In my discussion of HTML editors, I mentioned that while building a basic web page is easy, creating a quality web site with good functionality and pleasing asthetics takes some technical skill and practice. If building a web site for personal use, it matters little if the presentation is professional and pleasing. The web abounds with “home made” web sites with cheesy graphics and interfaces. If you are a business or interested in promoting a professional appearance then you will need a professional design. A hilarious (and instructive) look at bad web design can be found at http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com.
Custom design can be more than your budget may allow and many opt to use pre-made web site templates that essentially allow the customer to “fill in the blanks”. These templates are designed by professionals as fully integrated products with good user instructions and support. Not only are templates a great way to get a professional site on the web quickly but they are an excellent way to learn the art of web design. Through the process of using the template, the user can see what tools and techniques the professionals use and imitate their design.
The following is a list of some of the top web site template sources. Many web hosting providers include templates with their accounts. Keep in mind that, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Some templates, although free or cheaper, may come with fewer instructions or no support. Determine your needs and skill and then choose the templates that match your concept.
|Boxed Art||Thousands of web templates, flash templates, flash sites, powerpoint templates, vector icons, logos, animations, buttons, and photos. All art and templates available for a member fee of just $49.95.|
|Template Monster||Thousands of web site templates, Flash Templates, Logo Templates, and PHP-Nuke Templates with hundreds of categories and styles to choose from. Easy to use interface to search for the ideal template for your site.|
|CoffeeCup InstantCoffee||500 web site Templates, easy to install and configure. Just $19.99 each.|
|Template Blowout||Over 9,500+ high quality, professional web site templates, flash templates, html templates, banner templates, photoshop templates & logo templates covering almost any theme or style you can imagine.|
|Free Site Templates||A decent collection of free web site templates along with sale of premium templates through Template Monster.|