadly, not all of them are programmed well or work great. A badly coded template can honestly start more issues than it solves, and your site will suffer as a result. So, be sure your template is coming from a source that is worthy of trust and respect, no matter if you pay for it or not.

Look into the supplier and see what their ratings, reviews, and testimonials are like from previous clients before committing yourself. You also need to consider how robust the customer support is. Even a great template might have some issues now and again, and how big a priority you will be as a client when you need the issue fixed is certainly a big consideration.

7) Look For SEO-Aligned Templates:

Of course, you want your website to be visited by plenty of interested parties, but that's not likely to happen without good search engine optimization. Many templates will let you create a website featuring great content and that looks visually appealing, but it's the use of SEO tactics that actually get your page to rank better in the search engine results pages and positions. Use templates that don't just look good on the screen but also offer a robust hierarchy and simple navigation across your many pages. Also, don't change each category template. Every additional template used on your site makes it increasingly hard for users to get around your website.

A number of templates might feature exquisite design and yet still have substandard writing from an SEO perspective. A template that is clunky in its coding might have a slower load time, and that will hurt your ranking. Google and other search engines have made it quite clear that additional load time for pages detrimentally affects their ranking, so it's smart to choose templates that are written efficiently. Just remember that while some templates align better with SEO, you still need to make your website a niche authority in terms of the content you create and provide your users.

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