A common misunderstanding is that a website developer builds websites, cheaply from scratch. What clients often do not understand, is that these website solutions are based upon easily accessible parts – which have taken hundreds or thousands of hours to code from scratch – most-often by highly skilled individuals.
In my page about websites i’ve shown a number of “opensource” alternatives, allowing customers to easily create a basic content management system – based web-solution.
Once a solution has been identified to build the basic platform – the next problem becomes the “look and feel” of the website – the template.
Although it is possible to generate a new-template from scratch – it’s often not what small businesses need to start-off. A website, is much like a shop – in that once you’ve got something that works, people – the business owners – generally think about how they’d like things to work over a period of time. This form of “organic growth”, is a natural learning curve that is part of the evolving identity any new business, or new venture undertakes.
To help with this; website templates are invaluable resources.
Most Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal, etc.) all have a range of freely available templates – available for download either in the system, or alternatively – from the site where the CMS is developed and managed.
Beyond these freely available templates; people around the world, develop “premium templates” which are generally cost effective – and relatively easy to set-up – with relatively advanced functionality.
Themeforest and Elegant Themes are great sites if your looking for wordpress templates. This is one of many for wordpress templates, and a personal favourite. A Quick Google Search for wordpress templates or Drupal Templates will resource a host of different websites offering premium themes for a range of website solutions.
However: When setting-up a website, it’s important to think about all the different aspects involved in running a business, most of which apply both to “Bricks and Morter” businesses, in addition to “digital” or virtual shop-front businesses.
It’s an important part of any business to consider the Total Cost of Ownership – which should take into account business risks, such as Fraud, Chargebacks, SPAM and other unwanted digital experiences – which can really take-up alot of time, money and energy sorting out problems which are best avoided.
Our recommendation is – unless a business is big enough to justify hiring someone good – to look after the technology full-time – try to make these sorts of potential issues, someone else’s problem. Nonetheless, this is just another element of the overall strategy process involved in setting-up a business.