Businesses of all kinds are having to go DIY when it comes to a website. To do this right, without getting a degree in graphic and web design, most businesses look for ready-made templates with which they can make industry-standard websites, with little time, money, or previous experience. Not all templates are created equally. Don’t be wrapped up in the bright colors and trendy forms of just any old template site. If you want your online business to succeed, you’ll have to find a template that is compatible with your brand, preferably one that allows for modification down the road. If you can find this, while paying little to nothing for the thing, you’ll have done well. Here are a few things to look for.
- Colors that Work With Your Brand. Some templates will have colors that can’t be changed. Others you will be able to adjust to your exact specifications. You may have specific 6-character color code Or you might have more general colors (“uh…green?”) that you choose with your eyes and little more. In either case, consistency is key for the successful brand. If you have never picked out brand colors before, think about the colors which best represent the product you sell and/or the service you provide. If you sell Capone cigars, for instance, browns and greens might evoke the natural production process and the visceral, earthy experience of fine tobacco. Choose wisely, because you don’t want to have to change this up a bunch in the future if you can possibly help it.
- Rights. People who are new to templates should make sure they know what they’re getting. Some templates are free, with unlimited usage rights. Others aren’t. Templates are created by artists and designers. Some of these people make a good living on their work because of their reputation. They want to ensure that their name is carried on in the work they sell to businesses like you. So be careful if you get one of these templates, that the usage rights are compatible with your goals. You don’t want your brand to be competing with the brand of the template creator. On the other hand, you don’t want to settle for a crappy template just because it is free to do so. Take the time to find something just right for your budget and usage needs.
- Capability. Make sure that the template you choose can be used for a dynamic website. Dynamic pages scale to the screen sizes of any device someone might use to access your site. Most people understand this, but you sometimes find these crappy little sites that won’t work on your iPhone without scrolling through the full dimensions of a PC screen website. Don’t be that site.
If you find a template that fulfills all of these criteria, good for you. It’ll take a little while to make it happen, but when you do so you’ll have a website, built from a template, that looks like it was designed by a professional team of the highest order. All for cheap or free.