Themes and Templates – How They Improve Website Development
Back in the early 2000s, designing a website took a whole lot longer than it does today. Without modern tools such as templates, page builders and content management systems, developers had to manually code every part of their website. This usually resulted in a long, time-consuming process. To make things worse, the end result wasn’t easily editable by the client unless they had knowledge of various types of code.
Since every website was custom-designed, it would cost a lot of money to get a website up and running. If you wanted to create a website for your business, the potential value of creating a website was offset by high development costs and limited usability by the owners of the business. With this in mind, everyone knew something had to change.
What is a theme?
In 2003, WordPress was released. It revolutionised the way websites were made by introducing “themes”. A theme is a series of template files for various parts of the website (eg. the homepage, blog article pages, contact pages and shop pages). Applying a theme allows you to easily customise the appearance of your website. It adds your existing content into a custom-designed page template. This lets website owners achieve a semi-professional website design within just a few clicks.
What is a template?
A template is a pre-prepared design or layout for a webpage. Templates come in all shapes and sizes but the ones we use most are landing page templates, which serve as a homepage for the website.
Advantages of using a ready-built theme or template
Cheaper development costs
If you are wanting to save money when creating a website, a ready-built template is the best way to go. At OPMC, we offer our clients the option of either a custom-built website or semi-custom build using one of our many templates. A website built using templates is almost always significantly cheaper than something which requires each individual part to be coded.
Reduced development time
If you are wanting to quickly get your website up and running, a template is usually the best option. After you pick the right template, it can be edited to suit your needs or describe your services.
Preview how your website is going to look
If you are developing a website for a client, it can often be hard for them to tell you exactly what they want. However, if they have a template or a similar website to show you, it can aid them in communicating their desired design, layouts and styles to you. Our clients love being presented with a selection of interactive templates to choose from. It gives them a great idea about how the final product is going to look. From there, they can pick and choose what they want to be edited, added or removed from the template.
Optimised for great performance
The templates and themes we use are designed by professionals who know how to optimise content. This means that pages will load quickly and rank well on search engines. The quicker the load time, the more likely a user is to stay on your site. For this reason, it is important that we get these things right.
Don’t compromise on customisation
When we use templates, we encourage customisation where possible to make sure the design aligns with your needs and vision. This means From colours to fonts, imagery and animation, we can customise a template to your liking.
Is it time to update your website’s theme?
Over time, the way we interact with websites has changed. We now use our phones more than our computers. The rise of social media also affects how we share online content. Design trends also change. The things that were “modern” in 2010 may look stale and outdated by today’s design standards. With these things in mind, it is important to occasionally update your website in order to stay current with these trends.
Updating a theme or template can be challenging for a few reasons. You need to consider how it will affect the plugins and content that are already on your website. Going live with a new theme can lead to unexpected display issues and errors, leaving your users confused and unsure where to go. Our solution to this is by creating a dev site where these changes are made first. This is a password-protected duplicate of your website where changes can be made without affecting the live site. Once we’re happy and the client is happy too, we can deploy these changes to the live site.
Benefits of updating to a new theme:
By updating your theme, you can achieve the following:
Access your website across all devices:
A lot of websites and themes made prior to 2012 are not fully responsive. This means that they do not adjust according to the size of your screen. Installing a new theme or layout will fix this. Almost every new theme or layout is optimised for all devices sizes – mobile, tablet and desktop. This significantly improves user experience and helps with SEO.
The way Google calculates where search results sit has changed dramatically over the past few years. With the addition of rich snippets, mobile-first indexing and other new ranking methods, your outdated website may be starting to fall in ranking. This can mean that potential customers aren’t seeing your link, or clicking a competitor’s link which higher up the search engine results.
At OPMC, we take extra care to be SEO friendly when updating your website. All URLs, attachments and content remain the same, meaning that your page isn’t at risk of losing its spot on Google. In fact, your page can only climb the ranks due to the improvements made.
We can help you pick a layout or theme which allows you to still display your current branding and information while complying with modern web design standards. This means that your website will appear a lot newer and flasher to visitors. A modern website also shows that you are actively investing time and money into your web presence.
Modernise your website today!
Is your website due for a redesign or rework? Are you looking for a simple, stress-free web design solution where you can preview the design before it’s made? If so, we’d love to help you with the process. One of our team members will suggest a variety of templates and designs which we think will match the function, aesthetic and branding of your website. Once you’ve chosen one, we’ll get to work on turning your chosen design into a live website.
With our help, you can receive a customised template and theme for your website. The benefits of this include:
- Gorgeous, modern design
- A low-cost solution to getting a website built or designed
- SEO friendliness
To get started, contact the team at OPMC today!