To Template, or Not To Template

I get it. You’re starting a new business. You’ve got expenses out the wazoo. Why not grab a cheap (or maybe even free) WordPress template and head off to the races. Well, there are a lot of good reasons to use a template and many reasons not to. Today I’m going to focus on why not to use a template.

So just the other day I was trying to help out a client who bought a template for a few bucks and was trying to run their site using it. They got everything up that they wanted, but after they added their content, the site just looked bad. The logo was stretched to fit in the provided area, there was way too much space in between sections, their margins were all messed up and the slider at the top had a weird gray bar at the bottom that just didn’t fit their colors at all.

Unfortunately, this happens all the time with small businesses looking to build their own site. They see that WordPress is free and supposedly easy to use. They see a great looking template that does all kinds of cool things  with the promise of easy to install, easy to update, easy to add your very own sections. But when you’re all done filling that template in with your content, it just doesn’t look great. But, you’ve spent a ton of time trying to figure out WordPress, trying to understand what a widget is and how to get it on the page and you’re out of patience and time so you call it done.

So, you’re potential clients or customers now find you on-line and see your very unpolished, confusing site and they move on to the next link in their Google search. You’ve made a classic small business mistake. You thought you would save money on your website by doing it yourself, but you lost countless hours working on your site instead of working on your business. Don’t get me wrong. As a small business owner you must take an active role in your building and updating your website. That doesn’t mean that you should use a template that doesn’t fit your business and it doesn’t mean that you should do it alone.

As a small business owner you must take an active role in your building and updating your website.

There are really great templates out there. There are great themes that can help you build a great site. But they do take some knowledge and skill to make them work for your specific business. You should be designing your site to fit your business. Not designing your business to fit a template.

If you don’t the have the budget for a full blown custom web design, then you should at least hire a web designer that will help guide you into a template that will work for your business. Have them take on the tasks of adding the right widgets, sizing the photos and molding the template to fit your particular needs. You should focus on your message and content and what your site will provide for your potential clients and customers. Work with someone that can help you present that message in the best light possible.

Have a great and successful day!