How to Choose the Best Website Template for Your Website

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A web template can be described as a boxed or pre-designed webpage which can be used by any company, organization or individual to connect or plug in whatever images or copy they want to, to create their own unique site. Web templates help both developers and web designers to automatically provide custom pages that meet the basic needs for companies, with much less hassle than coding a brand new website from scratch. Templates also allow non-developers and novice website administrators to create their website vision without professional assistance.

Because templates are such a smart, affordable idea for many companies or individuals looking to create new websites, there are thousands of them to choose from when building (or re-building) your site. The question becomes: How do I choose a template and when I find one I like, how do I know it will meet my needs? While the answer to these questions is different person to person, we’ve put together 6 crucial considerations you should make to determine whether a template is a good fit for your needs.

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Website Template

how to choose the right website template

The Content Width 

Content width refers to featured themes which allow the individual to determine the highest width for any content within the theme. There are primarily 2 kinds of content widths that run common for most templates: Full Width and Boxed Width. Depending on what kind of website template a company wants, full width content does very well for contemporary creative designs while boxed width content is suitable for (some) blogs or portfolio sites. Generally speaking, full-width sites are preferred but this point is less about which one you should choose, and more that you should note the difference when shopping around for a good template. Once the content width is clear in your mind, you will have a better picture of the right web template to choose. Many sites where templates are common (such as Squarespace or WordPress) will allow you to filter the templates you’re looking at, to just see the width you want. Some templates also allow for either width to be present, where you can choose.

Search Engine Friendliness

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More than anything, you want to impact more people with whatever business service you provide – that’s the point of doing all this work on your website. Consequentially, search engine optimization is vital to choosing your web template. You have to consider adding important SEO techniques and features to increase both visibility and ranking of your website. Use models that will provide you with hierarchy, ease of navigation as well as avoid changing your template to suit every category. Doing so will only complicate navigation for users. You may need to hire an SEO expert and along with your web designer, they will work hand in hand to draft a punchy template that will not only patch up your website ranking but also keep it relevant to your niche market. One of the most important things for SEO is that your template functions just as nicely on mobile as on desktop.

Menu Bar Design   

While contemplating on how beautiful you want the web template to look, it’s important to consider function. At the end of the day, the visual appeal of your website will be subjective while the speed, functionality, and relevance will be what motivates your visitors to return. The menu bar design serves the purpose of attracting visitors back to your site, because it’s basically the road map. If you can’t navigate a website, you’re very likely to just leave and get your information or products elsewhere. Remember, the more visitors you have, the more effective your site is which will eventually influence your returns and the popularity of your service or business.  Therefore, the menu bar design is important because it determines how visitors perceive your content and whether or not you have the answers they’re looking for.

The Cost  

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Quality isn’t always cheap. Rather than go for an immediate mediocre cheap web template with the assumption that once you are all set and going you will upgrade, this might instead land you on spending more and eventually losing everything to start completely over. Paying for quality might be expensive as you’re just starting out but in the long run, it saves you tons of money and stress. Again, view it as a quality investment which will yield long lasting fruits in the long run. That said, there are many quality free website templates on the market – it’s just important to choose value and quality over price alone.

The Home Page Header Layout  

This item is a strategic decision directly related to your business type. Picking a home page header might do good to your business or cause more harm than good. This is an important reason why pocking one should be done meticulously without haste and not solely on the basis of design or imagery. Think of your header as a first impression – yes, it must look great and represent you well, but it should also scroll out of the way, and not overlap the functional items within your website. Many people’s headers are poorly sized, or they stretch an image across the header in an unfit way, so that the website ends up looking amateurish at best, and worst case – it doesn’t even allow visitors to click where they need.

Flexibility + Customization     

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There are thousands of competitive sites with similar web template designs. What is it that can make your site stand out? The more flexible, customizable, and limitless your template is, the more likely it will be that your site won’t feel so “template-y” and basic. Your unique originality will give style and flair to the traditional template so that your site can emulate your brand. Ensure that your customization options are varied and multiple which will permit future changes in specific elements of your website in the future. This is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a quality web template because only flexible customized options will provide this possibility in the long run if you need to add non-default items. Your worst-case scenario will be to fall in love with a template, purchase, install, and find out that you can’t make the changes that would make it work for you.

As you’re asking yourself which template to select for your website, do not overlook these and other important features. It’s important to make a holistic, long-term decision that will suit your needs for many months.

Kayla Naab
Kayla is deeply familiar with web design principles, UX, editorial layout, marketing collateral and photography. She is also passionate about all facets of web design, visual branding, and the entire digital experience.

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