Building a website doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. It’s possible, however, to build an amazing website without knowing how to code. That’s where website templates come into play, alongside other DIY solutions of all sorts. Allowing you to build a beautiful website with just a few clicks, templates make it easy to set up a personal or business page in a matter of minutes. Here’s how you can craft your own site with a template with minimal effort.
What Website Templates Are All About
Templates are often available through website builders like WordPress or Wix. The idea behind them is that you can choose one that best suits your needs and customize as needed. Some templates are designed for certain types of sites (such as a magazine/journal versus an online store) and others simply put special emphasis on specific design specifications.
In fact, this is one of the reasons behind WordPress’s popularity. Visit any given WordPress site (and with over 50% of websites today being built with WordPress, there’s plenty to choose from) and chances are very likely that one, if not most of these sites, was cobbled out of a template. Not everyone knows how to code but almost everyone wants to be able to build a website, a beautiful one that is. This is why templates are such a big thing.
Choosing a Website Builder
But the problem is knowing how to choose one that works best for you. Depending on the website building service that you are using, your options for how to use a template will vary drastically.
For instance, WordPress website templates can be selected from either the WordPress site or uploaded through a third-party provider. If you choose to use a template from a third-party developer there are some extra steps you will need to follow, which we’ll cover later. Templates can be changed at any time, so you have nothing to worry about if you decide that what you pick now isn’t working for you at a later date.
Wix, on the other hand, does not have an option to switch templates later. So this is something you will want to keep in mind when choosing your website hosting/building service. With Wix, you’ll only get one template per website. If you’d like to use a different template you’ll have to make a whole new website. You’ll also have to use Wix templates only. There’s no uploading from a third-party site at this time.
Other website builders, such as Joomla, usually offer users the ability to choose templates from third-party sites or from their own service. Be sure you do plenty of research before you dive in and choose a website building site.
Selecting the Right Website Template
The fun part is, of course, choosing a template that works best for the type of site you would like to build.
First, you’ll need to decide what the purpose of your site is. Are you a business? A journalist? A freelance designer? Consider what you want your website to do for you. This will affect the look of your website and the kinds of features you’ll want in the template you select.
Take a look at your competitors’ or colleagues’ websites. How are they designed and structured? You may be able to get a few design ideas through taking a look at similar websites and comparing how they match up to what kind of vision you have for your own.
You’ll then want to consider whether you’re willing to pay for your website template or whether you would prefer to look into free website templates. Free isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to websites though you will want to be sure you’re testing out as many templates as possible to make sure that they fit your needs.
When you’re using a website builder like Wix, you certainly want to take your time choosing a template. Remember that Wix won’t allow you to change your template later so it’s absolutely vital to make sure that you find the best template possible before you dive deep into designing your site.
WordPress and Third-Party Templates and Themes
But we’ll have to spend a brief moment talking about how to set up a WordPress template specifically. Choosing a template on the WordPress site is as easy as clicking on the one you want. What if you’d like to choose a third-party template?
This will depend on whether you’re using WordPress.com or WordPress.org. If you’re using .com, you won’t be able to use third-party templates. Sample principle applies to using extensions.
.org, however, will allow you to install and customize as you please, proven you find a web host. Let’s assume you’re using .org throughout the rest of this section.
When you find a template you like from an alternate provider, simply download it to your computer. Then, while viewing your WordPress site through the appearance tab, you can simply choose your template design file that you downloaded and upload it directly onto the site.
Why would you want to select a third-party theme in the first place? You may be having trouble finding a template you like on the WordPress site. This is not an uncommon problem, especially if you have a very specific vision for how you would like your site to appear. Some of the basic WordPress templates are not always extension friendly or able to be customized with ease. It’s always a good idea to check out third-party templates, at least to get a feel for potential options while choosing the best option for your own site.
Free or Paid Templates?
Is it always a good idea to choose free website templates or are there times when you should consider paying for one? The choice is up to you but there are a few things you will want to consider.
One, are you in love with a particular look or feel for your website? In this case, it may be a wise decision to pay for a specific template if it meshes well with your initial vision for how you would like your site to look.
But you may also want to consider the fact that you will usually have the ability to customize your site as desired. This posits a strong case for finding website templates that are free. There are plenty of free templates out there (especially if you seek third-party ones) and it may be possible to find something that works for you without paying a dime.
Again, you will want to consider your needs. Do plenty of research and, if possible, test out or preview multiple templates to see which ones mesh the best with your website’s purpose and your goals for what you would like your website to look like and do.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to what template to use. It’s all about how you envision your website and what you want it to be able to do for you. Take your time and be open to trying out new templates as needed. The key to making a website template work for you is seeing how well it matches up with your website’s needs.