Step 2: Pick Up a Template
What is a Web Template?
  A Web template is a set of ready-made web pages that can be used to create websites in a short period of time. You can find them in our associate site Functional Sites.
What can I expect with a template?
  Although most template online stores promise you that you will be able to build your website in only minutes with their templates, the true is that you can achieve that if you need to change text only (that is, no changes in graphics or template layouts).
  However, from experience we will tell you that this seldom is the case. Most people will also want to add their own logo, more graphics, change fonts, move paragraphs around and create new pages.
  Most hard work is associated with the graphical adaptation of current logos/pics so they can fit to the overall style, size and looks of the new template.
  Also, some complex templates contain Flash movies that contain different graphics, photos, sounds and video clips that can also put a lot of hours in the developer's schedule.
  Still in overall, the advantages of using web design templates over custom design are simply overwhelming: Fast uptime, affordable prices and still good flexibility that allow you to maintain control, costs and time.
What should I do then if my budget is tight?
  If budget is a serious concern, you should pick up a template with dummy content very similar to what you are planning to put in your website (at least a site with the same webpages or subsections).
  So if all of what you need to do is to replace text, you can get your website ready to go in a few hours and consequently you reduce the number of work-hours we'll have to put in when working with your site.
  Remember, the idea is to reduce the total number of development hours. With templates alone, you'd have already reduced that number by at least 5%, and then if you keep the template modifications to a minimum, you'll probably end up paying 10%-20% of an equivalent custom designed website.
How to choose the right template for you
  In order of choosing a good web template for your site, you should go first to the category where your industry is best represented. For instance, if you are planning to build a website for your church, you should start your search in the Religious category.
Visual design and marketing considerations
  Don't limit yourself in choosing the most visually appealing template for your website. There are also other important considerations, and one of them is the marketability of the design. Please make sure to keep yourself focused on how your business content will fit with a particular design.
  We strongly advice not to choose a template that is almost 100% Flash. We believe in using Flash with moderation, only for key spots in your website. The reason is that many key terms embodied in Flash movies are not going to be recognized by search engines.
  Flash-based templates should be used only if you are into a photo- or graphics-related industry where you need to leave a strong, lasting impression to your potential clients.
  Otherwise, you could also use Flash-based templates to send your current customers to your website to receive more information about the products or services you sell. Please notice that in this case, your visitors would be referred by you, not by a search engine.
  For the same reason, instead of creating dynamic PHP, ASP or CGI based webpages, it's better to use plain static HTML code for your site. This is the code that search engines spider the best. Since 85% of Internet users use search engines to find suppliers and products, it's really foolish to ignore search engines!
How to get a template
  If you would like to purchase a template straight from Functional Sites, you are more than welcome to do it. However, if you would like to pick up a template so we at Orel Web can help you to develop, we can save you up to 20% of the selling price if we purchase your template ourselves.
  If you decide to buy a template as part of a web design package with us, just write down the template item number from Functional Sites. This is a five-digit number located below the main template presentation.