I went through the pros and cons of using and not using a template for the front-end design of a website, so in this article I may be complaining about and supporting the fact. Somewhere in between.
Templates especially come in handy when you have deadlines hanging over your head like a freaking guillotine. Web development has many stages and if there are ways available to reduce the stress and time in some of those stages; then by all means go for them, it’s allowed. The amount of time saved may even allow you to have some R ‘n R time.
In situations where there aren’t any designers in the development team, then templates are the best option to take. Find what pleases you, your boss or client and customize it to your/ their preferences.
Think Outside The Box
I feel like templates block the designer’s/ developer’s creativity. They don’t get to think outside the box because they don’t have to, not when so many templates are available under the sun. Well I’ll tell you what, your own design is not available because you are not creating it. Who knows, it may even inspire someone, somewhere at some part of the world.
Templates are a very good source of inspiration. If you’re new to web design, being taxed with a project can be scary and exciting at the same time. You’d want to go all out and build a brilliant looking website but you may not be sure what a brilliant looking website should look like. Well, look at templates, look at already existing websites, do some mix and matching and play around with what you find.
Tape and Glue
Templates are a pain especially if you customize them too much. You may not always find a template that fulfills all your heart’s desires so you’ll go for the next best thing, which will need A LOT of customizing; getting rid of that, or adding this. When templates are changed too much, they loose their structure and in the end the code doesn’t make much sense. Basically, it’s being held up by tape and glue Grey’s Anatomy reference :D... Every time something is added or removed, something else crumbles. Sometimes, NOT ALWAYS, the website will end up looking as desired, but behind the scenes, every thing is UGLY! and a lot of time will have been wasted.
The code in all templates is well structured and documented, meaning anyone can easily read and understand it. This happens to be a huge help when it comes to website maintenance because not always does the same person(s) who create a website, maintain it over its lifetime. Especially when it is a huge website. Understanding someone else’s code is not something any developer should take for granted. It’s a blessing!
Sometimes templates are just so boring. Many websites almost look similar because they use almost similar if not the same templates; making the websites boring.
Variables to Consider
There are very many variables that have to be factored in before coming to a ‘Template or No Template’ decision. Time of project, skills in changing a desired design to code, creativity in creating a unique design, customization and maintenance.
In the end, none is better than the other. But my preference is ‘No Template’.