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More Tips for choosing the best theme for your website

More Tips for choosing the best theme for your website

There are thousands of website themes available today, which one do you choose, the choice can be overwhelming. You need to commit to your theme, in some ways it is like choosing your life partner; you are going to be spending a lot of time together, so you need to choose well! This guide will hopefully put you on the right track to finding the perfect theme for your website.

What are your needs?
While looking through the vast choice, it is easy to think too much about how the theme looks. And all too easy to grab the theme that makes your site look most pretty. But don’t go there! Step away from the download! You should first decide on a plan, and decide what you need your site to do and what is most important.

Answer these questions first before you decide.

A. How large will your site be? Will it have a lot of content?thinking about theme
B. Will it be a commercial or web commerce site?
C. Do you need a mobile responsive website?
D. In your opinion, what are the items that are the most important to display on the 1st page of your site?
E. Will your site look the same in 1 year? 2 years?

Unfortunately, you will probably find that not one theme will give you all the answers. But by knowing what you need your site to do, will help you to pick the theme that ticks the most boxes. Find a theme that works well with your content.

It is often the case that we see the demo of a theme, and make our content fit that demo.  That is not how it should be, it should happen the other way around. You may fall in love with a them that has the best blog display and fabulous featured blogging images. But that probably isn’t the best fit if you are not a big blogger and don’t have a large supply of images. Try to look at the type of content that you are wanting to display, and see if the theme is going to work well with what you have.

Thinking ahead.
I know this is a difficult one, but if you were to instal this theme today, is it going to be able to handle the plans that you have for your site in 1 years time? If you are a roofing company and just need a shop window website, then you will probably just have a few blogs to add over the year, but if you are selling home made items or a small manufacturer, you will be adding product continuously.

But if you are a manufacturer, or retailer, with new and more products coming through, will your theme be able to cope. It may be fine now with just a few pages, but what if you start adding lots more content? Be sure that the time you pick has the right navigational structure to be able to organise your new content in a way that the end user will be able to make sense of. Much better to ask these questions now, rather than find you have already outgrown your new beloved theme in just a few short months.

Dig Deeper
It is an unwanted task searching through the related info that comes with any theme. So think hard, reduce your choices to just a few that are going to suit your future plans. Try and find reviews and questions online that relate to those themes. You will start to build up a picture of what is working or not for certain types of businesses. Chances are you will be able to see the different types of sites that are being made using your favourite themes, giving you a better idea of what and how it would work.

To Conclude
In looking for the perfect theme for your shiny new website, don’t just plump for the coolest. Roll up your sleeves and dig around to get a better picture of how your end result may look in the future. It is always better to have a plan, and it will help you to throw out the pretty looking sites that are not really suitable for you needs. If you can pick the right theme, your site will flow naturally, grow organically, and will help you to achieve the end result that you are looking for.

This Youtube video from ipage has 10 really useful tips that may help you to decide on the right theme for your situation.

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Free Website Templates

Free Website Templates

Just a quick post here about free website templates. There are many places on the web that offer free templates, some good and some not so good. I have tried several of them with varying degrees of success. Most hope that you will upgrade to one of the premium themes and that is how they make their business work.

Here are a few that you can try.

Free Web Templates
According to their advertising they have over 3,400 templates available. Definitely worth taking a look.
http://www.freewebtemplates.com/website-templates/free templates

Free WordPress Themes
These are from the wordpress website. WordPress is really easy to use and is very flexible. Check out their free themes here:
https://wordpress.org/themes/

Free Website Templates
I have not used this service, but they have many excellent themes for you to choose from:
http://www.freewebsitetemplates.com/

Open Designs
2067 Open Source web Design Templates. A really nice selection here:
www.opendesigns.org

So anyway you get the idea. Just do a search on google for free website templates or themes and you can spend hours looking for your ideal theme for free.

Happy Hunting…..

 

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Pay for a pro or DIY?

Pay for a pro or DIY?

Or… how to Make the Decision to CreateYour Own Website or Pay a Professional

 

The seemingly obvious answer to this question is how much experience do you have in website design? A few other questions to ask yourself are how much are you willing to spend and how “nice” do you want your website to look?

 

So let us assume you have no website design experience. If you decided to create your own website, there are plenty of companies to choose from that have a simple makeup, designed for people like yourself. “Input photos here, insert quote about your business here, give an introduction here,” is a pretty good example of what you might find. The upside of doing it yourself is that you will not have to spend a dime and there are minimal technical skills needed.

 

A downside may be that it will end up looking just like every other free website out there, with no distinctions and you will be limited to what you can do. These limits mean that you will only be able to do what the host’s plugins allow you to do during the website building process.classroom how to make a website image

 

So the next assumption is that you know a little bit about designing your own website. You can pay a small monthly fee to use a premium theme design with an already established website designing company. In other words, you will have access to more options (like more plugins and themes) for your website than with a basic, free, create your own website program.

 

A downside to this is that programs like this aren’t basic and require intermediate technical skills to be able to successfully create on your own. These technical skills usually include CSS and or HTML knowledge.

 

If you are thinking of trying the DIY route, and I recommend you do, because you will either find that you have a flair for web design, and find the experience rewarding, in which case you might even find a new career path for yourself, or you find that you hate the whole process and decide that you would rather spend your money hiring a professional, ( might I recommend me at this point? ), and put your spare to more enjoyable pursuits.

 

One of the companies you will find if you start to look at building a site yourself is Weebly. I have always been impressed by the quality of site that you can build with Weebly, so you should maybe give it a try. You can have a free account to start, and build your website, the downside to this is that the domain will be www.yourwebsite.weebly.com. But if you make something that you are happy  with, you can pay for the regular account, which is fairly inexpensive anyway, and convert your domain to a more normal www.yourwebsite.com

 

There are of course limitation as to what you can do with this type of site, but if you are a small local business just looking for a shop window for your products, then it may be all that you need. Go check them out and see at http://www.weebly.com.

 

Here is a beginners guide to Weebly, it may help you to decide if it is something that you are prepared to tackle. Take a look and see.

 

The final option is to have little to do with the actual creation of your website and leave the hard work to the professionals. This is probably a good option for a growing, professional company, but really that’s your decision to make.

 

A major plus for this option is that you will get exactly what you want, how you want it, and when you want it. You will always have technical support and a design team to do anything for you that you may need. You may have to fork out a chunk of change to begin with, but it will save you valuable time and money down the road.

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How to Choose a Good Theme for Your Business’s Website

How to Choose a Good Theme for Your Business’s Website

If you have ever created a website or have done any research on themes, you know there are a ton of options out there. So how do you know which the best to use on your business’s website? Let us start from the basics, what exactly is a theme?

 

The theme of your website is like the accessories and paint for your car. Your decision on the theme should be based on how you want your business to be represented and how it will best make your business stand out from all the other businesses out there. The good news, is that if you get everything set up and want to change the theme later down the road, you should be able to without messing up any of the actual content. Generally speaking, the website content is saved to the website address and changing the theme just changes how it is presented.

 

A question that will help you determine the theme to use is, do you go with a free theme or a premium one? There are some things you want to save money on and can do so by cutting corners, but this probably isn’t one of them. Your website is probably the first, and sometimes only, visual a potential client may have of your business and you want it to be a good one. By going the premium route, this usually means that your site will have more security and more of a technical team to help with any potential issues or answer any questions you may have. Think of it as an investment.

 

Below are some popular website themes.

website theme templates

Now let us consider some more specific theme questions that you will want to consider before making your decision. Since this will be a professional website, you are going to want a good support team, correct? If you are familiar with website designs, maybe not, but you do not want to be in a situation where you can’t ask anyone for help. So the degree of technical support is something to consider.

 

Does the theme already have SEO (search engine optimization) options for you, or will you have to set that up yourself? How much additional work will you have to put into it? Some premium themes may look like what you want in your website, while other ones may require you to do a lot more changing around than you have time for. Also keep in mind that you want the theme to be easily accessed on multiple devices, laptops, mobile phones, tablets and the like.

 

One of my favourite companies that has some really great looking and high converting website themes is Be Theme from the Muffin group. I’m a bit of a Muffin group junkie, but I have no affiliation in presenting this to you. It’s just that they always have a great theme that works for the type of site I am building, and they are easy to instal and use. Check them out here.

 

If your website is on wordpress, and you need to install your first theme, or would just like to change the one that you already have, here is a great video for beginners, or as a reminder how to change your wordpress them. If you are using a different platform for your website, such as Joomla or Wix, there is plenty of information on both Youtube and Google that can help you to make the change you need.

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The Benefits of a Good Website

The Benefits of a Good Website

You may have heard people recommend having a good website to get your business noticed, but what exactly can it do for your company? Consistently give your business an identity. People want to know what your business is all about. What can you offer them and how might they benefit from working with you? Giving a visual to your potential clients will answer these questions. If you have more than just your business’s official website, like any social media sites or even your business card, make sure they are all consistent with the image you want your company to project.

 

The goal is to get more visitors. You want people to check out your website and browse through it. A good website will both inform a potential client (or customer) and keep them intrigued to be involved and learn more. What you do not want is someone taking a look at your homepage and immediately leaving the site, so you need to be unique!

If you were successful at the last step, getting more visitors to your website, you will get more customers!

 

A good website will set you apart from your competitors. Chances are, your business is not the only of its kind, but your website needs to project that it is different. Phrase the wording differently, find one of a kind photos and let your website connect with those looking at it. You want to be better than your competitors, so you have got to show that you are through your website, since that is the way most people will learn about your business.website design

 

Keep your website short, simple, but informative, because most people will not take the time to read a lengthy introduction page. A clear and concise website will keep viewers attention long enough to get them interested in your product or services.

 

I often find that customers try to get more bang for their buck by putting as much information as possible into a website, because they somehow feel that they are then getting more value for money. I find this too when I create print ads for local businesses. They will be paying for a credit card size ad, but want to fit in every service that they can possibly do in order to maximise on their ad spend.

 

This doesn’t work in an advert, and it doesn’t work in a website either. You end up confusing the reader. The best way in my experience is to focus one one or two services, get the readers attention and sell those services, and later you can tell them about all the other great things that you offer. Rant over!

 

By spending the ‘extra’ money for a higher quality website, you will actually be saving money down the road. If your business cuts corners now, you may end up paying more money later to have your website re-vamped and spiced up. At this point, you may have lost many potential customers and clients. You may even have to spend more money if you have to shut down your old website in order to start from scratch.

Watch the video below for some more information on the benefits of having a good website design.

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Top 5 Website Trend Designs in 2015

If you have been wondering how you could improve your web design skills the simple answer is to learn, learn and learn some more. Keep up to date with newest trends and demands in the market and your designs will surely benefit from it. In the world of website design trends change frequently, however there are the top website trend designs in 2015, which will help you step up your game in the vast world filled with web designers, websites and trends that link them together.

unnamed1. Google maps

An ever increasing trend in web design is to include Google maps in the websites. It is not only a current trend, since it has been popular for quite some time in addition to being extremely useful. Google also provides a visual customization which makes websites more visually interesting and is adaptable to the look of the website you are designing.

2. Slideshows
Full screen slideshows are a hot trend in website designs at the moment. This cinematic approach, which almost resembles flipping through the pages of a book, works well on different gadgets and screens of any sizes, and makes the homepage feel accessible and easy to use. Galleries and media shows are bringing out the visual by keeping the text and buttons minimal, and this minimalism seems to be in high demand in website designs nowadays due to its popularity with the users and designers.

3dwebdesign.org-multimedia (1)
3. Simple
Which leads us to the following point, and that is to keep the designs simple, clean-cut and easy to use. This can be applied to all aspects of a website design but simply cannot be emphasized enough. Simplifying designs will not only bring the sense of simplicity to your websites, but also make it seem more casual and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. By minimizing the content and color, you are accentuating the content and experience which is far more important.
4. Organic flowweb-design
Besides from using an organic approach in arranging large photos in slideshows by using this basically cinematic approach and designing websites with organic flow in your mind you will make better and trendier websites altogether. Do not follow strict rules and norms of having to confide your content to neat boxes and use rulers and gridlines to make everything fit the screen. Instead, make a website which flows naturally and guides the user to the content in the most natural and easy going manner.
5. Ghost buttons
By minimizing everything on the website you are designing you are also making it feel more natural and another trend is to hide all sorts of buttons in order not to damage this sense simplicity given to you by the clean and minimal design. Ghost buttons are not really even there, or so it seems until the user need them. By that time, the users will enjoy the simple and minimal design you have created.

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