Webmasters don’t always have enough resources to build a website from scratch. Even though using a template is their only option, that doesn’t mean they need to compromise. Anyone can use a pattern to create a site that attracts a loyal audience if they follow the guide below.
Think About Flexibility
New webmasters who don’t have a website yet, and want one soon, buy templates because it is a simple solution to a problem. However, that plan could backfire.
New webmasters don’t know what their successful website should look like, and waste money on professional tweaks and scrapped projects. That is why they should always think about their template’s flexibility before they buy.
It makes sense to buy a simple template if you are running a static website with a few features. A web store is a typical example, and most text-heavy sites count too.
But simple websites still need tweaking, even if it is just switching out a company logo, editing product descriptions, or adding a new favorite plugin. Planning for upgrades is a step new webmasters should always take. Not only is it vital for creating a realistic budget, but it also shows potential weaknesses in any template design.
Some templates work better with plugins, while others make it easy to rearrange site elements, like headers and navigation bars. Remember, the more optimized a template’s design, the more you will pay!
Build It In Your Mind
Webmasters need to know how their website will work before they buy a template. Too many begin shopping for one when they only have a fuzzy image of their website. They know they are building an online store, for example, and think this is all they need to know to find the perfect template.
Instead, research your site’s genre and create it in your mind or on a piece of paper. That will help you think about the elements you need and where to place them. Usually, you will uncover a few features or insights you would have missed if you rushed your project.
Imagining your website is risky too since no one is stopping you from brainstorming destructive ideas. Always make sure your envisioned site is realistic and uses the same conventions your real one will. Professional websites use grids to organize elements and visual clues to tell their viewers what kind of site they are looking at.
Do Your Research
It is normal to look for shortcuts when you are working on a substantial project, especially if it is expensive. While few families would buy a home without researching it first, this is what many webmasters do. Template creators and sellers know this too and build templates buyers want, even if they won’t fit their needs.
Researching before you buy one will ensure that you know what you are getting, and this is invaluable. It is hard to guess how much time you will waste tweaking a template you regret buying.
But what should you research? The answer is website design. By thinking like a designer, you will learn how to itemize costs and pinpoint flaws. In some cases, you might discover that buying a more straightforward template is the right move because you can do the work yourself.
You can pay for online tutorials or find free ones. Reading books is another reliable option. Just look for design courses at your local community college and browse their textbooks. Most professors will even let you listen to lectures without asking for homework.
Create a Backup
Websites don’t always work perfectly, and neither do templates. Sometimes there is a bug the developer didn’t notice, and other times a template will disappear before you can buy it. Sadly, some sites get hacked, and knowing how to bounce back will keep your audience happy and your life less stressful.
Before publishing your website, go through several scenarios that could hurt your traffic, and research fixes. Having a few backup files is a great solution; if your site goes down you can swap it for a simpler version.
Also, don’t forget your web hosts. Some allow their customers to use a new web address after a hack. Of course, this will hurt your traffic numbers, but it is better than letting your viewers guess about your site’s fate.
Never put all your hopes on one template, and have several backup options ready. This step is one you should take even if you are working with a reliable seller; emergencies are impossible to predict.
Full or Not
When you are shopping for templates, you will see content displayed two ways. The full-width style, which features an image that fills up the webpage completely, gives webpages a modern look and showcases graphic elements.
The second design uses images with margins, and it is what most people picture when they think about websites. It has a classic feel because the first webpages used margins. This nostalgia makes the design a popular choice for business websites, and it doesn’t hurt that is also looks professional.
Knowing a little about website design will help you find a template that works. What’s stopping you from planning your hunt today?