You’ve made the decision to build your website. You’ve chosen the program you want to build it in. Now comes that agonizing decision of choosing a website template!
How to you choose a small business website design template?
Before you make any template decisions you must know how your website is being built. There are so many ways to build a website, including:
- Software programs like Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expressions
- Website Builders like Weebly
- Online Content Management Systems like WordPress or Joomla
My recommendation is always WordPress. After spending over ten years designing websites in just about every way possible I settled on WordPress because of it’s cost (free!), ease of use, flexibility, variety of looks and customizability.
Let’s get back to the topic at hand – templates!
So you’ve chosen your site design method and now you’re looking for templates. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you do your search:
1. Customization – How much can the template be changed? Some templates are meant to be used exactly as is while others are designed to be tweaked and customized. Find out how flexible your potential theme is so you can decide if it’s right for you.
2. Support – If you run into issues and problems with your template will there be anyone to answer your questions? Having this kind of customer support is usually something you’ll get from themes you pay for and not free ones. So consider if it’s worth it to you to have available support as you need it.
3. Flexibility – Does your template limit your website in any way? Does it allow you to do everything you need to do with your website at the moment and anything you might want to do in the near or even distant future. Try to think long-term with your template and if it will suit your needs over time.
4. Branding – Does the template match the branding and style of your business. If you are starting a business from scratch this may not be an issue but if you are bringing your offline business online you want to consider your brand and keep it consistent. Some things you might not think about initially are matching: fonts, colors, logos and images. Consistent branding builds trust and confidence in your business, allow your potential customers and customers to feel comfortable buying from you.
5. Navigation – Last, but certainly not least is website navigation. Does the template allow ease of use for moving throughout the site? Potentially one of the most important thing about your site is how easily people can find what they are looking for. Make sure any potential templates you choose are not confusing or constricting and allow users to easy find their way to the good stuff.