Oh no! Not another website template suggestion

I have come across this too much lately. Clients and agencies both reverting to using a pre-made website template to represent their brand. This typically occurs when budget is a problem especially for a startup company. One major problem with this is that if budget is a concern then start off right in the first place. Too many times have clients come to us with a template site that simply doesn’t work. Here are the reasons I have found:

  • The design doesn’t match your branding and customers were confused
  • The template was not build for their content. The content had to be retrofitted to the design of the template
  • There are licensing agreements with some templates that restrict what you can do with them or include their info on the site that show it’s a template
  • Their developer had to understand the original programmers code to go in and make adjustments
  • The template was actually built years ago and technology has changed
  • The template broke when images or too much content was added to places that were not flexible
  • Images were used on important items like the main navigation and links. Google doesn’t like that.
  • Template designers are not SEO experts and most template sites are bad for SEO
  • Many templates use Flash which Google can’t read and iPad and iPhone users can’t see. Also you can’t update the flash yourself and it’s a memory hog.
  • Since images were used in the navigation this are has a fixed width and no other items could be added without design and development help
  • Design and not functionality was the intent for the template so the user suffers
  • Good user experience strategies were not employed and many unnecessary items needed to be moved or removed
  • The whole template and all of the work done needed to be scrapped and the client wanted to start over the right way

Our recommendation is to not even use a template option as a quick fix at first. When you launch your brand it needs to represent your company and be designed with your content and good user experience in mind. Also as technology changes you want your site to be written the right way so that things don’t break. Using a great developer with current experience should be your goal. I have found many great web developers and web designers in Cincinnati who have a lot of relevant experience that can help our clients.

Doing a quick fix template causes you more problems than it’s worth by giving you something that hundreds of other people could be potentially using too. Templates are also not very flexible and you end up spending more time trying to change one then if you had started with a fresh design in the first place. Just like hiring your brother in law to fix your roof, using a template will just cause you headache and you’ll end up redoing it anyway.

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Adam Koehler, Founder of Reversed Out, is a Cincinnati born Web Designer. After graduation and working for various agencies over the years, Adam realized the need for reasonably priced Web Design in Cincinnati.

5 Responses to “Oh no! Not another website template suggestion”

  1. Jack says:

    Well, I read all your posts for now…I’llcome back tomorow for more great posts!

  2. Norene says:

    I’m not sure why but this web site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  3. Brilliant template, eventually revealed the place for enticing background textures

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