Archive for May, 2008

28May

Template Monster celebrates its sixth anniversary! That means that during all these long six years Template Monster has been working hard and tirelessly to make our life easier, brighter and more professionally looking.

On the occasion of this holiday the company presented a new design for their official site having made it more original, elegant and impressive. Well, just compare:

Old design:

tmbefore1.JPG

New design:

tmafter1.JPG

So, can you feel the difference? Undoubtedly, it looks better!

Moreover, Template Monster gives an opportunity to all their customers to purchase the products with 5% discount that will be active for a whole month. Don’t let the chance by!

Read more about this event on TemplateMonster Blog.

28May

Today I would like to talk about web templates customization.

If you have purchased a web template but still worry that the same web site design can be used by others, you have two ways. The first one – you may choose to pay for a ‘unique purchase’ for a higher fee and lock the design from being sold to others. In this case you will have not quite original design because of the previous sales that will lead to potentially the same design with others. And as the alternative of this, you may customize the template and make it more suitable to the needs of your project.

Some people mislead the others saying that customization of the website templates can cost them as much as hiring a webmaster or designer. Well, everything depends on the type of work and the preferred changes.

Once I purchased a template and ordered customization at templatetuning.com. So I would be happy to share my experience with all of you.

Templatetuning.com being a partner of Template Monster sells TM’s products and provides customization services. With their help you may change graphics, image animation, feel and look of a menu, modify page content, layout and resolution. Your any wish will be fulfilled within a couple of business days.

So, if you have already selected the desired template from their vast collection, you should pay for it first. And no one cares that the color scheme or any other template elements don’t suit your project, you pay for a template as a whole. The price includes the price for the images, layout of the pages, and the source files (fla, swf, html, psd). Also keep in mind that the cost of customization services depends on a specific web template and can vary.

Before: before1.jpg

After:   after1.jpg

Then you proceed to the Chat Room, and the Sales Manager will help you create a customization description for your template. He or she will calculate the total amount you have to pay for the customization work and set time-frames for the work to be done. By the way, here is the direct link to the templatetuning.com support chat

Moreover, every customer of Templatetuning.com acquires a login and a password to his account. The account interface will enable you to see the progress of your customization work and be in touch with Templatetuning.com Support Team.

One more example.

Before: before2.jpg

After:   after2.jpg

If you are still unsure in the quality of service they provide, you may customize the template by yourself. Customizing web templates shouldn’t be too hard … But to be honest it comes down to so many different things:

How comfortable are you around HTML/CSS?
Does the template use any other languages such as PHP and will your changes effect that?
What sort of software (if any) are you going to use to make your changes?
How complex is the template in the first place?

27May

Being a confirmed Internet user, I frequently surf through online forums asking and replying to people’s questions. Of all the questions I answer, I see one that appears over and over again, what are pros and cons of the website templates?

So, for those of you who are interested, I decided to collect different people’s opinions apropos of this and express my own of course.

First of all let me say a couple of words about website templates and what they really are. Web templates are pre-made foundation designs for fast website creation that require some customization before uploading to your hosting provider. There are a great variety of such templates:

Flash web templates combine captivating animation effects and pleasant sound accompaniment. They are characterized by dynamism and interactivity and are very popular among Internet users and webmasters.

flash3.jpg flash2.jpg flash1.jpg

SWISH web template based on SWISH technology is a perfect match of live action and fascinating music.

swish2.jpg swish3.jpg swish1.jpg

Dynamic Flash photo gallery template is designed especially for photo galleries and can be a perfect solution for painters, photographers and artists.

E-Commerce templates are designed specially for online stores.

Blog templates or themes with the blink of an eye you can easily change the look of your blog using these ready made web pages.

blog3.jpg blog2.jpg blog1.jpg

Different CMS templates – Joomla templates, Mambo templates, Drupal themes, PhpBB templates, PhpNuke templates the list of web templates types seems to go on forever

So, if you want to create a website, you may start with a template that can greatly work for you.

But other people may argue with this statement. They mostly think that web templates are nothing more than decorations. These products of web industry even can not be compared to what professional designers offer. To their mind, using a template is a cheating, because a true designer does not use templates. The opponents of the templates say: “These services provide a useless, even harmful distraction from what businesses and organizations actually need. Web and application design is not based on the templates. Rather, design is based on specific, contextual business and brand needs, concerns, and aims. These vary with each individual client.” But as for me, I cannot see any harmful distraction. On the contrary, the templates mostly being an original creation of professional designers can be a source of inspiration for others.

If you are a non-designer or a newbie in this sphere, you may easily use web templates to give your web pages a more professional look or just to try your skills. Website templates are great time saving and budget saving means for fast website creation. Use such templates for your routine work; this will give you more time to concentrate on the clients preferences.

Web templates make your site more consistent, so you won’t worry about each subpage correspondence to the general design. Build your first website with the help of a template until you become familiar with this work.

But unfortunately, a lot of people have an unpleasant experience with the templates. They complain of the low quality templates saying that most of them are coded improperly and with bloated markup. Bit I think it’s the matter of luck. The main thing here is to know good and reliable web templates distributors and resources that provide quality products and services.

Of course, it’s up to you whether to use the web templates or create your own design completely from scratch.

If you want to share your opinion or experience, make a post in the comment section. You are always welcome.

All the thumbnails of the website templates presented here are the original products of templatemonster.com.

26May

The designing process is very interesting and absorbent. But there is no matter how exciting it may seem, this process requires artistic talent, experience and a working knowledge of some basic layout principles.

image1.png

Here are some useful tips to think about when designing your website.

1. The needs of your visitors should be the part of the design, not as an afterthought. Don’t try to create something extraordinary and intricate to surprise everybody. This will only confuse them. Just remember that users like consistency.

2. Make sure you have a really good landing page, otherwise people will leave as fast as they came in.

3. Usability is by far the most important criterion while estimating a business website. It is closely connected to the needs of your visitors as well. So, the things like where to place the line navigation, search box and etc will all affect usability.

4. One of the main rules is to keep your website design simple. The simplicity of navigation, simplicity of the text is a guarantee that user does not leave your site as soon as possible.

5. Make sure that your site has enough information to meet the standards. But at the same time, don’t overwhelm it with lots of facts, forms, tables and info blocks. Everything should be balanced and harmoniously combined.

6. If you are selling something, of course, you should write effective and informative products descriptions. Don’t try to use ornate writing style just only to draw your visitor’s attention. The more stiltedly you write, the lesser people trust. Speaking about it I always recollect the words of David Ogilvy: “What you say is more important than how you say it”.

7. Define your target audience so it wouldn’t appear that you are selling “ice cubes to Eskimos”.

8. Make sure you have a really good and informative “About” page where you may tell the visitors who you are and give them a reason to trust your advise and services.

9. Don’t overwhelm your site with the text and graphics, tables and data. Having an empty space is also very important. Whitespace should be carefully planned because it helps to create balance and unity of the whole web site.

10. When you think that your site is almost ready and the work is nearing to the end, have someone to evaluate it. For this purpose you may write a post on different web design forums asking for reviews and constructive criticism. Practice shows that no matter how much you would look, others can find more.

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