Web Site Templates

How to create web sites 10 times cheaper and 10 times faster.

by Anthony Lee

Actually the design of a web site is VERY important nowadays. Online competition is very hard. The Internet is filled with competing web sites that are proposing almost the same services. For example, a few days ago I was browsing the internet attempting to choose a good merchant system provider. In my opinion, most of the web sites had some of the ugliest interfaces I have ever seen, but ALL of them had similar terms and pricing packages.

I chose the provider who had the best design because I assumed that they pay the same attention to their customers as they pay to design.

By the way, MediaMetrix monitoring shows that good design and usability influence 60% of site visitors in their final decision. Good design makes people TRUST your web site.

However it is a dilemma because hiring a good designer often costs a lot of money.

I've been working as a freelance designer for 8 years now. My first project was a web design studio (www.inverse-logic.com). After 1 year of hard work and marketing, I realized that we had more of a job than we could handle. At this time, I thought of using web design templates.

I devoted the next few hours searching for a good web site proposing pre made design, and I must tell you, I was VERY disappointed. Most of them were proposing very ugly stuff.

However I was still able to use some of the designs. Of course I was concerned that someone might notice that my sites design was similar others having the same template.  That's why I opened the template with Photoshop and made a lot of changes that made the similarities unrecognizable.

Conclusion: I saved 1-2 days and received $3000 from client who was very happy with my "work".

Two years later, I realized that website templates could become a good business and have made my first e-commerce project TemplateMonster.com.

There were very different opinions about TemplateMonster. Some people didn't like it, while others admired it. I was disappointed that only 10% - 20% of the  customers were customizing templates; others were only inserting their logos and text.

Let's get back to the merchant systems. Can you imaging how good a merchant system provider can look starting with a design like this:

Template websites can be found in the Google directory at: http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Graphics/Web/Templates

Usually, templates come in HTML and Photoshop formats. Good template sites are including all fonts and other elements needed to modify the template.

Many designers purchase pre-made clipart from such web sites as arttoday.com. So what is the difference? I think that it quite reasonable for a novice designer to purchase professional graphic elements in the Photoshop file of template...

Template design is good as long as you are customizing templates!

About the Author

Anthony Lee is the Art Director at (Templatemonster.com).

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