When starting a new website project, one of the first decisions that needs to be made is whether to pick a website theme, or go with a custom website design. To make this important decision, here are the steps to follow to get to the right outcome.1. Gather your website requirements
2. Consider a website template that begins to fulfill your requirements
3. Don’t be swayed by premium themes that offer features you don’t need
4. Pick a responsive theme for a positive mobile experience
5. Pick a theme that can grow with you and your business
6. Can’t find a theme that matches your needs, forgo a theme and create a custom website
Website Themes 101: Common Questions and Considerations
When creating a new website, designers and developers can use prebuilt pages and templated sections or layouts, aka themes, to display content or they can take a customized website design and development route. Many businesses choose to go with website themes to save time and money for their project, but then commonly get stuck at theme selection. Frequently asked questions such as, “what is a website theme?” and “what do I need to consider before selecting one?” are hot topics your agency should discuss with you if you decide to take this route. To deepen your understanding of the functionality and considerations of your theme choice, we’ve answered some of the most common website design questions we receive about themes.
Q: Does My Theme Choice Equal My New Website?
A: No, it doesn’t. Making a theme choice means choosing a series of modules that can be used in full or in part to develop web pages. So, when choosing these modules, you need not worry about such issues as typeface fonts, colors or imagery. It’s better to instead focus on which theme has the best module elements and features for your website as well as the best options for displaying your content.
Q: Is a Theme Better If It Has Every Bell and Whistle?
A: Not necessarily. When it comes to website design elements, a more “flat, simple” design has become fashionable, rather than busy web pages that were the rule a few years back. Keeping it simple is a smart way to go. Overly busy websites distract users from taking the actions you are hoping they will take. Keep it focused and sleek but choose a theme that has a good variety of options or features to choose from.
Q: Do Themes Need to Be Mobile-Friendly?
A: They do if you want to be “customer-friendly.” Consumers are moving in large numbers to mobile when shopping and, increasingly, when making the actual purchase. By the end of 2017, 35% of all online shoppers were using mobile exclusively. That’s a huge volume of consumers you do not want to miss with your marketing efforts. Further, search engines may also rank your site lower if it is not compatible with mobile devices. A responsive theme is a requirement in 2019.
Q: Do Themes Allow Apps, Extensions and Plug-Ins?
A: Yes. If you work with a professional website developer and choose a quality theme, you can use apps, plug-ins and extensions to customize the site to match the look and feel of your brand. However, know that once you are locked into a theme, developers are locked in, as well. While the themes can be styled and adjusted, not a lot of customization can be done once the theme is put into place.
Q: When Would You Recommend a Customized Website Design Over a Theme?
A: If you work on your website project with an agency, they might recommend that you go with a unique design rather than a pre-set theme because it offers more opportunities to customize and brand your look and feel. Themes sometimes can limit what you are able to do with your site and if you have required functionality or design requests that are rarely available in a theme, you may be better served with a custom site.
While these are some aspects website themes feature, there are many more things to consider. Contact the website development team at Bayshore Solutions to help you decide whether or not a theme is right for your website and business goals.