When you’ve decided that you need a website, it can get confusing as to where is the best place to start - what do you need to prepare, where should you build, and what should it look like? When you know why you need a website, the next best step is to further evaluate your needs and how this needs to translate into a digital space. When you start to build your site, you shouldn’t jump into the sea of website templates blindly either - you’ll run the risk of overwhelming yourself with too many choices.
So instead, here’s a brief walkthrough of what you should know or have before looking at your available website templates:
- Know what type of website you need to build
This goes without saying but bears repeating. If you’re working with your personal brand or business, your choice of website templates - along with its overall look and feel, need to communicate if it’s a space that represents one person or a company. Event websites may go for something classic or sophisticated. Brand or business websites with a robust product and marketing portfolio may need to choose bold colors while balancing the amount of information they want to make available to their clients. These are simple rules of thumb when it comes to web design, but the fact remains that you need to start with knowing what you need to present your work, and how your potential clients may respond and interact with all that information.
- Consider your budget and what you don’t want to compromise on
In any website builder, you have the option to use both paid and free website templates. Depending on your use, as previously noted, you may do just fine with a free website template and only have to pay for owning your domain. For others, they may need more applications and other plugins to manage their business - and those come with certain costs.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to work with free website templates - if that’s all you need for your website. But it’s important to understand how much you’re willing to invest on a built website that’s going to support you and your business. Look for platforms that offer tiers of offers, the features they make available, and payment plans that would suit both your budget and your needs.
- Plan your website building timeline
Depending on where you are in your progress, your project timeline for building a website may vary. If you’re building your website yourself, you may need more time to account for the little learning curve if you’re choosing not to outsource or white label the work. Whatever the resources you have - time and/or staff, plan your project timeline with as much buffer as you can afford to give space for revisions and other potential interference. Luck favors the prepared after all.
- Look for platforms with flexibility and customization options
Working on your website in conjunction with a growing business, means that your online store is going to go through a few changes as your business grows and changes too. This means wherever you decide to build your website, you need to make sure that the platform is flexible and able to customize any and all website templates you may want to work with - especially if you lack deeper developer skills. The added flexibility means going beyond some defaults of a given free template, that like with most other website templates, come with a limited amount of features that work temporarily, but ideally build upon as time goes on.
- Check on a platform’s responsive-ness and SEO
This is more of an extension of a website building platform’s flexibility, but in a multi-screen age, you need to build a website that can respond and adapt to the many kinds of screens that’ll show your content. So much of today’s web traffic is actually generated by smaller or hand-held devices, and many website templates today work towards being able to adapt to different sized screens without compromising on performance.
If your branding assets and user-experience can retain its responsiveness on a smaller screen, you’ll be able to keep up with the mobile-focused age. Experiment with your choice of website templates if they translate well on smaller screens before zero-ing on a template of your choice. Likewise investigate how these platforms perform and support your website, if they help boost your visibility on the internet through search-engine optimization - you can read more about how you can do that here.
- Take note of their customer support
You can find countless developers that are looking for you to avail of their services, but not all of them can speak on robust performances and comprehensive services. A poorly designed and coded platform may appear to look good on the surface but may pose problems for you once you start adding your own assets.
Always seek out trustworthy website builders that have user testimonials and accessible channels for customer support should you run into problems.
The best part about putting up your site using a website builder is you don’t need significant web design or programming experience to get started. Strikingly features a large collection of website templates that will suit most industries and digital marketing objectives, you’re bound to find one that will be perfect for the kind of site you envision.
To help you with your search, we have listed the 5 of the most popular free web templates on the Strikingly platform. Do note that the choice of template usually depends on your site’s purpose. A look at the templates listed here will help you determine the kind of features you want your website to have so we encourage you to check out the rest of the collection as well.
Perspective is a modern website template that is a favorite for both blog and company sites. Engage users with full-screen video and images, dynamic galleries and parallax scrolling. This is one website template free accounts will be able to get the most out of especially since it enables access to hundreds of font styles and combinations as well as customize your color scheme according to your branding or company colors.
If you’re setting up an online shop but you don’t want to make it look too sterile and impersonal, Minimal Store might just be right up your alley. This is one of the free website templates on Strikingly that is most suited to modern ecommerce stores. It features the same integrations as the other web templates such as Simple Store and access to the platform’s app store. Minimal Store also features full-screen images, pastel color schemes and a clean layout.
Sparks is a website template that is every artist’s dream. Its neutral color schemes and grid design remind one of a blank canvas, ready to highlight your brand’s best features. Although Sparks comes with the same ecommerce integrations such as Simple Store as most Strikingly web templates, other themes in the collection may be more suitable for an online shop. This theme is also great for event websites and personal blogs that use a huge gallery of images. Highly recommended if you want to showcase the best of your portfolio if you’re in the creative industry.
If you’re looking to build an online CV, you want to keep your website template free from unnecessary distractions so visitors will zero in on your qualifications. Sleek is a no-frills, clean web template that’s better suited for professional resumes and portfolios. The design is understated and minimalist but it may be too minimalist for somebody who is used to seeing a lot of color and flash on his website. This is not to say that Sleek is uncustomizable. The free website template comes in different color schemes mostly implemented on the typography while still staying true to its simple roots.
The smart use of white space is still very much on-trend these days and if you’re starting out on your personal blog, you might want to try the Clean website template by Strikingly. The template features a nice grid style design that’s great for showcasing your latest posts and pastel color accents to break the monotony of white all over the page. Clean, as the name implies, is very minimalist - a great starting point for publishing creative writing works and other creative portfolios because the simple background doesn’t take away from the beauty of your content. It may not be for the artsy type but if you are the kind of blogger who likes a sleek and polished site design, this template is perfect for you. It is also highly recommended for company microsites and business websites.
These website templates may not speak to you right now, but when given an idea of a site’s working architecture, each of these may be customized according to your specific business or personal use. Build your website with these or other Strikingly templates to get started today and launch your own site!