6 Tips on Choosing a Proper Template for Your Website

MotoCMS Editorial 12 August, 2013 3,743

Choosing a Proper Website Template
Building a website today is a real paradox. At the beginning, it was simple to create a website, but very few people were able to build one. Nowadays, a website is a very complex entity, but in spite of that, way more people are able to create and launch websites. It is obvious that once the number of online websites has grown, the options of building and enhancing them have also multiplied many times. Therefore, it’s natural to ask yourself: Is it possible for anyone to create a website having no or little knowledge about this process?

A small part of the people that need websites believes that they are able to create a wonderful online presence. Unfortunately, these people are the most difficult clients of a web designer and it’s hard to collaborate with them. Most of the people are still reticent as to the ability of creating a website. We assume that the truth is always somewhere in between: the actual technologies allow developing really complex and wonderful online presences, but the guidance of a web designer is still necessary.

If you are not sure about the above hypothesis, we recommend you some sort of a test. Let’s suppose that you, the one who is being tested, are not very familiar with web design, but you are interested in trying to create a website. Then we ask you to try Moto CMS and start creating a website; we bet that you will create a cool layout but allow us to be pessimistic because we suppose that if will be harder for you to fine tune it as well as a designer would.

The conclusion is that a common Internet user is able to create a website, but he will need some help. Of course, blog posts and forums are handy solutions – you may use our blog when you need necessary information.

In order to help people that want to create their own website at any cost, the designers came with a great solution: website templates.

A template is a structure that needs small customizations, especially for personalizing it, and after finishing these it may be uploaded. More pragmatically, it is a pre-made website that’s 80% ready and only requires slight modifications such as replacing default texts and images with yours. The idea is simple and across time it proved to be really successful: designers create templates and users modify them according to their needs and preferences. The web is full of templates and we believe that even the most exigent tastes can be satisfied.

By the way, have you seen our latest templates? Here are just a few of them:

Anyway, selecting the proper template is a very common but important matter and it should be seriously treated. By taking into account the tips below, it is almost impossible not to select the proper template. Of course, if you have other ideas, please use the comment form and share your thoughts with us.

Tip #1: Determine exactly what kind of a website you need

Each kind of a website has its own peculiarities. A common mistake in web design community is to ignore the specificity of a website. An e-commerce website should emphasize the products, the call-to-action buttons must be easy to find by the viewers and the images should be of high quality. A corporate website must impress and its design should emanate trust, power and safety. A kids related website must be funny, the colors used must express joy, the background may contain some funny illustrations, etc. These are just a few of the little things about these websites. Anyone that selects the template for his/her new website must be aware of these particular features.

To understand this idea better, imagine the templates below – very suitable for corporate solutions – are used as presentation websites for kindergartens. Would that be appropriate for the users? I guess not. No matter how wonderful these templates are for their own niche, they suck big time when used for websites of other topics. People won’t appreciate them because they don’t satisfy their expectations.

Tip #2: Choose the template you need but not the one you just visually like

Selecting the winning template is not an easy task; many people select it based on their personal likings, which is not recommended. A template that will be effective is always selected using your mind and not your feelings! Anyone that should select a template must have very clear understanding in their minds that their personal preferences don’t matter and that the primary purpose is what the future users will need. My personal suggestion is to write down your users’ expectations regarding the future website and only after that start searching for templates that meet all/most of these expectations.

Also, though it’s important to objectively choose a template, still rushing into choosing it isn’t very good. The final decision should be made according to a proper judgment, or else, sooner or later the consequences won’t be positive.

Tip #3: A good template should be customizable and flexible technically

At first sight, anyone may state that this tip is too obvious to actually be a tip, but would someone suggest readers to buy a bad template that has lots of bugs and that is hard to customize? Yes, it’s possible to say that, but a more in-depth evaluation will have a totally different answer. Many people, especially the ones that are not very skilled in web design, consider that a template that is very customizable is not finished or poor coded. Some of us may say that a template having too many editing options is annoying, but this “freedom” allows the user to create non-default elements while using a template.

A personalized template, having many original items, assures that people won’t have the feeling of “yet another website” which is really embarrassing.

Tip #4: Pay attention to the seller and inquire about customer support

As we have mentioned before, the Internet is full of countless templates, but it doesn’t mean that all of them are wonderful and perform well technically. Unfortunately, most of them are of poor quality (believe us – we’ve been in templates industry for long enough and we’ve seen templates out there that we would want to forget forever). If someone really cares about his/her online presence, it’s highly recommended to pay attention to the seller. There are many possibilities of studying the seller, starting with testimonials from previous buyers to things such as pre-sales support helping you with the right template.

Speaking of support – even the best templates may contain some flaws, therefore customer support is important. For some users knowing their back is covered is critical, for some it isn’t. But the industry standard is that support is a big fat plus for the seller.

Tip #5: “Keep your eye on the big picture”

Some websites are created just for fun or for non-business activities, but still most of them are launched having a clear business purpose. Some websites are created to sell products, others to distribute information, and others to let people know what kind of services someone provides, and so on. People usually fall into the trap of neglecting the long-time perspective. The idea is to select a template taking into account the overall situation – a template is just a small part of a bigger project.

Let’s take this example: you are the owner of a small restaurant and of course, you couldn’t ignore the clients and take the decision to launch a website. A very good friend of yours recommended our website builder and templates, so you selected our services. Definitely, the templates suitable for your area are all good looking, but it is much better to select one that matches your style, even if others impressed you more.

Tip #6: Don’t be in a hurry and don’t be a Scrooge

The huge amount of people who buy templates have many expectations from them and in order not to get disappointed with the template they should invest money and time. A free template is attractive for being free, but in most cases it should have a serious downside (lack of support, poor technical quality). Once again, we don’t state that a free template should be neglected hands down, but you should be more careful in these circumstances.

On the other hand, the rule “more money – better quality” does not work all the time. The best recommendation is to select a template without being under pressure and without emphasizing too much the financial aspect.

We hope that we haven’t scared off anyone who is interested in purchasing a template, but the tips above may be really helpful in order not to take a bad decision. Take your time, think twice, and you will surely buy the best template for your project. Good luck!

Author: MotoCMS Editorial
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  • http://www.markupbox.com/ Justin Spencer

    Whenever we search for templates, almost all of them seems good to us , but as you have suggested it’s better to look into the fact whether the theme is going to support your website requirement or not. May be you are looking for a template for your e-commerce project, you bought the most appealing theme but at the end of the day , the theme was missing payment integration module.
    So it’s better to try the demo first, if possible admin panel also.

  • Nathan Brook

    Nice thread. HTML based templates are just the best. You can modify them in every way and they load quickly.

  • Jack Dawson

    These people have absolutely nailed the portfolio template. Clean, Fresh and Creative.


  • http://www.problogbooster.com/ Vinayak Sutar-Patil

    For me, this really hit a nerve as I found it quite overwhelming to choose a template when I was building my website.

    Thank you once again for a beautiful beautiful work you’ve done with this website!
    I’d like to ask for your advice. I’m searching for the right website builder, I want to build a website for my coaching business. Few e-commerce features, as people would need to be able to pay via my website for their coaching sessions, buy a couple of e-books and tickets to participate in seminars/workshops. It needs to look professional. I want to add many of pictures in the articles and on the main page.

    Nice thread. HTML based templates are just the best. You can modify them in every way and they load quickly…