Ahh, web templates - whatever your opinion of templates, it's
undeniable they can be a big help when you have a client who needs
a site finished yesterday, or one with a very minimal budget. Even
if you scorn templates, many template "manufacturers"
offer files of good, even fabulous, visual quality. This trend can only
help make the internet a more beautiful place to visit. It's hard
to complain about that. And just surfing around on the template sites can fire your inspiration to get your next project started.
If you're new to the world of website templates, and perform a search on Google
to find some, you will soon discover dozens of sites selling what appear
to be the same files. Why? Because they are the same templates ... Several companies selling web templates
offer affiliate programs with different participation options. You
can either place links to each company on your site, or you can
utilize a rebranding option where you sell their templates on your
website as your unique brand. In order to minimize confusion, all of the sites I have listed below are the actual template creation companies.
Plus, I like to shop from the source websites. The links below
are direct to each company where the templates originate:
Cost Website Templates
Cost "Cheap" Website Templates
Free Website Templates
The bottom line: you buy a template, make a few
creative changes, and end up with a unique look. All on a modest
budget, and in a very fast time frame.
Higher Cost Templates
The biggest website template resource online, boasting over 5000 templates and
still growing. Templates cost around $60 US but have an option to purchase
each as an exclusive design, called the 'unique price'. This means
that after you purchase the template it will be retired, not to
be sold again. This option costs more $$$ but is perfect if your
client is in love with the design and wants exclusivity. Template Monster also features Flash websites, logo templates, ecommerce and blogging website templates. If you find a design and wish to customize it, but don't have the skills or tools, you can also order a template then visit their "Template Tuning" order pages, where the template will be customized for you to your specifications at a reasonable cost. Template Monster continues to offer a variety of services at affordable prices - a must-see if you are looking to purchase a template.
Here you'll find website templates, plus corporate-identity templates
and Powerpoint templates. You'll also discover a lot of Flash templates on DesignGalaxy,
another potential time-saver if you are coding an animated site. The DesignGalaxy universe consists of several other template-oriented sites as well. LogoMaid features logo designs, DesignLoad offers a subscription-based template download site (which I will discuss below) and ProCartoonz, a unique site where you can download everything from logos to websites templates with (you guessed it) animated cartoon characters. Another worthwhile network to explore.
Caters to the e-commerce needs of the web template world. Compatible
with many different payment systems and offers an attractive price
for creating a quick e-commerce site. Designs are very business
oriented (understandable) with straight-forward navigation. Easy
to use - the instructions on their website are clearly explained
even if you are new to e-commerce.
Web templates and much more, graphics, clip art, sound files, photos,
flash - need I continue? The price of access: approximately $50 US a year. There are also a few of what they call "limited items"
- web templates that can only be downloaded a certain amount of
times (15 or so) before they are retired. These templates are not
a regular part of your subscription - each costs approximately an extra $30 US to
buy - but could represent a good value on your part. Seriously, the chances of bumping
into another site online using the same template?
As a busy web designer, you can't spend time just watching the clouds pass by overhead and wait for inspiration to magically appear. You need ideas now! And that's a great reason why a subscription service is so helpful. You can browse the templates, find a structure that suits your project, then download and customize to your heart's content. DesignLoad offers a full subscription-based service, complete with website, website with Flash, Flash and Web 2.0 style templates for use. The price: $50 a year, with no restrictions on the amount of downloads. A useful resource.
Even though the name doesn't inspire excitement, I am recommending
you check it out, especially if you are new to (or uncomfortable
using) CSS. Why? Every site here is easy to manipulate using external
style sheets, and even though some of the sites are *really* basic,
you'll be sure to find many roses amid the thorns. A nice touch:
all of the graphics have been created on transparent backgrounds,
which gives you the great benefit of using the buttons etc. on any
site. Offering design services since 1994, and if you sign up on their subscription plan, costs are minimal per template.
Many templates include the source files, especially the ones from subscription or pay-per-download services. This enables you to change
fonts, colour schemes, photography and just about anything else
you'd like. A word of advice: double-check what you'll receive on
download to ensure you're getting all of the files you want and