In today’s world of website templates and platforms offering custom web design services, business owners no longer have to know how to code to make beautiful sites from scratch.
Of course, the sheer variety of website templates to choose from also introduces another problem: which template should you choose? When you don’t have design chops to begin with (which is by no means strange,) how do you get a website template that matches your brand, your product and your desired functionality?
The good news is that choosing a website business plan template doesn’t have to be about gut feeling or because it “looks good.” There are logical reasons to choose one design over the other, which will save you from drowning in a sea of seemingly endless options.
Below are four things to consider when choosing templates for your website.
1. Understand what kind of business plan template you’re creating
First things first: What kind of business plan template do you want to build for your website? This may seem like a given, but many people make the mistake of focusing solely on the creative aspect of choosing a website template instead of first being clear on the type of site they want to build. With so many beautiful themes and templates out there, it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing a sexy theme rather than accept a practical template that’s appropriate for your site.
Remember, it doesn’t make sense to build a site without first knowing if it matches your needs and those of your customers. Every website has particular distinctions, depending on things like which industry you are in, your business objectives, the content your website will host and your target audience.
For example, if you want to sell retail goods on your site, you would fall into the e-commerce category. This means that a personal blog template will not work for your site, no matter how pleasing or simple the template or theme may look. On the other hand, if you want your website to act as your online portfolio, a personal blog theme would make much more sense.
Bottom line? Think long and hard about the features of your website before you start building it. What do you intend to do on your site? Who is it for? What kind of experience do you want your audience to have on your site? Answering these questions will make the process of choosing a proper website template much more straightforward.
With Yondo, there are custom business plan templates for each industry or the option to have a custom website built specifically for your business.
2. Don’t skimp on quality
Free website templates aren’t necessarily wrong, but they’re not for everyone either. Sure, if you’re a solopreneur with a tight budget and even tighter margins, you probably don’t have any say on the matter – a free template is your only option.
The downside to a free template, however, is that if you don’t go out of your way to use all of the template’s options for customization, your site could look very similar to dozens of other sites out there using the same free template. That’s not exactly the effect you want your brand to have on your audience.
Remember, it’s not just about money. You are also investing your time and effort into building a great site. It’s more efficient to use that time and energy to improve your product instead of working on your website. A paid, off-the-shelf theme or template might be the more practical choice. These templates may be more expensive. However, they come in enough varieties to be customized to your needs out of the box.
Apart from quality issues, another disadvantage of free templates is the lack of technical support. Some themes and website template platforms may have a healthy community supporting it. However, if you don’t have the time to go through questions and instructions, free templates are probably not for you. In contrast, paid templates usually come with customer support and are backed by expert developers.
The issue of free vs. paid website templates is a tough one. This is mainly because there is no one-size-fits-all method for building a site. Your choices ultimately depend on your circumstances. However, remember not to compromise quality for short term benefits. Think of the big picture. Your website is a reflection of your brand, so it pays to make a strong first impression with your audience.
3. Choose a template with responsive design
This is non-negotiable. According to Statista, 52.2% of the world’s website traffic came from mobile devices, up from 50.3% in 2017. The trend of mobile website traffic exceeding desktop traffic will only continue, as more people grow up being mobile-first internet users.
It’s for this reason that any modern website must be responsive – a term that refers to website design that adapts to screens of all sizes. That includes traditional desktops and notebook computers, tablet devices like the iPad and all smartphone devices.
No matter what industry or audience you’re catering to, all websites need to be usable on mobile phones. Search engines like Google also look at a website’s mobile-friendliness when determining where it ranks for the appropriate keywords in the search engine results pages. That’s another big reason to make your site responsive.
While most website templates are already responsive, a few still do not provide mobile-friendly layouts. Be sure to avoid these templates.
4. Availability of plugins, extensions and apps
Even if a website template looks great, it’s still a good idea to make as many customizations as you need to personalize it. This ensures that the template adapts to your needs instead of the other way around. No template is perfect, so it’s important to add unique features to enhance your users’ experiences and turn traffic into qualified leads and leads to sales.
This is where plugins, apps and extensions come in. These small bits of software are designed to add features to a stock website template, improving its functionality. It’s a good idea to check what plugins, apps and extensions different website template platforms offer before choosing a theme.
Take your time when choosing a business plan template
In many ways, choosing the right template for your website is similar to buying a house for the first time. It looks like a massive undertaking with the potential for multiple mistakes. If you step back and think objectively, it becomes more accessible to logical, fact-based decisions instead of falling into the trap of choosing a template because it looks “pretty.” Take your time, and don’t be afraid to try templates you like. If it doesn’t work with your brand, move on to the next template.