Web Design Templates – are You Ready for Cloning?

Web Design Template Clones

There are thousands of Web design template sites on the Net. Finding the right templates can make page construction easy as cake. All you need to do is some minor customization and then you can splash your content online. However, apart from this use, where the template is being used like a clever kind of stationary, Web design templates offer mostly disadvantages.

Writers of ad copy claim that what sells is not a fancy site with impressive graphics, but rather, written ad copy.

One of the many disadvantages of Web design templates is that they almost all suffer from overusing graphics. The graphics are often large file sizes that suck up bandwidth and increase loading time. Worse yet, pretty butterflies, skyscrapers, or forests on the periphery of your site, detract from the focus of your content. Graphics should be more than pretty objects adorning your site’s space.

Template sellers know that these graphics are appealing to those without design know-how, so using them makes the templates sell better. However, many of these same designers would rarely use such large graphics in a well designed site! Or, could it be that the designers selling templates couldn’t sell their custom designs because they don’t really understand their art, and thus have been driven to sell templates?

Web Design Templates Are Not Optimized

By its nature, a Web design template is not yet set up for your business needs. In today’s online markets, sites spend enormous resources on optimizing their Web page code and content to achieve higher rankings in search engine results. One marketing study recently concluded that around 40% of all online sales derive from search engine searches. This makes search engine site optimization highly important.

In fact, search engine site optimization is a constant battle because the engines constantly change their criteria for ranking search results. Because of this, your site should be designed with future changes in mind. Any site built to make future optimization easy will need to use cascading style sheet (CSS) technology. These are documents that tell a browser how to display a Web page.

CSS documents contain all of the style guidelines for a site or page, such as font sizes, colors, and everything pertaining to the look and feel and method of presentation. The HTML part of your site then only needs to contain the structure of your design.

Many templates do not use CSS. If you do purchase a template, try to determine if the template uses CSS. If it doesn’t, decide if paying for the template now is convenient in terms of just getting up and running, because you won’t be using it later, once you’ve had to change your site 2 or 3 times.

In fact, almost any Web designer you might hire would trash the whole template and start from scratch in order to provide you with a real site – provided you don’t meet with a designer who’s going to pawn off a customized template as if it were a unique and personal design. You have noticed all the cloned sites online, haven’t you?

Web design is one of the few trades where the term repeat business doesn’t necessarily mean the “designer” is servicing the same customer a second time. The designer may be serving the same product to a second customer if they aren’t ethical or prideful about their work. Make sure you’re getting a 100% unique site built.

Generic Web Design Templates Diminish Branding

Businesses benefit from branding, the effect caused by their company and products becoming familiar through their look and feel. If you use a template, which uses space in a very standard way, and which has no unique color theme, you lose out on much of the branding channel that you need to develop to become a highly successful online business.

Templates might be OK for getting up and running to test an idea, or to quickly go online with some information, but otherwise, expect to move past them in the long run!
— Ian Hess

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