This is a topic that I have been toying with writing for a while. The main reason for it is because it touches on a lot of disciplines and needs to – as a website does. The question here is what is a template website and who is it best suited for?
Let’s first start with what I mean by a template website. What I definitely do not mean is a CMS site like WordPress or Drupal. These site platforms are not template websites in the way I mean it. I am talking more about purchasing themes to install on these sites or literally using a system such as Yola or Web Inn.
So let’s look at 2 of the many disciples that is touches on then we can examine who a template site might benefit the most.
When you use a company that just installs template sites or when you use a template website as your company website you are not doing your company brand any favors. Template sites by definition are very generic. Your brand is not. Your website needs to convey who and what you are in as short a space of time as possible. Very often cookie cutter templates cannot do that and you are left with a site that cannot support the visual language of your brand.
Products and services
Template website are exactly that, a template to which you can customize 20% of the design and layout. This does not always service your need as your business is unique in its offering and product layout. This means that you are left with a sit ethat does not satisfy your business needs and to which you need to conform.
So why do template sites exist and do well?
Now I have been trashing template sites up until now, but this is not 100% fair. There is a very large and needy market out there for template websites out there. Bloggers (like me) don’t have to go through the expense of getting a site designed; because it is not 100% integral to what they are trying to convey.
The questions that you need to ask yourself when looking at a website & deciding if it can be a template are :
1. What if my competitor has the same site design as me? How am I going to differentiate myself?
2. Can I afford to struggle with making a template website fit my business or is my business generic enough that it will fit?
3. Can I afford anything more than a template website at the moment and can it grow with my business?
These 3 simple questions are but a few of many that you need to ask yourself and your web company when they propose a template website design or a themed website design to you. If they are charging you a premium price for a template site or a theme which they have downloaded then they are not working for you, but rather against you as they are damaging your business long term.