• 2Q==-1.jpg

How to Pick the Right Website Template

The complex task of putting together a website for your small business becomes easier when you know how to choose a website template. A template provides a foundation to work with when establishing your web presence and makes building and maintaining a site easier than starting from the ground up.

Ready to build your own website, but don’t know where to start? Check out our tips for how to choose the best website template for your business.

1) Determine the Goal of Your Website

A business website can serve a variety of purposes:

  • Growing your email list
  • Gathering leads with free content
  • Selling products and services
  • Acting as a “virtual business card”
  • Providing useful information to customers

Ask yourself what you want visitors to do when they arrive on your site. A good template combines a layout designed to fulfill this specific purpose with tools to make setup and maintenance as easy as possible.

The purpose of your site should be clear to your customers from the moment they click through from searches or ads. If your template doesn’t align with your goal, visitors are likely to be confused about what actions you want them to take.

2) Consider the Content

The content of your website dictates what kind of user interface is best and the type of layout necessary to provide an optimal experience for visitors. Look for templates with enough space to display a variety of content without crowding the screen or overwhelming customers with too much visual information per page.

Think about where and how you want to display:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Calls-to-action
  • Product descriptions, if applicable

Every page also must have room for the all-important business “NAP.” Short for name, address and phone number, this contact information should appear prominently in at least one universal spot so that visitors have no trouble getting in touch with you.

3) Look for Inspiration Everywhere

Think about the websites you enjoy visiting and those to which you keep going back. What aspects of the layout, colors, navigation and other elements attract you? What did the site designers do to make the experience so enjoyable?

Make a list of three to five websites with features you’d like to mirror on your own site. Write down why they appeal to you and which elements you want to see in a template. This gives you a starting point when looking for layouts and can help you weed out templates with too few or too many features.

If you can’t find a template with the right combination of design and usability, take your notes to a designer. Professionals have the skills to bring together all the elements you want in a realization of your vision for your site.

4) Check the Level of Customization

When thinking about how to choose a website template, the amount of customization you can perform is important. Consistent branding plays a key role in customer acquisition and retention, so a template must offer the ability to change theme colors and add images such as logos and product photos.

However, it can be a hassle if a template requires too many changes to meet your needs. Look for layouts with easy tools, including drag and drop editing, grid layouts and one-click adding of common page elements. These are important options if you’re unfamiliar with code but still want to design an attractive site.

5) Know How Your Audience Browses

Responsive design is a must in modern website templates. The world has gone mobile, and chances are good the majority of your audience is searching, browsing and making purchase decisions using a smartphone or tablet. To accommodate this, a template should:

  • Adapt to all screen sizes without compromising layout
  • Provide flexible navigation
  • Include mobile-friendly form options

Compatibility across browsers is another important feature regardless of what type of device is being used. Make sure the template you choose looks good and functions properly in Chrome, Firefox, Safari and other major browsers.

6) Design for Growth

Where do you picture your business going in the coming years? Make sure you choose a template designed to grow along with you. A simple template without too many bells and whistles is an attractive choice when you’re just starting out, but it will cost you time in the long run if you have to upgrade in a few months or a year to accommodate changes. From color and design to navigation and expansion options, look for a template with the capability to meet your needs both today and several years from now.

7) Seek a Good Support Team

Professional templates should come with an easily accessible support system. This may include:

  • Telephone support
  • Email support
  • FAQs
  • Instructional videos
  • Access to detailed documentation
  • Direct support from the designer
  • An open forum in which to ask questions

The more comprehensive the support system, the better. Good support is most important when you plan to do a lot of custom work on your site. If you make a mistake you don’t know how to correct, it can set you back hours or even days unless support is available to guide you in fixing the problem.

Template designers should also include announcements of updates and how to apply changes to your site. Be wary of designs without any recent updates. An old template may have unresolved security issues or lack the support you need to create a robust layout.

A well-designed website template helps you build your own website with ease and produces a professional finished product to attract and impress your target audience. By making the most of the tools provided with your chosen template, you maximize the customer experience and increase the likelihood of conversions. Templates level out the learning curve involved in website building and give you the power to update and change your website whenever you wish. View SpaceCraft's beautiful, responsive templates today, and give us a call to learn more about our design services.

Let's get started!