You don’t have to be an HTML whiz to create a sleek, professional-looking business Web site. Many companies offer Web site templates you can use to design a great site in a fraction of the time it would take you to build a site from scratch.
Some template providers offer basic templates for free, with the option of paying more for premium features. Other companies charge a subscription fee and allow you to use as many of their templates as you want. You’ll need to look through all the offerings and decide which company has the options you want, but here are a few of the providers out there.
TemplatesBox.com is a good choice for businesses looking to build a Web site fast and cheap. It offers a multitude of free templates as well as high-end templates for $49 each. As you can imagine, the free templates are pretty popular; so if you go with a free template design, you can bet that there will be other sites out there with your same design.
DesignLoad offers a variety of templates well-suited for a professional Web site. You’ll also find a wide variety of graphics, utilities, and templates as well as Flash banners, introductions, and more. Instead of charging by template, DesignLoad offers a yearly fee, ranging from $49.95 to $99.95, that will allow you access to the templates of your choice. If you only need one template, this may seem like overkill, but the ability to change or update your templates is a nice option.
TemplateMonster.com supplies industry-specific templates, as well as entire corporate identity packages. You can decide whether you would like to have a unique or nonunique identity. Prices start as low as $5 for a nonunique template and go up to several thousand dollars for a unique site design. While this may seem high, this price should be weighed against what a professional designer would charge to build your site from scratch.
Freelayouts.com has hundreds of truly free templates organized by category or business type as well as Flash inserts that can give your site a more modern, professional appeal. The site allows you to download the templates and Flash files as ZIP files.
As with all aspects of your business, deciding on a Web site template must be weighed carefully. If having a unique design for your site is less important than getting it done quickly and cheaply, a free or low-cost template might be the way to go, at least at first.
However, if you need to be the only one on the block with a particular design, a unique corporate identity will be well worth the initial cost.