It can be either clean, friendly, organized and welcoming – colorless, bland, boring and distasteful or chaotic, confusing, haphazard and messy.
The impression that your website gives off will either impress or deter your visitors.
Personally I prefer the former and so does your typical blogger, small business, and your visitors for that matter.
It’s so important to set a good first impression and having a professional looking design can make the difference between a visitor choosing you over another website with similar content but a poor design and layout.
Fortunately for you and I designing a website is much easer than it was just a few years ago, and a lot less expensive.
In fact you can usually get a very high-end look for less than $100 dollars.
The ability to choose a highly customizable template that matches your websites personality, easily tweak your color scheme, widgets and layout, and even optimize your SEO is now easier than ever and there are plenty of options to choose from.
If you have the money to splurge and really want to go all with a specific custom look and feel for your website than maybe hiring a website designer is for you, but for those of you just starting out (and those of your who like to do your own personalization, but don’t want to pay a lot of money for it) it might be best to go with a high quality theme that is inexpensive, flexible in terms of design, is SEO friendly, and makes your site look professional and welcoming.
With tons of themes being offered it can be very hard to figure out what the best way to go about choosing a theme is and what sites to go with, so I put together a list of three websites that offer great website designed themes, customizable design options, custom widgets and maybe even a little customer support :-)
Each website has their own unique designs, layouts, theme functionality and options to choose from, but I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you.
Best of all these sites are great for those on a budget, but looking for a high-end, professional website design.
StudioPress offers a great selection of theme templates and is extremely flexible in terms of personalization and customization. I use StudioPress for my websites because of its SEO friendly components, customizable widgets and constantly added features.
StudioPress themes run on the Genesis framework which provides very clean code for optimal website performance, increased security, and highly flexible and customizable theme options.
If you are looking for a theme that allows you to change and customize nearly every design aspect of your site than StudioPress might be for you!
WooThemes currently offers over 100 theme designs and provides videos, tutorials and a constantly updated blog to help you get started creating a website that not only looks good, but also impresses your visitors.
WooThemes runs on the WooFramework with solid code for easy set up, SEO, security and adding functionality.
Having a solid framework is very important for simplifying your blog and keeping it secure!
You can also hire a WooThemes affiliate to help you customize and personalize your websites theme even further.
ThemeForest offers a huge selection of custom-made themes created by individuals and businesses that vary greatly in both design and functionality.
While ThemeForest provides a huge selection of themes this site differs from the other two because themes are created by individuals who belong to the community, so the designs can come from many different artists instead of by one central company.
Some themes may or may not offer all of the same functionality and/or benefits of the previous two websites, but there is a much larger selection of designs to choose from.
Theme flexibility, functionality, available options, coding and SEO characteristics depend largely on the theme chosen and what has been implemented into the theme.
This site amazing designs and layouts and you may very well find a theme that has everything you want and more.
Each theme is rated by others in the community, commented and shows how many people have downloaded it to help you decide which theme you may want to purchase.
Each of these websites offer different theme designs, options and benefits, but they all have great designs and can give your site the high-end look you’ve been looking for.
A few tips on choosing a great design that works for you
- When choosing one theme over another be aware of the trade offs. One theme may offer you a design that you really like, but be very inflexible when it comes to things such as choosing your own color scheme or customizing your navigation. If something on the theme doesn’t fit exactly the way you’d like it than perhaps going with a theme that allows for more customization may be a better choice.
- Choose a theme that highlights what’s most important on your site. If its images then you may want to choose a theme that does a great job of showcasing your photos. If on the other end its content then you’ll want to choose a theme that will make your content stand out and is easily accessible to your readers.
- Make sure you theme has a good navigation or can be customized to a layout that works well for you and your visitors. Some themes will only offer a few categories and may limit what you are able to put on your homepage.
- Figure out what other options are important to you when you choose your theme. Do you want a theme with certain SEO factors built-in? Do you want a theme that works well with lots of plugins? Is it more important to have a theme that looks amazing but has little customization or one that looks simple but will allow you to customize to your hearts desire?
Take your time and make sure you choose a design that works will for your websites purpose.
Once again here are the links to the three websites I spoke about in the post.