Are Web Templates Worth It?
By Dennis Dadey (c) 2004
First off, I am a designer. Now you're thinking, here's this guy trying to convince me to hire a designer costing a few hundred to a few thousand dollars instead of buying a pre-made web template for about $60. Well, these days most companies don't have the money to invest in a costly web site and there are thousands of hungry web designers out there, plus now there are web template resources. These resources can equal great value and effectiveness for the customer as well as increased business for the web designer.
For the customer it is important to be prepared. They need to know what their website should look like, how it will perform, the ability to update and add to it easily, so as not to be held hostage by a design firm's technical code talk.
Now for the reality of web templates. There are hundreds of web templates and many web sites offering the same hundreds of templates. There are templates for a wide range of business types: from agriculture to wedding sites. Depending on the business category you may find 20 to 400 hundred different template packages to choose from. Most look quite good, but remember you may not be the only company that buys the template. There could be sites that look the same as yours unless you buy an exclusive on the design. The price for an exclusive design ranges from $800 to $3000, meaning you must be the first customer to purchase the template to be used only by you. On the other hand, prior to your purchase of a particular template, several customers may have bought that same template and can use it as well, and as a result will have made this template non-exclusive.
Ok, here is where I come in, as well as my fellow designers. The times for web site design are changing as competition grows daily, not just from low-cost template designs but from low-cost designers (will talk about that in more detail in another article). I am not going to list any particular template design company as there are only a few choice ones. Templates are an excellent resource to offer your customers as you are showing your willingness to work with them for reasonable costs. You can fine tune the design, whether it be graphic changes as well as text. As a rule, many companies do not have the software to perform modifications to the web site template or they have the software but not the time or expertise. The template is a good starting point and can save costs, but modifications are usually needed as one size does not fit all. This way the customer gets good value and you get new business.