Templates. What is a template? Well, in terms of website design, it can be defined as a web file or theme that already has fonts, images, formatting and layout features pre-defined, and can be customized for one's individual business.
At IFM Website Design, we develop strictly WordPress designs and have for the last 3 years. When we meet with a client for the first time and they offers samples of websites they like and don't like, they ultimately want a website created for their business that closely emulates the "good" site samples they provide. But, they also want a custom designed website that is "unique" as well, for their own business needs. So, the less costly approach in most cases is to look for and purchase the usage rights for a template theme, and then customize it - right?
Well yes, it's less costly and can be a good alternative to developing a site "from scratch" these days, however, there are some positives and negatives with this plan.
Firstly, templates are created by authors from around the world. This is a good thing, because having a different set of eyes, or having different points of view with respect to a websites overall layout and design can be a valuable advantage for website owners.
One of the drawbacks with template themes is that they can contain a lot of files and code. A lot of files and code can lead to slow page loading, and we all know that Google looks at page-loading speed as one of it's algorithmic signals to good organic ranking today.
Another drawback can be where themes are difficult to customize and it may take a lot of time to modify a theme to a point it's become unique and in line with the client's "vision".
So, it's up to the us, the developers, to customize the themes to meet and exceed the clients requirements, and do so in less time, so that we can save the client money. To do that, the selected theme has to be intuitive in terms of allowing easy design modifications, include usable features and functionality, and as such, not requiring a lot of time making custom coding adjustments. And yes, let's not forget about ensuring the template allows for responsive website design attributes too (fits all internet device screens).
As a designer/developer today, all the above and more must be taken into account when creating new and innovative website presentations for business. Is a template right for your business? Or do you have enough funds for a "design from scratch" site?
For more information on this topic, please check out our design page at IFM Web Designs Markham/Stouffville.