We have all seen the adverts, “Need a website? Why not set up your own in minutes?” Themeforest advertise “28,177 Website Templates and Themes From $2”. This sounds like a fantastic opportunity to get your business up and running quickly and at a low cost. For some people, this may be exactly all they need, but for most, this won’t touch the surface of what you are trying to achieve. Here’s why.
They Are Not Responsive
In 2016, we need websites to be responsive. They must adapt to the various devices that are out there. Once upon a time, desktop computers were the only device used to connect to the internet, but today usage is also spread around mobiles, tablets, e-readers and even TV’s. In 2010 74% of devices connected to the internet were desktops and today it is more like 50%. This means we need our websites to adjust to the other 50% of the market. Amazingly you can still find design templates out there that are not responsive and therefore you are already losing out on leads for 50% of your visitors.
They Aren’t Always Best Suited
Templates often offer various layout designs which is all well and good but the whole framework remains rigid. This makes it very hard to find your perfect design layout. From photographers to estate agents, the whole layout and design needs to reflect the profession and that is impossible with a rigid template. Templates are often aimed for a specific purpose, be it blogging, interior design, charity events or online shopping. You may not find a template that best suits your need and may end up settling for second best.
You may be a photographer looking for a site to display all of your work with your favourite photo on the home page to catch the user’s eye straight away. You may want this image to fill the screen completely but the template may not allow this. If you want to get creative with a design template, forget it – you have to use what is given to you. The limited flexibility can often frustrate individuals looking to perfect their creation.
Hidden Issues Under The Bonnet
If you were to check your site using the W3C validation tool you are likely to find many errors in the HTML markup which will hinder your chances of being found on search engines like Google. Errors in the HTML markup can also cause your site to be slow. This means your visitors are likely to get bored waiting and click away from your site and right into the hands of your competitors’.
You Get What You Pay For
If the design template is cheap, the quality will reflect it. The website of a business is its main marketing tool, so it needs to be the best it can be. If you choose to use a cheap template you are not going to give the impression you are a serious business.
Web design templates can suit users that don’t rely on attracting customers via their website. They may already have a solid customer base and are just looking for an online presence to drag themselves into the 21st century. Maybe you are just looking for a page for fundraising with a simple ‘donate now’ button. There are many reasons a design template ‘can be all you need’, but if you are looking to attract customers, create leads and show your professionalism, design templates are not the way forward. The most cost-effective solution would be to employ a web developer to create a custom layout that reflects the company’s vision. Web developers will know how to create a site that is SEO friendly, optimised for speed and responsive to all devices.