Content Management systems and CMS templates have become more common place in web design than ever before. A CMS template provides a functional framework for the web designer to build on there by speeding up the whole web design process. Since there are thousands of free WordPress blog templates and free joomla templates out there, choosing the right one can be quite a challenge. Follow the tips below to find a template that suits your needs.
• What is your Niche?
Certain website templates are designed specifically for certain niches. For instance, if you are creating an online store or photography website, you should be able to find a website template that is designed specifically for that purpose. Determining your niche allows you to identify your structural and stylistic requirements for the CMS template. With the niche in mind, you should be able to tell whether the website is going to include mostly text, graphics or tables.
• How Much Customization Will your Website Require?
Since the average template has a cookie-cutter look, your website designer will need to customize your chosen template so as to give your website a unique look. Customization often involves changing the colors and fonts and adding multimedia, animations and company logos to the website. Your template of choice should be able to support the desired degree of customization. Note that templates, especially free ones are not always well coded. A CMS template may contain incorrect HTML code or fail to support CSS formatting thereby limiting the degree to which it can be customized.
• Is the Template Easy to Navigate?
Most internet users have gotten used to specific types of navigation systems. Therefore, unless you are planning to re-invent the wheel, go for templates that have familiar navigation systems. For example, the most important buttons should be located either at the top, the left or the right.
• Are there Any Restrictions to the Template?
CMS website templates, especially free ones, often come with restrictions. Most of them require you to link back to the template designer’s web page and come with a footnote saying “Designed by . . . .” Some CMS template owners go a step further with regards to restricting the use of their templates and state that their templates can only be used for non-commercial websites. Lastly, most template designers do not provide support for free website templates and therefore if you encounter difficulties you will have no one to turn to for help.
• Is the Template SEO Friendly?
Search engine optimization enables visitors to find you on the web. Since not all CMS website templates are search engine friendly, choosing the wrong template can hurt your internet marketing efforts. For a CMS template to be considered SEO friendly, important elements such as the title tag, description tag and alt tag need to be placed near the beginning of the code. If your chosen template doesn’t do this, search engines will not wade through lines and lines of code in search of these important elements. Remember, if you need help choosing your CMS template you can always contact us here at Liquid Dynamiks.