Good design

 

Websites, thereís literally billions of them out there in cyber-space. How many of them do you go to and just think this is boring, bland, or hard to use? It seems like too many to mention. So what makes a good website? I reckon itís about interaction. Youíve got to make the visitor interested. Youíve got to grab their attention. Many sites use plenty of bright and shiny gimmicks to attract you, but once you make it through to the content of the site itís just not worthy. A good site uses easy navigation, relevant content, and interactive media like comments and message boards. If youíre fortunate, whoever builds your site may even have a few tricks up their sleeves to make it really fun with sound, video, and other interactive fun stuff.

Do you want people to come to your site and then tell their friend and family about it? Do you want to have huge amounts of visitors? Do you want to succeed in making your dreams come to fruition on the Web? Make your website exciting! It might be easier said than done, but there are people around whose job it is to construct and design sites for a living. If you can afford it, go for the best. How great is it when you come across a site that has some special feature that you've never seen elsewhere? Isn't it great when you find a site that relates to one of your interests that is simple and easy to get to the information you want? If you want to have people to come back again and again, you've got to keep updating the content to keep it fresh and interesting. Have a way for people to communicate with yourself and others who are into the same things. E.G. Forums, message boards and comments. The aim is to catch the 'viewer's' interest.   A lot of sites just look like giant advertisements and you have to search for the needle in the haystack to find out what the actual site is for. I know advertising is a way of making money, but if you want your site to have an authentic, respectable atmosphere that exudes a feeling of integrity, you better be careful. People are becoming wary of this consumer driven, mindless attack at the average civilian's wallet. Some people will automatically leave a site if a bunch of commercials pop-up on the screen. Pop-ups, don't even make me go there?   So, the aim of the game is to make a site that offers the public to be part of the action as well as being a source of knowledge or information that is in demand. A simple to navigate, good 'feel', and if possible-innovative site is the means to becoming the popular Internet magnate you've always dreamed of becoming. Another important fact is the idea of 'you'. Your website is a chance to put your identity out there in the world. Be yourself. If you try to appeal to an audience in a way that doesn't reflect your true self, you're destined to fail. Be honest and speak from your real perspective on life. Give it to us from the heart.

To create professional websites is not an easy task by any means. There are many things that you got to take into consideration like easy navigation, strategic links, clean coding, professional layout, easy downloading, scanability, usability and so on. These are the elements that differentiate a professional website from a mediocre one. So in a way it's not designing the website that counts but how the website is designed.

The only option that most of us have in order to design a good website is to hire a web- designer. Web-designers can help you come up with a great website that looks professional and is coded to perfection, but what about the time factor, leave alone the costs. Here's where web templates come to the rescue.

What are web templates?

Wondering what web templates are? Well, to put it in simple terms, web templates are semi-finished, pre designed web pages that can be used to create and host websites in less time. They are coded and have everything from graphics to logos and can be customized if required to add new pictures, content etc.

Why are web templates considered semi finished WebPages?

Web templates are semi finished in the sense that they are not ready to upload as they are. You need to add certain elements to make them look complete. Some of the main elements that you need to add include

  • Links

  • Page content

  • Page titles/header/footer and tags

  • Company Logo, images etc

After adding these details the web template becomes ready to be uploaded using a web host for the world to see.

What is the price range of web templates?

Web templates range in price depending on the type of templates, terms of usage, package deals, membership deals, files provided etc. Typically a professional template with non-exclusive rights could cost you anything between $50 to $100. This is way lower as compared to what a web designer would ask you for designing your website, not to mention the time factor. Copyrighted templates with exclusive rights could cost you anywhere between $350 to $1800 per template.

What are the files I should get with the purchase of a template?

The files that you get on the purchase of a template differ from vendor to vendor depending on the type/feature of the template. Regardless of the type of template some files that should accompany your purchase are as follows,

  • Index.html file

  • Jpeg/gif image files, font files

  • External CSS Style sheets

  • PSD files

In addition to these some other files such as .js file (for templates that use JavaScript) and readme.txt files can also be provided. Generally these files are provided in a .zip format and you may need to unzip them for usage. You can make use of unzipping software like WinZip to unzip the files. This software can be downloaded from winzip.com.

What kind of rights do I get over the web templates?

Basically there are two types of templates; exclusive (copyrighted) templates and non- exclusive (non-copyrighted) templates. An exclusive template gives you ownership rights over the template whereas a non exclusive template does not give you ownership rights but only usage rights. Exclusive web templates are a bit costly and will ensure that the template is not resold to any other customer. You may use the template as your like and even resell it to other customers. A non-exclusive template on the other hand is cheaper and gives you only usage rights over the template. This means you can modify the template as per your needs but cannot resell them to a third party. Non-exclusive templates also mean that the same template can be resold by the template provider to more than one customer.

How do I edit the web templates?

Basically editing involves inserting the content, changing the style and adding/changing graphics. This can be done using the psd, index.html and other files that the web-template provider gives you on purchase of specific templates.

Editing images and graphics

You would require PSD files in order to edit images and graphics like change image color; add/remove image layers etc. PSD files are those created using Photoshop and can be edited using Photoshop, ImageReady, imac or other image editing software programs. You can also change images to your liking. The best place to look for quality images for your templates is 'gettyimages.com'.

Editing content

If you only need to change/insert content of the template, you can go for editing the index.html file. The index.html file is provided by all template providers and can be edited using Html editors like FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Golive etc. You can also edit content using text editors. Index.html can also be used for removing/replacing images, changing links, adding meta-tags, adding alt texts, adding title and changing image sources.

Editing layouts and styles

For editing layouts and styles you would require a CSS style sheet. A CSS style sheet is a document that lets you make changes like text color, text/paragraph spacing, headings, links etc to multiple pages. Always ask your template provider to give external CSS style sheets as they are easy to edit. CSS can be edited using any HTML or text based editors.

In case you find the editing part difficult you can make use of web template customization services that are provided by most template providers.

Where can I find quality web templates?

The internet is filled with websites that offer web templates. All that you need to do is insert a keyword like 'corporate web templates' in google or yahoo! to get a screen crammed with web template providers. But finding quality templates from this crap is a bit difficult. A template many look glossy on your screen but may contain bad coding and low grade graphics. Some may be cheap but will have bad or no service associated. So how to find the best web templates in this heap load? The best way is to ask your-self these six questions before making a buying decision.

  • Are the templates conversant with my company objectives and goals?

  • Will they appeal to my end users?

  • What kind of support does the web template provider offer?

  • Does the web template fit in with my hosting plan?

  • Is the template compatible with all editing software programs?

  • What kind of files does the template vendor offer me?

Web templates at DurhamTechs.com

High quality web templates can be found at DurhamTechs.com or by clicking here. We also provide services like template customization, content insertion Search engine optimization and web hosting. We will also include a link to your web site in our links section.  Free HTML editing software can be downloaded here

 

Article by Sumantra Roy.