Saturday, April 28, 2007

Web design and hobby

When designing a website a huge part of the design is in the layout. The way your site looks, and its overall ease of use is important, especially if your site is directed towards a customer base. For the web illiterate a web template can step in and take over the grueling part of designing a website. This can save time, money, while at the same time providing your site with a look and feel that you have selected.

A web template is like paint by numbers website. It’s the layout, and the required code, without the information pertinent to your particular site. Most are simply cut and paste, fill in the blank affairs, and are generally quick and simple. They allow you to see the website in its completed form first, and give you the ability to make sure it fits your needs. It also allows you a professional looking layout without paying top dollar for a website design firm, or freelance web design professional.

Web templates are usually designed by freelance web designers, or people who look at web design as a hobby. Some templates are free, and others cost a little money, but it is still a fraction of the cost involved in having a site designed from the bottom up. There are hundreds of template sites floating around the wide world of the internet, and it can be time consuming to find the right one. The time and effort involved in looking at template after template can be worth it though, when you find that template that is all you.

So where to begin on your hunt for the perfect hassle free layout? Checking out the sites offering free templates first is the most cost effective place to start. These sites usually exist solely on advertisement revenue and offer templates for free to bring in large amounts of traffic. The contributions are generally made by private web designers, who design as a hobby, or want to get their names out into the world by offering a few designs for free. The drawback to using a free template is that the chances of your template being used hundreds of times over, by several different sites, increases exponentially. Other sites offer high quality templates for a price. The price of these templates is much lower then one would pay to have a site designed exclusively, and the chances of it being used by several hundred people is less because these templates do cost money.

Whether you choose to go with a free template or pay the price for an almost exclusive one, the bottom line here is the price. You must decide if having a generic layout, and potentially looking the same as another site is worth not paying top dollar for a web design firm to design something uniquely yours. You must consider your individual needs, the needs of your audience, and the message you want to convey before selecting which route to take.

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