How to choose a template or template?

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Choosing a website template is an important decision for every business owner. There are a lot of things to consider. This ranges from the type of website you want to build, different features and customization options, budget, and your level of experience managing and modifying templates.

It’s only natural to feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right template for your website. With that said, we’ve put together this walkthrough to identify the steps needed to choose the best website template.

choose a template

Before choosing a website template, there are a few key points to consider:

1. What type of website do you want to create?

Whether you are going to develop an ecommerce website or small business site, a website template determines its structure, functions and how it will appear. Are you building a simple one-page website or do you need multiple pages with galleries, maps or videos?

You should also keep your domain and niche in mind when choosing the best template for your website. A template created and intended for photographers will not be suitable for an accounting firm and vice versa.

2. What type of layout and design match your needs?

The layout and design determine how the information will be structured when you create a website. There are five key design and usability points to consider when choosing the right website template:

  • content width design
  • header layout
  • navigation bar design
  • logo location
  • overall usability and user experience

Content width design

Most website templates today offer two types of content width: full width and nested width.

In a full-width design, the background image spans the entire width of your computer screen. Full width layouts are very popular and work well for mobile responsive templates and graphics heavy websites. In general, they are considered more creative and modern.

The HTML5 Canvas template has a nice full width design (notice how the header image spans the entire width of the canvas from edge to edge):

Full-width canvas website template

Canvas Site Template – Sample Full Width Layout.

With a nested width, your content has a visible frame on the left and right of the screen. This type of layout works best for business websites. Indeed, it is more traditional and professional. The Brandon WordPress theme has a nested design option as well as you will also find it with wowcommerce website design once you come across the online store:

WordPress Brandon Template

WordPress Brandon Template – Example of a nested width layout.

Header Layout

Usually, the header is the first thing your visitors will see when they visit your website. There are several types of header layout. It ranges from a simple logo image and main navigation to headers with slideshows, videos, text overlay image, and more.

Choosing the right type of header is more of a goal-oriented decision than a design decision. The header of your website should be successful in communicating your main business message to your visitors.

Using a captivating image to create an amazing visual experience works well for businesses such as hotels, restaurants, or spas.

If, on the other hand, your type of business is difficult to explain with just an image, you should choose a header design that can incorporate a text overlay image. Make sure to include your headline, supporting paragraph or tagline and a call to action in the overlay.

This is the most widely used type of header design. It is displayed below in the WordPress Foundry template :

 WordPress Foundry template

WordPress Foundry Theme – Example site header with prominent text overlay.

Likewise, if your business offers multiple services, or if your business caters to the needs of different audiences, using a slideshow header can be a great way to showcase everything you have to offer in an organized fashion. The Porto site template shows a working header slideshow below:

Porto website theme

Porto Website Theme – Example of a site with a slideshow header design.

On the other hand, headers with videos can work very well for most small business owners when done right. They can be a powerful marketing tool. They give your brand a more personal impression and explain your business mission in an engaging way.

Design of the navigation bar

Your navigation bar is the main tool in guiding your visitors around your website. It should be clean and simple, with a background color that is easy on the eyes. Your pages should be presented in order of importance from left to right. Then, they should include only essential pages. Support pages should be added as drop-down menu items rather than being included in the main menu.

The position of your navigation bar is also important. A horizontal navigation menu at the top is a classic design. Most people are used to it.

If your pages are very long, you should consider using a menu bar permanently attached to the top of the page, regardless of the distance scrolled by your visitors.

If your website is heavy on graphics, consider using a vertical navigation bar. It is especially effective if your menu items have long titles or if you have a lot of tabs.

Another option for graphics heavy websites is the horizontal navigation menu at the bottom. This one focuses primarily on content and eliminates visual distractions. This type of menu works just as well if the primary focus of your website includes a call to action such as signing up via email, or to purchase products from your online store.

Logo location

The placement of your logo says a lot about your business goals. A logo placed on the same line as your primary navigation works well for businesses that focus more on their products and services and place less emphasis on branding. It is best suited for businesses serving the business-to-business (B2B) market.

A centered logo, below or above the main navigation, works well for businesses focused on building a brand identity. It is most often popular with retail businesses.

Overall friendliness and user experience

Finally, you need to take into account the overall usability and user experience of the website template. With the above-mentioned points in mind, the website template you have chosen should not only have an attractive design, it should also meet your needs. Most importantly, it should have a responsive, mobile-friendly design, load quickly, and include SEO optimization.

3. Features and customization

Customize template

Most modern website templates allow some level of customization to blend into your existing brand. Personalization options range from selecting colors and fonts, adding your company logo and multimedia, and creating a custom layout.

Keep in mind that customizing the website template should improve this template without requiring a complete redesign.

Website templates also offer a wide variety of features that are either very niche specific. For example, including a booking form or a photo gallery to very general features. They can be used in various niches.

Think about what features you need in your website template. Then delete any templates that have features you don’t need and will never use.

4. Customer support and budget considerations

Whether they are “easy to use” or “up to date”, website templates claim to be. They should always be taken care of by a template developer who offers support if you have any issues.

Choose a template that the designer makes clear that they offer customer support by phone, email, or live chat. This way, you can get your site downloaded and ready to go as quickly as possible.

A number of templates come with 6-month support, including:

  • Answer questions about using the model.
  • Respond to technical questions about the item (and included third-party assets), such as specific questions about the item’s features and functionality. Provide advice on how the item is designed. Help you resolve issues with using the item. Make the most of its features, etc.
  • Help with theme flaws or included third-party assets such as bugs and minor item issues.
  • Updates to items to ensure continued compatibility and to address security vulnerabilities.

Support does not provide theme customization, item installation, hosting, server environment or software, or help from the authors of the included third-party assets. For customization or installation services that will help you tailor the template to your specific needs, we recommend consulting with professional service providers and developers on Envato Studio.