'Web Design Help,Commentary'

The Trouble with Templates

7 OCT 2014 0

I've noticed a disturbing trend over the last year or so, one which coincides with the rise in popularity of WordPress templates.

Not that there is anything wrong with the templates themselves—as I’ve discussed in previous posts, they can be great for putting together a professional-looking website on a limited budget—but I've noticed an increasing number of design companies that are drastically marking up the templates.

For example, I've come across multiple web design shops who sell a $60 theme (from a website like Theme Forest) for $3,000-$4,000 or more!

Granted, if you’re having a company help you set up the website and all your content, it's going to cost much more than just the cost of the template. But unless you need significant amounts of content / customization, you shouldn't be paying more than $1,500-$2,000.

So, how do you know if the potential web designer you're looking to hire uses themes? Simple. Ask them:

"Are you quoting for a custom design, or an existing template or theme?"

That should be all it takes... and if you don't trust what they are telling you, then that's probably a sign that you should be looking elsewhere. If you want to make sure you can trust what you're being told, you can always use a site like WP Theme Detector (http://www.wpthemedetector.com/) to do so. Simply type in a website URL and the Theme Detector will tell you what theme and plugin the site is using. It will also tell you if the theme being used is a custom design or existing template.

Since this is an automated tool, it's always possible for a mistake to happen. However, while prepping this article, I tested about twenty sites, both with custom themes and purchased templates. Theme Detector was able to accurately identify all of them.

In summary, using a pre-designed theme for your website can be great if you need a low-cost solution, just make sure you don't pay the cost of a custom design for a website designed with a pre-existing template.

Speaking of which, if you're looking for a template-based website, we'd love to show you our extremely easy-to-use platform that comes with unlimited phone and email training support. Get in touch for a free demo!



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