To template or not to template, that is the question

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I watch so many faces scrunch up when I mention the possibility of using a design template for their website. The thought of not having a tailored website design or the probability that some other website has the same look and feel as theirs is just too much to stomach.

Everybody yearns for uniqueness and everyone wants their representative stuff to reflect this. I can certainly empathize with this. There is, however, a breaking point for me on the topic. As there should be for others as well.

Many up and coming entrepreneurs and would-be proud website owners stop dead in their tracks on their pursuit for creating an online presence when they first hear the price tag for a new website. A custom designed website can cost thousands and is oftentimes just out of reach for people new to the game. Add a custom logo design and branding package, and we are now in pretty expensive territory.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying these prices aren’t justified. I’m also not saying a custom design isn’t worth every cent. An artist mulling over every last detail of a website making sure that icons, colors, shapes and typography are perfectly in sync with the brand and message their client needs to exude is worth EVERY PENNY. But the pockets of website owners-to-be are not all created equal.

Sticker shock, schmicker shock: Templates to save the day (and time and, therefore, your budget)

I hate seeing anyone come to a roadblock in any of their life pursuits and just give up. Don’t give up! What else can be done? Well… you could learn to design and code websites yourself if you are ambitious and have a lot of time on your hands. All of the information you need is right at your fingertips and a few keystrokes in Google away. But maybe your time would be better spent honing your primary craft or business.

Another very viable option is the use of a design template. There are thousands (upon thousands!) of highly professional designs out there for less than a hundred dollars just waiting to be purchased and customized. These templates cover just about any category and site type you could imagine. It’s not hard to find really amazing designs that could work for whatever type of website needed.

Sound too good to be true? Wake up and welcome to your new dreamy template.

Think of the template as a canvas…YOUR canvas

I had a conversation with a potential client recently. She is a writer/artist with a website on a WordPress content management system. She has quite a following and really puts out fantastic stuff. The problem is that her website design and general user flow could use an up-do and a freshening up with user-friendliness.

She knows the look and usability of her site is only hurting her. The problem is that she doesn’t have thousands to spend right now. I suggested using a design theme and proceeded to show her a few examples. She fell in love with about every design theme I showed to her and was easily envisioning her site working with many of them.

She then hesitated and asked:

“Well wont there be a hundred other website out there just like mine?”

A valid question for sure. My reply was a swift “Nope. Two artists given the same canvas would not produce the same piece of art in the end.” No one would accuse either of being dishonest about their art because the content on top of the canvas would be unique to them.

People can see through the bullshit of fancy design with shallow content. It’s the content of a site that website visitors are there for. A design needs to accentuate content and not be used as a tool to hide it. Ultimately, in an ideal world where money was not an option, I think everyone should have their site custom designed with a team of people behind them calling meetings about the new bullet icon and its affect on consumer brand perception. But for now, if you can’t be in those high-pricetag-shoes, don’t feel bad about using a design template. It is leagues better than leaving a dated site and is certainly lightyears better than having nothing at all.

If you want to have a custom designed website we can do that, contact the WordPress Developer Los Angeles for more information. If you want to talk about more affordable website solutions I’m open to that as well. Lets get started!