There is nothing wrong with using a template, in fact, I’m in favor of them! To keep up with the times, we need to save stress and time – while producing quality online services. We are not all experts when it comes to getting tip top quality and fully functioning websites, not everyone knows coding and all that jazz.
That is why templates play an essential part of any productive designer’s workflow – to cut out all the techy gimmicks and make life easier! Faster, and less complicated gets the job done so they can also be really helpful in boosting your brand’s identity.
Certainly, the use of such a tool brings greater consistency and therefore, professionalism to the table. For example, project management templates definitely belong in the workflow of a web designer. If you wish to be FREE from tackling tedious project and time management tasks – these bad boys help you to stay focused on your work.
So here are some tips I have brought to you for cutting corners (which I must add, I only think should be done for those who are professionals and charging fairly for the service!) and using the conveniences of templates which are ready and made available to us!
Start With The Theme
Go ahead and customize it to your exact liking and create the skin your entire website. Craft it to yours and your customer’s needs with search-optimized content (both written and visual). Using a Theme Template will save you a bunch of time.
Maybe A Sectional Would Work?
This method is a good way to quickly replicate the same design elements across a website – or use a sectional in another way as the advantage is you can turn them into wireframes. What this refers to is that essentially, you are using the backbone of a sectional template to quickly bootstrap the structure of a page on another website.
The Obvious: Good Old WordPress
May not be the easiest, but once you get into it – you soon learn. Here, you will find a multi-site management tool named ManageWP. What is so great about this? It comes complete with its very own WordPress Template Builder. Why do you think it so popular?
Many people choose to use this software to build websites, simply to save time with new installations. All you have to do is create your template and then let WordPress do the rest! Install and add the plugins (as well as the themes) that you use most often for your client websites.
The Best Template of All: Project Management
The real best way to save yourself massive amounts of time is to simplify as much of your project management work as possible. Like, cut out the crap and the distractions and set yourself a structure so you have a guideline with goals to achieve! It is really the key to everyone’s success.
By creating checklists for all of your web design and business processes you are setting yourself up to win! Take your time to develop the templates that work for all kinds of tasks including for the communications you send to clients.
Keep everything intact for various reasons – so you can see progress and also so that you keep the proof! Things like contracts for new projects, and the instructions you provide yourself or others. Even templatize all of your minutes and invoicing!
One key thing to learn is that there is a difference between adopting templates. Know the purpose – if it is optimizing your design workflow or if you merely wish to avoid doing any real work.
Personally, I believe this is what leads to the delivery of poor websites which gives clients a way to talk designers into lowering their prices. For those web designers out there being paid to provide a creative service: DO YOUR JOB!
At the end of the day, you cannot expect someone to be happy if 100% of the elements you put on a website don’t even need to be handcrafted by you and you charge fully for it! Be it on your conscience.