Unless you have an abundance of time, a wealth of coding experience, or both, you probably will use a template anytime you design a website. Here’s the problem, there are seemingly endless options, making it nearly impossible to search through all of the variations!
Luckily, whether you are creating your company’s first website, creating it’s newest version, or simply helping your designer out by picking a template you love, your search can be simplified through these two areas: deciding your wants and testing a few templates.
When you are choosing the perfect template for your website, the best way to start out is by creating a shopping list of template features you want or need in your website.
By narrowing your focus early, you lessen the stress of scouring through hundreds of templates, thereby reducing the stress of creating your website.
The main two types of shopping list items are utility items and design items.
Now that you have your shopping list, the next step is to go through the templates available to you from your website design service of choice and find a few templates that fit your needs and wants.
Depending on which service you are using, you may be able to test these templates for free. If a template you want to test is not free, the best thing to do is study as much of the information on the template as possible before investing in it.
Once you are ready to test a template, place your content into it, make any changes you want, and then make sure it answers “yes” to these guidelines:
In case you aren’t familiar with the blink test, it’s a brief, 3-5 second-long period of time in which a website’s visitor decides whether or not to invest more time in exploring that website. Click that link for a few ways to ensure your site passes the blink test.
Besides helping with the Blink Test, proper and appealing designs are essential to your website’s success. An example site for a template may seem aesthetically pleasing, but it’s still possible that your content won’t look as attractive once it is in the template. Also, you should explore its pages to ensure it has everything you’ll need to get visitors to buy from you.
Great templates should be able to be modified. Depending on your CMS, you should look for templates that you can plug and place different modules in different places to spice it up.
If you need to make changes to advertise a new product, service, or promotion, will you be able to do so quickly and effectively, or will you need to plan ahead for hours on the phone with tech support? Your website needs to be as easy to use for yourself as it is for your visitors.
In an increasingly on-the-go world, mobile device usage has skyrocketed, especially with internet browsing. Your customers are more likely than ever to use tablets or smartphones to browse your website.
Part of the blink test for these devices is whether or not the website is designed to be read easily on them. Just because these devices allow you to pinch and zoom content doesn’t mean it is desirable as your first option. Get AMP on your template and web builder.
Just like how a template may not be as visually pleasing once you have put your content into it, a template could fit your company less than you intended once you have your content in place.
A serious-looking template may appear more flighty than intended once certain content is put into it, minimizing the impact of it, for example.
Finally, you need to ensure that the template still fits what you wanted from the start. Even if it succeeds at the rest of these guidelines, a template still fails if you are not pleased with it.
Choosing the perfect template for your new website is one of the most important first steps in getting a new website for your company. It gives you a firm foundation to build on and adapt as your business and marketing progress.
Follow these tips and guidelines in order to ensure you get the best template that represents your brand the best!
Wanting to get a templated website, but don't want to break the bank? We're running a half off campaign for now! Sign up to reserve your discount below!