Buyer Beware – Web Design Templates
Web design templates are not always a good idea for a number of reasons. Most importantly because templates rarely fit your needs exactly, and clients often end up spending more time and money in the long run tweaking the design to fit their content. It's like trying to stuff a large man into a small suit. Fusionbox always prefers to design around your content rather than trying to fit your content into an already established design. Here are some more reasons not to use a template:
1. Code – Your web company should use search-engine friendly code. Many web template designers do not. Be especially aware of templates created entirely in Flash. Search engines can not spider content in Flash sites so if you go this route, you will inevitably have miserable search engine results.
2. Cross Browser Compatibility – The template you buy may not display the same in different browsers and on different platforms.
3. W3C Compliance – The W3C sets the standards for how web pages are codes, we follow these standards, many designers and developers do not. This also means that your site will be accessible to more users and international users. http://www.w3c.org
4. Look and Feel – It's important to really understand your goals and objectives, target audience, and how you want your target audience to act on your site. We build toward all of these concepts so that if your goal is to sell more ad space, the user is presented with a call-to-action to buy ad space front and center on your site. We also look at eye-mapping data that shows where people typically look first on the web in order to place important information.
5. Usability – It is important to follow web best practices on where certain items should be placed. (Your logo should always be presented at the top left hand side.) Many web templates do not follow these important conventions.
6. Navigation – The Navigation of templates rarely fit your actual needs so again, you need to redesign that portion of the template. (This is also not to mention the usability issues that many of these templated designs use.)
You'll want to be very careful when considering a web template. Make sure that the template you choose meets all of the above criteria. You just may end up saving quite a bit of time and money.