Website Design Templates vs Custom Designs
Written by Joe on Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Do you use templates or create original designs?
This is a question that I've been asked a few times this year. And first things first, no I don't use design templates. My website designs are all 100% original and created by me. So why is it that I'm still getting asked if I use templates for my designs? Here are a few reasons why you may think a website design is a template.
Website vistors expect common items in common locations
When you visit a website what do you expect? Do you expect the navigation to be hard to find? Do you expect to be able to click the logo and return to the home page? These are just a few items that today's generation of web users have come to expect. Easy to use and follow navigation is a must. Your logo should also return a visitor back to your home page. In most cases your navigation is towards the top of the page, as well as your logo. Too much variation from this standard formatting can confuse visitors. If they are confused once, chances are they won't be back.
This can cause confusion between templates and original designs. Web designers know that websites need to follow certain guidelines. Template designers know this as well. For this reason, template designs and original designs tend to have some similar aspects.
How do you tell the difference?
Well, you can't. Template designers are website design professionals just as freelance and corporate website designers are. We all follow the same standards and guidelines. We know what website users have come to expect and how to keep them happy. And keeping website visitors happy is always our goal.
When browsing the web, take notice of how many aspects are similar from website to website. Logo in the top left. Horizontal menu directly under the logo. 2 or 3 column content areas. Custom home pages and more standard looking sub pages. You will find that many websites follow these guidelines. They do this for a reason.
Content makes the real difference
Users have expectations for designs. It's really your content that makes you stand out. Professional photos and professionally written content will set you apart from your competition and really make the difference. Before even starting a web project, consider your audience and start gathering images and content for your website. Keep your writing style consistent.
There are exceptions to this rule but for most businesses the goal of the website is to inform visitors about your services and allow them to easily find the information they are looking for. If they can't they certainly won't use your services and probably won't return to your website.
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