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How to Choose a Website Template?

Published on 2/27/2011 by

Website templates are an easy way to get your dream website online in a short amount of time.  By simply downloading a template to your computer, applying a few changes, and then uploading the template files to your web hosting server, you can have a brand new website online yet today.  What could be simpler?  But how to you go about choosing a website template?

Types of website templates

There are three basic types of website templates available online:

Open source templates:  These types of templates are free of charge and can be altered in any way you like.

Free templates:   These are also free, but usually have an advertisement in the footer of each website page which links back to the original designer.  You are not allowed to remove this link.

Paid templates:  These are templates that were professionally designed by a graphic artist who agrees to provide a certain level of support after your purchase has been made.

It’s important to choose the right type of template for your project.  If you’re relatively new to web design and website building, a paid template will provide a level of support that you won’t find with open source or free templates.

Matching your domain to your website template

What type of website are you planning to build?  Each template has its own theme which runs through the entire template design.  For example, a web hosting company template will feature images of web hosting servers, links to uptime monitors and perhaps a client help desk so that you can offer customers support.  While this is an entirely workable template for a new web hosting company, it won’t work well for someone building a photo gallery.

Determine what your specific niche is and then look for templates that will blend well with your website’s theme.

Finding something that easy to customize

Website templates needn’t be customized, but if you want your website to stand out from the crowd you’ll want to apply a few changes that will give your site a unique look.  Templates are easiest to customize when they include these features:

  • CSS files:  Cascading style sheets (CSS) control the appearance of your website and give you options to change font types and sizes, background colors and images, and even the width of your pages.  Website templates which include CSS files will be easiest to customize.
  • Logo images:  You’ll want to find a template that includes logo image files that can be changed and personalized.  Logos which are built into the header image of a design cannot be altered easily.
  • PSD files:  Photoshop (PSD) files are the raw images used to build your website template.  When they’re included as part of your template package you’ll have an easier time making changes to the overall design.
  • Navigation options:  You want to provide your website visitors with an easy way to get around your website, so look for templates with navigation options like buttons, links and categorized pages.

Where to find website templates

Website templates can be found in abundance by doing a simple search engine crawl for website templates.  If you’re new to templating or have a limited budget, you may wish to start with an open source template.


Open Source Web Design

Open Designs