While browsing through my local craigslist I found this ad “$269.00 Websites-many templates to choose from”. Or something of that order. I know a little about website templates so I asked myself, “How much would I charge for a website using a template?”.
Your Domain Name, your Hosting Site?
I will assume you would have your own domain and it would be hosted someplace. At least that’s what I’m going to quote! Domain Name would be the address of your website. EXAMPLE: http://www.carinsurance.net or something similar! The hosting would be were you keep your files that make up your website. In case your wondering about costs: Domain Name – 8 – 12.00 per year. Hosting – 1 to $5.00 per month. Usually the 5.00 per month is what is used. You can actually get free hosting but usually doesn’t work out to good. That’s another article.
Where do templates come from?
Well, were do these templates come from? As a website developer my host has all kinds of templates for people to use. Let’s see, I sell myself as a web designer, but give you a website template. That won’t happen here at PA Weby. You already know, you aren’t getting something custom made! A template would be very generic and someone might actually be using the same template as you. That’s ok, there is nothing wrong with that. As long as the content is different, that’s whats important! So this company went into their account and pulled a couple of templates out to give as choices. I have over 100 to choose from. Problem is you can’t get into my account to see the templates. Templates also come from doing a search on the internet. Search on the words “website templates”. If you want free ones search on “free website templates”. Just a word of caution, free website templates usually require you to provide a link to the designer.
Steps involved in creating a website using a template
- Step-1 Domain Name
- Step-2 Host
- Step-3 select template
- Step-4 Install templates
- Step-5 Change all content in all pages
I will assume we are talking about a five page website.
$200.00 for a website using my template!
That’s what I came up with. Your doing all the work! You’re supplying the photos (8 max). Your supplying the content. I just do a little plug and play! In case your wondering I figure about 2 hours for the photos and about 3 or 4 hours to plug in the content.
Do I recommend it?
NO! let me make sure you heard me. NO! The templates I looked at in my host are all poorly set-up as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned. What we are talking about here is doing a lot of work that is not being seen correctly by the Search Engines. This is not the way to go! I’d rather see a text website that was set up correctly being used then wasting your time with a template. Remember, we are talking about templates supplied by your hosting service. I’ve developed a website template for artists in Pennsylvania that is set up correctly and very effective.
Pretty is easy to sell, effective is hard to sell
It happens to me on a daily basis. You loose a customer to a pretty design that is not search engine friendly, but looks great! This is not like printing flyers! If it was it would be like designing a beautiful flyer and sticking it in a cabinet never to be seen! Here’s a fact for you. Most designers know how to design. They don’t know how to make their designs search engine friendly. I even wrote an article on pretty websites versus effective websites. The worst is the designer that uses software the wrong way to design their websites. Remember, Beautiful!!! Very easy to sell. Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver comes to mind. Do not get me wrong here. You can use this software effectively, but most designers don’t.
How would I do it?
Start your sites foundation with very basic clean search engine friendly design. As your site starts to get used, then start spending some money on design. I say this, but I guarantee most business owners won’t listen. They’ll opt for the pretty website! Another good reason for a basic clean text website is the speed of the website. The download speed of your web page is becoming more important and search engines are starting to list sites in their search results according to how fast the web page loads.
Editor’s NOTE June 22, 2010: After writing this article I actually thought about how low I could get a beginning website started for. I came up with $150.00. And it actually comes with a nice design! To get the details on this cheap Pennsylvania website, check out the artists website template.
Would I do it for $200.00
Would I recommend using the templates supplied by your host for starting a website? NO. Would I do it? Sure! I’m in business. BUT! I don’t recommend it. I recommend a website template that has search engine optimization built in that actually works! For this website template to make sense it has to cover three main items. ONE – Be able to change the title on every page. TWO – Be able to change the Page Title on every page. THREE – Have a website address that encompasses all the keywords a business owner is trying to capture.
Do you have a website built from a template?
Do you like it? Maybe leave a comment, and I’ll look at your website and tell ya what I think. Most business owners on the web don’t even know if their website is made from a template. This could be a little game. I’ll rate by beauty and effectiveness. Leave a comment! And by the way, if you are a designer that uses software to develop websites the correct way, I’d love to meet ya!