There are countless website templates and themes that are free or generally affordable. Some have a monthly or annual subscription, while others may have a one-time cost. All of them have their pros and cons.
They can save you a lot of effort and time when you want to create a new layout for your website. However, a lot of people make mistakes in the process of choosing and using a web template and end up with something that was unlike the image they had in mind. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid those mistakes.
The first obvious mistake you should be aware of is using a template that is very popular. Unless that template is customizable, if many people use the same template, your website will not appear unique at all and your credibility as a solid, different website will be tarnished. In other words, you will appear generic just like your next-door neighbors.
There are also other things to keep in mind. A lot of templates and themes come with a box of features or require fancy extensions. Think of it like going to the store to get 2 or 3 items and being handed a whole box full of things you weren’t looking for or needing. All of these extra things come with an unseen cost – time and speed. They can add unnecessary scripts and code to your site that cause it to run slower than it could and every second counts (literally!).
Your site needs to load within a second or two or your visitors might become impatient and click away. Have you ever tried to visit a website but found it was loading really slowly? Or perhaps you were trying to read something then suddenly a video from somewhere on the page starts playing or a popup box appears over the content.. these things all impact the user experience and can drive people away.
So when choosing a website theme or template, choose wisely. If the theme requires additional plugins and extensions, be aware that the more plugins you have, the slower your site will be as it will typically load ALL of those scripts on EVERY page, regardless of whether it’s needed or not. Not only that, it can increase your website’s change of being hacked if it is coded poorly, or installing malware that even infects your visitors, hijacks your content, or redirects your traffic to spam websites.