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Using Website Templates
May 26, 2004

If you're not skilled in HTML or able to have access to a web design program and not ready to invest in a custom web design, you may be able to take advantage of website templates to create your website. Also good for those for whom design and layout don't come naturally, templates can make your leap from real world to virtual world quick and pretty painless. Here are some hints about the various sides of templates.

What Is a Website Template?

Just as boiler plate text provides slots to fill in to build a document, website templates provide slots to fill in to build a website. A web template has pre-coded elements so that you don't have to do work in HTML, and placeholders that you simply replace with your own material. The navigation is already set up, and you just pop things into place.

Benefits of Using a Web Template

Web templates may get your creative juices flowing just because they give you some many ideas and possibilities to work with. Since they're mostly free, you can download several and try them out without much investment besides your time. Because you can download them and easily customize them, your development time is kept to a minimum.

Other benefits of using website templates include the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) quality. Unlike a custom web design, for which you wait to see what the designer will come up with, templates give you an impression immediately. You have far fewer decisions to make, lessening the chance that the task of going online will seem overwhelming and all consuming. Depending on the template, you will be able to personalize and customize it to a certain extent.

Drawbacks of Templates

Website templates also have some drawbacks that you should know about. First of all, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to find a template that precisely meets your needs: you may have to settle for something. Second, many others may be using the same template and—as a consequence—your site may not have the uniqueness that you would like.

In addition, your ability to customize may partly be limited by the age and coding of the template, and you may not be able to see this immediately. For example, connecting to a database or displaying certain types of media may not be possible. Contemporary accessibility standards may not be met by older templates, and this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best updating and/or maintaining your site may be more complicated than necessary.

Beyond the Standard Template

Some web designers sell what you might call custom templates, which are not free, but on the other hand aren't expensive and come with a guarantee that they will not be sold again after your purchase. This can serve as a middle ground between a so-called "cookie cutter" site that is obviously built from a template and a custom design that requires a small fortune.


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