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Four Common Mistakes Made Using Web Templates

Aug 17, 2007
There are templates available for web sites, web page headers and banners, navigation links, order buttons, and more. Templates save time and money, and they can greatly improve the look of a web site. However, the improper use of templates can have the opposite affect. The following are the four most common mistakes people make when using pre-made web templates.

1. You are probably familiar with the phrase, "too much of a good thing." It is not uncommon for a particular graphic template to become very popular. If you use an overused template or image, it will diminish its impact, and you site will lose its uniqueness that sets it apart from your competitors.

2. If you purchased professionally made, quality web graphics, typically, all you'll need to do is add your own text, and maybe even your own graphic image. A common mistake some template users make is to alter the template so much that it no longer resembles the way it first appeared. What was once a professionally created image (which is why you chose it in the first place), is now a less than quality graphic. What is the point of using a template if you completely change it?

3. The flip side of this is also a mistake some people make. While many good templates need little else than your own text, some may require a little more customization to be appropriate for your situation. Some templates, for instance, come with generic text that is intended to be replaced with your own. If you do not change this text, it may look out of place on your site. Also you may send the wrong message to your visitors if you don't change an image in a header template. For example, if your audience is work-at-home moms and the template has a picture of a businessman, it would be confusing as to who you were targeting on your site.

4. The fourth most common mistake is simply making the wrong choice of a template to begin with. Some templates won't be appropriate for your web site. The overall design may be out of place. For example, the theme of your web page is American Southwest, while the template's theme is Gothic. The colors may conflict with your site's colors. The image(s) may not relate to the subject of your site or your target audience. No matter how good the web template may look, if it doesn't fit with your web site then it will do nothing to improve the look of your site.

The proper use of templates is a balance of choosing an appropriate design for your needs, coupled with the right amount of customization of the template. When you have struck the right balance, a quality template will definitely improve the quality of your web site.
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