Website TemplatesWebsite Templates or Custom Websites?

The design you choose for your website ultimately reflects your tastes and the image you wish to convey, and selecting a design is an important first step in creating a new website or upgrading your existing site. Typically, we recommend that you begin the process by reviewing website templates, which are pre-packaged sets of images and HTML pages designed for almost any need. Reviewing templates can give you a good overview of the variety of design approaches and alternatives available, and can also act as a solid starting point from which to develop your website.

How does it work?

Website templates typically require a fair level of skill in website development before they can be taken from template form and published to the web. They are designed as starting points, and rarely offer a turn-key solution to your website by themselves. In other words, after purchasing a template you will still need to do a good deal of work to adapt your company's information to the template you purchase.

Our design service takes your company information and marries it to the particular template you select. We can modify the menus, integrate your logo into the design (or help you develop a new logo entirely), add your content to the individual pages, create new pages as necessary, and fine tune your new site for search engine placement. We add a great deal of value to the underlying website template, in other words, that you would otherwise have to tackle yourself. If you have little or no familiarity with Photoshop, Flash or web programming languages, building your own website from a template can be a daunting and time-consuming task.

When are Custom Websites Appropriate?

If you need a great deal of user interaction on your website, or need to construct a large site, a custom solution is probably your best bet. This does not preclude us from basing our design on a template you have selected. A custom website can be every bit as flexible in appearance as a template-based site, however large sites are a little more structurally rigid in order to accommodate a wide range of content alternatives.

Custom WebsitesCustom websites can be designed to meet a variety of needs: Selling products, interacting with visitors, collecting information, showcasing product lines or providing an interactive environment for visitors. In most cases, custom websites are just that - custom-designed from the ground up to meet your specific needs. In some instances, a custom site can draw upon external products and services to add value to your website. Services and third-party products such as payment processing, blog administration, photo galleries and shopping carts can be integrated into your site to reduce cost and design time. In some cases, these products and services may require some alterations to a design, however most can be integrated seamlessly. We can help you decide which services offer the best value and which will maintain the appearance of your site to your best advantage.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line on templates vs. custom is that it is almost always helpful to start your project with a website template. Regardless of how much customization your website may require, beginning from a template provides both you and us with a visual point of reference from which to start, reducing the amount of time typically needed to agree upon a design appearance.

Getting Started with a Website Template

Designing your own website.

If you plan to design your own website, simply choose a template that best meets your needs and tastes, and follow the instructions for purchasing your template. Once purchased, you will be able to download your template in the form of a zip file, which includes individual HTML files ready for your information, as well as the source files for any images and animations included in your template. You will require Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash to edit these source files, and we recommend Adobe Dreamweaver for web page editing, although Microsoft Expression Web is also a good tool.

Have us design your site for you.

Template MonsterIf you prefer to have us develop your site for you, simply begin by browsing the templates at www.templatemonster.com. Once you have found the design you want, you can do one of two things:

  • Purchase the template directly and then supply us with the template when you order your website, or;
  • Provide us with the template product number when you order your website. We will purchase the template for you and begin working on your website immediately.

 

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