What is a website template and how to choose the right template?

11 MINS
Web.com Team

Having a captivating online presence is essential for any business or individual. This saying, you’re probably here because you want a fantastic website, but you’re not a tech whiz. You’re afraid that your website can be a disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing, right? That’s where a website template can save the day.  

Think of a website template as your blueprint. It’s your starting point for building your online space – where colors, fonts, and layouts come together to create a digital masterpiece. 

In this guide, we’ll delve deep into the world of website templates – what they are, why they matter, and how to choose the ideal template that resonates with your brand and aspirations. 

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What are website templates? 

Website templates are pre-designed layouts that encompass the overall structure, visual elements, and functional components of a website. Think of them as a foundation to build your virtual presence. 

These templates come with a range of design elements, such as colors, fonts, images, and page layouts. By utilizing them, you bypass the complexities of coding from scratch and jump straight into creating a polished site in no time. 

Advantages of using website templates 

Understanding what website templates offer your business empowers you to make informed decisions in designing your website. Here are the benefits that come with website templates: 

Enjoy an efficient process 

For those new to building your online presence, website templates are a game-changer. Website templates provide pre-designed layouts and elements. Thus, eliminating the need to build a site from scratch and the steep learning curve associated with web design.  

You get a functional and visually appealing site up and running in a fraction of the time needed to custom design every aspect. 

Cut down your costs 

Hiring a professional web designer can be expensive. Whereas website templates offer a budget-friendly alternative without compromising on the quality of design. This cost-effectiveness is particularly beneficial for startups, small businesses, and individuals with limited resources. 

Get a responsive website 

In the age of mobile browsing, responsive design is essential. Many modern website templates are designed to automatically adjust to different screen sizes, ensuring that your website looks and functions seamlessly across various devices. 

Start quickly and conveniently 

For those new to web design and coding, website templates are a blessing. Templates provide an intuitive, user-friendly way to build a professional-looking and visually appealing site without the steep learning curve. The design aspects are already taken care of, allowing you to focus on content and other strategic elements of your website. 

Customize flexible templates

While templates provide a foundation, they also allow for customization. You can personalize the template to match your brand’s unique style, adding your logo, modifying color schemes, and tweaking layouts to align with your vision. 

Promote your brand identity 

Maintaining a consistent design throughout your website is crucial for brand recognition. Website templates ensure that your website’s design elements, such as colors, fonts, and layouts, remain cohesive across all pages, fostering a strong brand identity. 

Choose from a variety of templates 

The market offers a wide array of website templates catering to different industries, styles, and purposes. They even come with built-in features, such as contact forms, image galleries, sliders, and social media integration.  

This variety allows you to choose a template that best suits your niche, making it easier to find a design that resonates with your target audience. Plus, you can streamline the process of adding functionality to your website without extensive coding or third-party plugins to ensure your site works perfectly for your business needs. 

Get quick updates and community support 

As technology evolves, websites need to adapt to new standards and trends. Reputable template providers frequently update their templates to ensure compatibility with the latest technologies, security measures, and design trends. 

Also, popular template platforms often have active communities where you can seek advice, share experiences, and find solutions to common challenges and updates. This supportive network can be invaluable, especially when encountering hurdles along the way. 

9 Essential factors to consider when choosing a website template 

A well-chosen template ensures your website aligns with its purpose, whether it’s a portfolio, eCommerce store, or blog, creating a seamless experience for visitors. Consider these factors when choosing your website template: 

2. Purpose and niche 

Select a template that aligns with your website’s purpose and industry. This way you can ensure you’re sending the right message to your audience. For instance, an eCommerce template would be tailored for showcasing products, while a portfolio template would showcase your creative work, a blog template would emphasize your articles, and a business template would project a professional image.  

To start your journey, consider the purpose of your website. Are you running an eCommerce platform, showcasing your portfolio, managing a blog, or representing a business? Align your choice with your website’s core purpose. Choosing the right template ensures your website not only looks great but also speaks directly to your target audience’s needs and expectations. 

2. Design and aesthetics 

Visual appeal is like the magnet that draws visitors into your digital world. When your website looks stunning, people are more likely to stick around, explore, and come back for more.  

Pay attention to color schemes, typography, and imagery offered by the template. Color psychology can evoke emotions and feelings – think calming blues or vibrant reds. Typography sets the tone – playful fonts for a kids’ website, sophisticated ones for a law firm. Imagery, whether it’s sleek product shots or candid team photos, tells your brand story at a glance.  

These elements should resonate with your brand’s identity and convey the right message. Especially to your visitors long after they’ve clicked away. 

3. Responsiveness 

People often use tablets during lunch breaks and scrolling through their phones while waiting for a cab. This is why your site should adjust gracefully to screens of all sizes. Additionally, ensure a consistent and user-friendly experience for every visitor to come back often. 

Plus, Google is pretty serious about this mobile thing. With their mobile-first indexing, they’re prioritizing how well your website performs on mobile devices when ranking it in search results. So, if your template isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, you’re not just losing out on user engagement, you’re also missing a golden opportunity to appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

4. Customization options 

A good website template strikes a balance between structure and customization. It’s all about making it uniquely yours.  

Modern templates offer a playground of options, allowing you to add your personal touch and match your brand’s style without any coding hiccups. The ability to tweak layouts lets you arrange things just the way you want while changing colors lets you infuse your brand’s personality.  

And when it comes to content, being able to replace default text and images with your own means your website can showcase your story and offerings in a way that resonates with your audience.  

This level of customization not only makes your website stand out but also ensures it reflects your brand’s essence in every element. 

5. User experience (UX) 

A well-designed template enhances user experience by facilitating easy navigation, clear calls-to-action, and intuitive page layouts. Think of a good template as a friendly guide for your website visitors – it leads them through your online space with ease.  

The template’s intuitive menu placement helps visitors quickly find what they’re looking for, while clear call-to-actions gently nudge them to take the next step – whether it’s signing up, buying a product, or exploring more. Organized content, on the other hand, means everything is neatly arranged, making it a breeze for visitors to absorb information without feeling overwhelmed.  

All these thoughtful design elements work together to create a seamless journey. One that leads to better engagement and interaction. 

6. Loading speed 

The loading speed of your website significantly impacts user satisfaction and search engine rankings. Nobody likes waiting around for a slow site to load – it’s like watching paint dry. Speedy loading times ensure that your visitors “stick” and don’t bounce off in frustration. 

But it’s not just about keeping humans happy – search engines, like Google, adore websites that load quickly too. They see it as a sign that you’re offering a great user experience, and that helps boost your rankings in search results.  

When picking a template, look for ones that put performance optimization at the forefront. These templates ensure your website leaves a lasting impression, both on visitors and those all-important search algorithms. 

7. SEO friendliness 

A template’s underlying code and structure play a role in search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines crawl through your website’s code and structure to understand what you’re all about. Clean, organized code helps them decipher content quickly and accurately. 

When it comes to templates, ones that come with built-in SEO features or play nicely with popular SEO plugins are like having an SEO expert by your side. These templates have the right ingredients to help attract search engines to your site. They ensure that your titles, meta descriptions, headings, and other crucial elements are in tip-top shape for SEO success.  

So, when you’re choosing a template, consider its SEO potential. Think of it as a little boost to your website’s popularity with search engines – it’s your ticket to climbing the SEO rankings.

8. Support and updates 

Here’s the golden rule when it comes to templates: go for the trusted ones. Opt for templates from reputable sources. Look for a provider with a track record of regular updates and customer support. These sources are like your safety net – they ensure your template stays up-to-date and glitch-free. 

Using outdated templates is a bit like leaving your front door unlocked in a busy neighborhood. They can open the door to security risks, making your website vulnerable to hackers and cyber-attacks. Reputable sources provide updates that patch up vulnerabilities, ensuring your website stays safe and sound.  

So, when you’re on the hunt for the perfect template, always go for the ones that come with this extra layer of security and support. 

9. Compatibility with content management systems (CMS) 

If you’re using a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, ensure the template you select is compatible with your chosen platform. Just like how a key fits your lock perfectly, a compatible template ensures your website-building process is smooth and stress-free. 

When your template and CMS are in harmony, everything flows seamlessly. Your template integrates effortlessly with your chosen platform, allowing you to manage and update your content, images, and features without any hiccups.  

So, before you choose a template, make sure it matches your CMS. This compatibility streamlines the integration process and helps you make the most of your chosen CMS’s features. 

How to get started with Web.com’s DIY website builder 

Getting started with Web.com’s website builder is a straightforward process. Create your own professional website without extensive technical knowledge. Just follow these simple steps to begin your journey: 

Step 1: Sign up and choose a plan 

  • Visit Web.com – Go to the Web.com website and navigate to their website builder section. 
  • Select a plan – browse through the available plans and choose the one that suits your needs. Plans might vary in terms of features, pricing, and domain options. Select a plan that aligns with your goals. 
  • Create an account – Create your Web.com account. You’ll need to provide your email address, set a password, and fill in other required information. 

Step 2: Select a template 

  • Template gallery – After setting up your account, go to the template gallery. Browse through the collection of website templates and choose the one that resonates with your brand and vision. 
  • Preview and selection – Click on the templates to preview them. Consider factors like design, layout, color scheme, and features. Once you’ve found the perfect template, select it to start customizing. 

Step 3: Customize your website 

  • Drag-and-drop editor – Web.com’s website builder typically uses a drag-and-drop editor. This means you can easily customize your template by adding elements like text, images, videos, buttons, and more. Simply drag these elements onto your pages. 
  • Content creation – Create pages for your website and add content to them. Customize text, upload images, and arrange elements to create a visually appealing and engaging website. You can use our AI Writer to boost you along the process. 
  • Design customization – Most templates allow you to customize colors, fonts, and other design elements to match your brand identity. 
  • Functionality – Depending on your plan and template, you might be able to add features like contact forms, galleries, eCommerce functionality, and more. 

Step 4: Preview and publish 

  • Preview – Before publishing your website, use the preview feature to see how it will appear to visitors. This allows you to make any final adjustments and ensure everything looks and functions as intended. 
  • Publish – Once you’re satisfied with your website, click the “publish” button to make it live on the internet. Your website will now be accessible to visitors using your chosen domain name. 

Congratulations, you’ve successfully started your journey with Web.com’s website builder! Now, all that’s left is to boost its visibility and ensure the right audience finds it. Get the right traffic onto your website with Web.com’s online marketing tools

Quickly launch a stunning website with a few clicks 

Website templates are time-saving blueprints that help avoid the hassle of starting from scratch. From eCommerce ventures to personal blogs, these templates lay the groundwork for your unique virtual space.  

For newcomers, it’s important to assess your needs and choose a template that matches your brand and objectives. By understanding the intricacies of website templates, you can carve out an exceptional online presence that captivates, engages, and leaves an indelible mark on your audience. 

Remember, the template you pick serves as the cornerstone of your online journey. Let Web.com guide you toward a stunning website with the right template for your business. 

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  • Web.com Team

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