Website Design Made Easy: How to Customize Your Website Template
You’ve decided on a the perfect domain name, have a web host to store your website files, and have identified key pieces of content needed for your new website. Now it’s time to get down to actually building your professional looking website.
As part of the website building process, you will have to make layout and design decisions. Don’t worry; you don’t need any prior design or digital marketing experience. You can easily create your site using a customizable website template. If you still aren’t sure what that means, or how it will help you create a professional looking website, the information below helps to clear it up.
What is a website template?
A website template will provide you with the basic structure of your website. A website template is a pre-designed webpage, or set of webpages, that define the placement of the individual page elements and the overall appearance and layout of your website. Using a pre-designed layout allows the user to drag-and-drop their custom imagery and text into the designated page elements, or widgets.
Pre-designed templates are made available with most basic web hosting plans, or website content management systems. Opting to start with a template gives you the basic building blocks of a professional-looking site that can be customized as needed for your business.
What type of template should you choose?
The nature of your business, and your brand guidelines, will determine the type of template that makes the most sense. Before finalizing your template choice, be sure to understand your audience and the voice or personality you want to portray. That information will be very helpful in determining the style of your website.
To find a template that meets your business needs you can typically search by categories such as online store, restaurants and eateries, architecture and real estate, and more. You can even find templates for starting personal websites such as a blogs, portfolios, and weddings.
Keep in mind that all templates are customizable. You can choose any website template that appeals to you and make adjustments before you hit publish.
Before finalizing on a website template:
- Do research. Look at other websites in your industry to see what design and functionality appeals to you.
- Keep your potential customers in mind. Of course, you want your website template to match your personality. But never lose focus on how your template will speak to your potential customers.
- Think about functionality requirements. Do you need to sell products online? Do you need a blog? An online portfolio? Be sure your template meets your needs.
How should you customize your website template?
Keep in mind that website templates have pre-set colors, styles, and fonts. You can keep these design elements as is, or change them to suit your brand better.
When it comes to design there are four key areas:
- Background. Change the color, texture, or image for the background of your site to fit your brand or your product offering.
- Colors. Choose a palette that works well with your template or create or replicate one that matches your brand color scheme.
- Fonts. Readability is paramount when it comes to fonts. Use larger headlines to grab attention and lead readers to smaller body text. When choosing fonts, make sure your choice creates the right image for your business. For example, a playful font would probably not be right for a law firm.
- Text Style. There are sizes, colors, and styles of text for different sections within your website template. You can modify things such as paragraph titles, menus, and page titles.
More tips for designing your website:
- Use contrast. Contrast makes your website easier to read. A simple example is dark text on a light background.
- Limit colors. Two or three main colors and some accent colors are all you need. Stick to your palette.
- Embrace white space. On a good website, white space is a strategic design feature, not a lack of content. Don’t overcrowd your design.
Overall, don’t stray too far from the basic structure already included in your template and you’ll have a great looking website. Just add your colors, product photos, and content. And remember that you can alway edit these elements at a later time as you get more comfortable making changes to the design.
One last step!