e Here’s a little known fact – many website designers use website templates. Some are free HTML templates, others are CMS templates for WordPress and Joomla (to name a few). Sure, they change them according to their clients’ instructions – but it’s true – if you hire a website designer/developer, chances are your website will be based off a template (unless the project is specified as a custom job and/or it’s a very large project).
I don’t say this to criticize website developers; instead, I’m making the point that using a website template as a foundation (or as-is) for your website(s) – no matter your site’s purpose, is a very good way to go for several reasons.
The benefit to a website designer using a website template is obvious – it saves time, which results in more money and/or more competitive pricing.
If you’ve decided to build your own website using a template, whether a WordPress theme or free HTML template (for instance), you’ve made a very, very good decision. I can’t tell you how huge of a positive impact to my business learning to build my own business websites has made. I don’t code my sites from scratch – I use website templates.
When you know how to launch a site and add content to your site – you have a terrific advantage over your competitors because you save a lot of money getting your information, new products, new testimonials, etc. online immediately.
In fact, the big cost working with a website designer isn’t the up front cost – it’s the monthly fees for adding content and managing your site.
10 Reasons For You to Use a Website Template Are as Follows:
1. Save Time
You can go about it one of two ways.
Find a template platform you like (i.e. for WordPress: Genesis, Builder, Thesis, etc. or HTML templates and know you’ll be revising the design a fair amount). Or,
look for a website template that is as close to what you’re looking for as possible to minimize the amount of customization work.
Moreover, if you decide to install and set up the template yourself, you can be your own webmaster. That’s what I do for my small business. I have a huge advantage because I can make changes and add content any time I like. I don’t have to send instructions to and then review the work of a webmaster.
2. Save Money
This is an obvious advantage. For less than $100 you can have a fantastic website launched that’s fully designed. There are also free HTML templates, WordPress theme, and Joomla templates available. But that’s not where the cost-savings end. In fact, the real cost-savings is the fact you learn how to manage your website which will save you webmaster fees every month. This is the true advantage; one that I’ve realized cost savings into the thousands of dollars over the last few years being my own webmaster.
3. Website Templates are Well-Coded
Well, usually well coded – buy from reputable template vendors. If you hire a web developer, and you absolutely know nothing about coding, you’ll never know if it’s well coded. Template vendors generally stay up-to-date with the latest coding practices which means the foundation for your website (even if you make changes) will be well-coded.
There are no barriers to entry for web developers – anyone can put up a website and get business. When hiring a web developer, you get what you pay for. Besides, unless you instruct otherwise, chances are your developer will use a template – something you can do and save the hundreds or thousands of dollars you pay simply for a template set up by a website developer.
4. Website Templates Look Great
A lot of work goes into designing a great website. When you buy a template, you get a great looking design for a fraction of the real cost of designing the website.
Moreover, you can shop around until you find the perfect looking template. Chances are you’re not sure what kinds of designs are available and what type of design you want for your website. Shopping and researching templates gives you an idea to hone the vision and design you want for your website(s).
5. Built-In SEO Set Up
These days, more and more templates such as WordPress themes, Joomla templates, and website builders include search engine optimization configuration options. This is incredibly helpful so that you can optimize your website from the start. Many website developers and designers build nice sites, but don’t pay any attention to search engine optimization (I know from personal experience – my first website I hired out had no SEO work done on it at all. Yet I assumed when the site would be built that it would be built so that it would get search engine traffic).
6. Templates are Easy to Use
You can find paid and free templates that let you customize the design without knowing a single line of code. Note that not all templates offer this. If you want easy customization, be sure that your intended template purchase has this feature.
7. If you Use CMS, You Can Add Unlimited Content Extremely Easily
CMS stands for “content management system” which means the ability to add content easily (in a nutshell). 2 very popular CMS platforms are WordPress and Joomla. With WordPress and Joomla, without knowing any coding at all, you can write articles and blog posts (including using images and videos) very easily and quickly simply by clicking buttons (no coding knowledge needed).
If you opt for an HTML template or Flash website (non-CMS), you can easily add a CMS platform to the static HTML site – and then get the best of both worlds.
8. Take More Control of Your Web Marketing
There’s huge opportunity on the Web. If you’re a small business without a huge marketing budget, then why not learn how to market your business online yourself? I did, and my business grew incredibly. Moreover, I was able to target the exact customers I wanted and it worked.
9. Immediate Results
When you rely on a webmaster, there’s a delay in getting content published. When you’re in control, you can get your content – whether a sale, new service, media mention, new testimonial – published immediately.
10. Online Marketing Can Result in the Greatest ROI for Small Business
I firmly believe that the greatest marketing opportunities are on the Web. Not only is it the most inexpensive form of marketing (if you learn it yourself), but it’s highly effective. When you take control of your business’ online marketing, you’ll get plugged into the latest online marketing techniques to try and use for your business.
Common Concerns With Buying a Website Template
Concern #1: My Website Won’t Be Unique
I have two responses.
- The chances of a competitor of yours using the same template (whether a paid or free template) is so remote that I don’t worry about it. For my small business, I use the WordPress Enterprise theme (as is). I know not any of my competitors have a website remotely similar to mine.
- You can very easily change the color and layout for most templates (especially WordPress, Joomla, and website builders) so that you can make any of these templates your own.
Concern #2: I Don’t Know How to Code or Where to Start
Granted, if you decided to build your own website with a template, there is a learning curve. But, it’s not hard. When I started building my own business websites, all I knew was surfing the Web and using e-mail.
A few weekends monkeying around with WordPress and I was up and running pretty quickly.
Concern #3: What If I Need Help with my Template?
Most template providers offer a variety of support options such as a forum (more helpful than you think), tutorials, support ticket system, telephone support, and/or live chat.
Moreover, most template providers offer custom help services which can offer direct help. The custom support service costs additional fees – but costs a fraction of hiring a web developer building you an entire website.
Concern #4: I Can’t Find Exactly What I Want
Keep in mind that the license with most templates gives you permission to revise the template (if not, do not buy it). My point is all templates can be changed and customized.
If what you want is beyond your skill, ask the template vendor if they can customize it for you (or refer you to a reputable developer to do it). The extra cost for some customization is much less than hiring a web developer to take full charge of your entire project.
Concern #5: I Don’t Have Time
I thought this at first, but am glad I didn’t succumb to it. Marketing is a necessary activity for any business. I made it a priority. I invested some extra time each week and it’s paid off very well.