Picking a Website Theme or Template

CSS TemplateAs a client, there are a few ways you can help me figure out what you are looking for when it comes to the layout and design of your website. A common way would be to look around the internet and tell me about websites that you like. I’ll need to know about your preferred color scheme, what type of menu you like, and if you have any special features that will need to be considered. With your suggestions, and considering the type and quantity of content you will be displaying, I’ll provide you with a website template or theme that works for you.

It’s important to understand that there are huge differences in the quality of templates and themes that you will find. All web designers are not created equal, and 10 different web designers might create a similar design 10 different ways. When you do find something you like, I will always take what you like and turn it into something that will work best for you. Sometimes that means making some changes to an existing design, but most of the time it means starting from scratch.

Browsing for Templates and Themes

CSS Template #2Instead of only considering websites that you stumble upon while browsing the internet, you might take a look at a few of the many web design template sites. Doing this allows you to see a showcase of web designs, all in one place, and many of the template sites are organized by category, helping you narrow down the possibilities.

A Word About WordPress Themes

WordPress themes can include a lot more than simple design related code. Often these templates will have programming functions inside them, and just as often this code may not be compatible with the current version of WordPress.

Color Schemes

If you’re having a hard time deciding what color scheme you would like for your new website, I think you’ll really enjoy Adobe’s Kuler. Kuler allows you to browse color themes, or create your own.

Layout For Your New Site

CSS Template #3The layout of your website usually consists of a set number of columns. You could have more than one layout for your website, but it’s common for a website to only have one. You might have a narrow column on the left, and a wider column on the right. You might have a three column layout where the middle column is wider, and two narrow columns on each side. Notice this as you look at websites, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Think about what you would put in the columns when considering your new website. Just because a layout works for somebody else doesn’t mean it will work for you.

What Type of Navigation Menu Do You Like?

Website will nearly always have a horizontal or vertical menu. Vertical menu’s can hold a lot more links without using fancy techniques, because horizontal space is a limitation. That said, horizontal menus seem to be more popular. The main navigation menu of your website is an essential element in your layout. Like the number of columns you choose, the placement and orientation of your navigation menu is part of your layout.

Responsive Web Design

If you’re looking for the best pre-made templates or themes, you’ll want to only consider ones labeled “Responsive”. Responsive Web Design is going to work best for you because it is made to give any device a usable experience that looks good. On small screen devices, like your mobile phone, a lot of the layout considerations mentioned above get thrown out the window. When viewed on a larger screen, the layout dynamically changes, making the website look good for everyone.

Flash Templates?

If Flash is what you desire, I’m going to have to recommend that you contact another designer. Although I’ve done some work with Flash in the past, I no longer recommend or offer Flash websites.

Picking the Best Parts From More Than One Template

If you like special features that you see on more than one website, or in more than one template or theme, I can work with that. Let me know what you like, and I’ll work on a solution that meets your needs. The same is true for color schemes. If you like the way a design is laid out, but don’t like the color, I’ll usually be able to do a conversion.

Starting the Design Process

Just remember, it’s important to find a design or two that you like. The design of your website can be one of the hardest decisions you will make as a website owner. Because we may not have the same artistic tastes, I’ll need your input so I don’t waste time creating a design you will hate. As long as you can provide me with some clues as to what you desire, I’ll be able to get started.