Templates and Patterns

While on vacation in CA, I was staying with a friend who was trying to get a website designed. She had emailed me about her site months ago and then suddenly stopped talking about it. I found out that the site was on hold because her web designer told her to choose a template from a stock template site so that he could ‘design’ and , we assume, build out. She had stopped at that point because the templates ranged anywhere from $900-$2000, which was a little out of her price range. I was trying to understand the concept of a web designer working from a template. What is the purpose of designing a site when you don’t actually do the design? My friend was as confused as I was at how this particular web designer worked. I told her how we web design at DDA and she felt the way we worked made a lot more sense. I mentioned that we meet the client and customize the design concept to what their site needs or is trying to portray. We start from scratch and build a site specifically for the client, and don’t have an archive of web designs to choose from.

Some people may wonder why we don’t work from pre-made templates and when thinking that, I first relate the thought to sewing. A few years back I made extra money from sewing plush dolls by commission. With each doll I would make my own pattern and then toss it away. I had numerous emails from people asking me if they could see or use my patterns, but I told them that each pattern was custom made and then thrown away. Most were shocked and asked why. I simply stated that if I only used one pattern then I would never learn new techniques, never push my limits and never improve. I say the same concept is true for pre-made website template buyers.

Some templates may look really high end and professional, but you have to assume that if you bought it, someone else has too. Do you want your site to look like some one else’s? I should hope not. Each website should be a unique piece of art as well as an efficient tool for your company’s products and information.