26 420 Professional Templates!
How to choose templates
Templates… We use them in our daily work, almost without thinking about it. Maybe you have to do a business presentation with a tight deadline. Or you need to write that important CV to send to a new potential employer. A good template will save you time and increase the quality of your work!
For simpler documents, we may start with a blank page. But the more complicated the document is, the more time we save by using a template.
A modern website is probably the the most complicated “document” we have in our daily use. It maintains the graphical profile of the site and formats your content to fit in with the rest of the site.
For most of us, it is not even an option to create a website without a template. And for the few that do have that precious skill, they are probably spending their time building templates for others.
So you have decided to build your own website? Great!
I started creating web pages in the middle ages (1994). By then, the only option was to learn HTML (the markup language used for webpages). We had to construct page after page by hand. But I admit, I loved it! And in those days, not many knew this craft.
Soon I found myself working fulltime building websites. I remember being in awe about the fact that as soon as I clicked “Save”, somebody in Australia could read my text. In those days, that was absolutely fascinating. Ok, now I have dated myself…
The first templates in web publishing
In the first years we did not have what became known as “CSS” (Cascading Style Sheets). If we wanted to change the design, we had to change the code everywhere. In 1994 the brilliant idea of having a central definition of all the elements came up in the browser “Argo”.
If you wanted to make a change to all headings on the site, all you hade to do was to change the definition of the code <h1> for example. All the headings would change in one go. Tada!
The first attempt of standardisation came in 1996, but it took until the year 2000 until CSS was properly implemented in the major web browsers. Today CSS is an integral part of every site and absolutely taken for granted.
If you tell a modern web designer there was a time when we did not have CSS, you will probably get a glazed look wondering how that was even possible! CSS was and is a central part of any website template, it is used throughout the design on every page Today nobody would dream of changing a component on every instance in every page.
Website Template Formats
Ok, so all I have to do is pick any website template and push some button and I am good to go?
Not so fast, Johnny, templates does save time, but there is still some work for you to do…
First of all, there are many different platforms on the internet for publishing information. Huge sites with e-commerce will use complicated systems that integrate with their other business applications. If this is what you are looking for, have a look at our templates for Magento.
WooCommerce, PrestaShop or VirtueMart are also excellent choices for selling online. Most common for small sites? WooCommerce, since it is a plugin to WordPress, the most common platform. Another word for platforms is “CMS” which stands for Content Management System. This term is commonly used for all systems that help you to organize and present your content. We have already mentioned the most common one, WordPress.
WordPress, the most common CMS
The numbers for this system are extreme. Almost 20 million sites (!) currently use WordPress and the number is growing. More than 500 new site every day choose WordPress as their CMS. Why? It is just a very good and free system!
It is easy to install, it has tons of easily installed plugins and thousands of nice looking templates to choose from. Oh, remember WordPress calls them “themes” so make sure you use that term when you talk to a WordPress savvy person 😉
You may also consider Joomla, another wide spread free CMS that works very well, but it is not used in any way near as much as WordPress today. Check <a href=”https://trends.builtwith.com/cms”> this link</a> for current info on the stats for different CMS systems.
So, do I choose a CMS or a template?
It depends… Usually you already have a CMS installed. But what if you have fallen in love with a specific template that is only available on one CMS? Well, if it is a new site, you could let the template choose the CMS. I recently did so myself. I launch new websites probably every week and the procedure of getting a new WordPress site up is a matter of minutes for me. The buttons and knobs are all familiar by now and it is easy get the menus, posts and pages in the right place.
When planning a new site the other day I found a gorgious template that was only available for Joomla. For the first time I let the template decide the CMS and installed Joomla to be able to use that template.
I used to run an e-commerce site with the combination Joomla/Virtuemart some years ago, but I have not kept informed with Joomla development since then. It turned out to be a a pleasure getting acccuinted again with my old friend Joomla. But it took me some more time to find all the knobs and buttons.
The Joomla developers do not reason exactly the same as the WordPress people does, so it takes some getting used to. It is basically a question of your preference and what system gets the job done.
I prefer WordPress, but that does not mean I don’t still enjoy updating my Joomla site. One area that I find has an important difference is SEO. It is basically the art of optimizing the site for Google, even though there are some other search engines out there. There is a free plug-in for WordPress that is called “Yoast SEO”. It is absolutely brilliant and the very first plug-in I install in all my WordPress sites. This is not a lesson on SEO, but you probably want your page to show up high in Googles list, or “SERP” of you talk to a geek like me. (Search Engine Results Page). In Yoast you can actually edit how it will look in the SERP, without knowing anything about those codes! This is a major benefit, and coupled with the other tools that check your article as you write, Yoast is indespensible. It is currently not available for Joomla, but I hope it will be.
How do I install my theme?
If you have opted to go for WordPress, installing a new template… I mean THEME, is a breeze. Just log in to admin (add /wp-admin to your domain), check under “Apperance” and choose “Themes”. (Phew, got it right this time 😉 When you buy a template or theme from us you will have a zip-file downloaded. Check the documentation. Sometimes you are to upload the whole archive but sometimes you have to extract it once first. Upload the file, click activate and check out the front page!
Study the documentation on how to get your contents to show in the right position and with the look you like. Soon you will soon have a CMS in place that is a joy to fill with content! It is amazing to see how your text will come to life with a good presentation. Personally, I prefer to write my copy with an editor without formatting. I use BBEdit on my Mac. It makes me concentrate on writing instead of formatting, except for the occasional new paragraph.
When I am done, I copy the text into the WordPress editor, check spelling and grammar and SEO and click Save. That’s it! I may also spend some time with the readability checks in Yoast to increase readabilty, but your text may very well be acceptable without it.
10-4, you may proceed!
The Templates General