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How to Choose a Skin Generator?

Published on 3/10/2011 by

Skin generators are powerful website design tools that help webmasters create stunning skins or templates for Content Management Systems (CMS). Are you in the market for a skin generator? Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you pick the perfect tool for the job.

What CMS software do you use?

Skin generators are available for all kinds of CMS software like Joomla, Wordpress, DotNetNuke, Drupal and more. Before setting off in search of a skin generator to help you pull your website together, make sure you’ve chosen CMS software for your website.

Where will you use this software?

There are two basic types of CMS skin generators:  Downloadable/installable and web based. Software that you download and install on your own computer can typically be used on only one computer at a time—unless you intend to pay for multiple licenses. If you prefer to keep your design files local, this type of software will work well for you. Web based software can be used on any computer with access to the Internet. If you plan to work from home, school and work and will be using different computers (or even different operating systems) to skin your website, web based tools will be just what you’re looking for.

What’s your budget?

You will find free and paid skin generators on the market.  More advanced tools can run over $100 per computer, so decide ahead of time if you’ll be investing money into your design project or would prefer to work with a freeware tool.

What’s your technical ability?

While skin generators are geared toward helping anyone of any skill level create a professional design, some software tools are more difficult to use than others. For example, many tools require that you download your completed design in .zip form, unzip those files on your local computer and then upload your new skin to your web hosting server. Are you comfortable doing that? If not, you may want to look into software that uploads finished designs directly to your web hosting account for you.

What’s your creativity level?

Some skin generators permit you to build a website from the ground up, allowing you to pick your own colors, website width, custom fonts, logos, headers and more. With other types of software, you’ll be limited to working with pre-built templates. How much control do you want over your design?

Are you willing to credit the software?

Some webmasters don’t like to add a footer that shows visitors who designed their website. Others don’t mind. With freeware skin generators you’ll most often be required to add a tagline in your web pages that gives credit to the website that helped to design your CMS skin.

Using a skin generator is a fun and quick way to build a website. Pick the right CMS skin generator the first time and you can have your website up and running before the end of the day. Are you ready to get busy creating?