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Use A Free Web Template? Make It Original!


A lot webmasters go for the ease and speed of using a Free Web Templates of some type to get a fast start. And a web site design template, whether you buy it or make it can be a big time saver. But you also always want to make sure that you customize each one enough to stand out from the original.

Especially when you use a professional template bought through the Internet. There are a lot of good designs out there that can fit multiple subject areas. The color and design are well thought out and have a lot of visual appeal. Even if you use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor like FrontPage, a custom web site template can speed development.

One of the toughest things in creating a web site is to get a good clean design that has good navigation and attractive color schemes. And you don’t want to make any changes that have a negative impact on the user experience. Always keep user navigation in mind.

One of the must haves in any good design is for the user to easily find the information they want fast. Whether it’s details on your product and service or even how to buy, make it as simple and easy as you can for the customer. Many times I tone down the design by removing some illustrations or graphics that aren’t necessary.

I’m not particularly sold on things that make noise (audio is meant to be used sparingly and totally at the users discretion). There’s nothing more irritating to someone in a quiet environment (like an office cubicle or library) when they visit your web site than loud music or weird noises.

Many times I may like one particular element of the Free Web Templates and just use that for my current project. For example, a menu design, color combination, or maybe a specific layout. Your content should be the focus, not your design. Most web sites are designed to inform, sell, or communicate with the user.

If you look at the major web sites like Yahoo, Amazon, and Google they all have a very clean and easy to navigate layout and design. No fancy graphics, noises, or special effects like Flash. Now if you are designing a web site for a Multi-Media company, then it might be appropriate but other wise stick to the basics.

You can also use templates to help you come up with new ideas that fit a special design requirement. Position and layout are key factors in keeping the user interested and can help with the flow of information. You normally have about 5 seconds or less to engage the visitor so it’s necessary to grab their attention fast.

So your web site content should be the first thing a user sees, not some twirling illustration. And if you are selling, the headline is the element that will keep the visitor reading, not your design. Graphics are great to illustrate a point, establish a brand, or provide a visual of your product. But if over used, they can destract from your message.

If you want to see how a typical visitor views your website, check out the Google Adsense Heat Map. It shows the natural travel of any visitors eyes and where they often look first, second, and third. The heat map was developed to help Adsense users but the same principal applies to all information displayed. If you keep that in mind while designing the layout, you can increase the visibility of important elements of your message.

It’s also a good idea to change all the names of any graphics used from a template. There are two reasons, one is it’s a good SEO (search engine optimization) tactic to keep names within subject matter and use alt text feature too, and plus this also keeps your website looking like a duplicate to the search engine bots that review all web sites.

A good set of templates can help both with design ideas and speed up the development process. And this can help you give a client a better product in less time. Always try and add some changes and don’t copy a Free Web Templates exactly. Make enough changes to keep it original and insure that the content is the focus point.


February 26, 2009 - Posted by | Design News, Design Training, Design Tutorials, Fonts Download, Free Photoshop Brushes, Free Web Templates, illustrations, photoshop brushes, Stock Photography, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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