Website Templates & Themes can Lower Your Development Costs
Many of my hardcore designer colleagues would disagree vehemently with me on this topic because I have a different opinion. Using templates and themes can cut thousands of dollars out of web development costs and that is a fact. This is particularly the case if whatever business happens to be using them requires a great many different sites for search engine optimization or cross marketing. Do they make your site look like everyone else’s? To some extent, probably, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here are some reasons why.
Format Sometimes Connotes Credibility
Take a look at newspapers. They all follow relatively the same design on their pages. Newspapers are designed to convey information- and advertising- and the format that most of them use has, over the years, proven itself to be the most effective toward that end. If your site concentrates on conveying information to the reader, you may want to consider the fact that having a format that’s your own, but very similar to what you would see on venues in the same business, may increase your credibility a bit. News sites, for example, do tend to have similar formats, simply because it works.
Navigation Is a Primary Concern
Most users are likely to look for navigation menus at the sides and on the top of your page. Keeping them there makes it easy for the visitor to find the links they need to get to the information they want on your site. Most templates will have some variation of the top or left hand navigation menu and this is a part of the page you probably want to avoid reinventing. Some sites manage to do so creatively without reinventing the wheel. For example, images and text can be used along the top of the page to give a site a fresh new look without making things confusing for the reader.
Some Things Don’t Need to Be Original
There are some elements of modern page design that are so standardized and that work so well that there’s no reason to pay to have them developed from scratch. For instance, the classic blog format of image above text is very easy for people to understand, does the job and can be employed creatively to great effect. Having a completely unique design may give your site some appeal from an aesthetic standpoint, but it also may cost a lot of money for very little return on investment.
A word of caution though – a website built from a template still takes a lot of effort and time, particularly in customizations amd copywriting work, but by using pre-built theme when appropriate, a business can save you thousands of dollars.
Before you get too worried that your site isn’t original enough, consider the fact that some things are rather standardized simply because they work. Sometimes, you just don’t have the budget to commission a from-scratch website but so what?