Whether you choose to design a website from scratch or use a free Web template to design a website for your online business, there are many things to consider and ask yourself from the start:
1. Is an e-commerce solution / shopping cart needed on your website?
2. Does it need to allow enough room to easily display articles?
3. Do you need to plan for on-site advertising space in the website design?
4. Does the website design need to be interactive for site visitors?
5. Do you want to run your website through a content management system (CMS)?
6. Does the website need to include an audio or video player?
7. Would your target market appreciate a flashy design, or something simple?
Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s to design a website for your online business. There are a few general options to consider when deciding how to design a website:
1. Hire a professional Web designer and/or Web programmer to create a custom Web design and backend system or e-commerce solution, including any necessary tools.
2. Design a website yourself if you already have the Web design and coding skills (or take the time to learn HMTL/XHTML/CSS/PHP etc.).
3. Use a pre-designed Web template from free Web template providers, or purchase a Website template. You can use Web templates as-is, or customize them to fit your needs.
If you don’t need a custom Web design, and don’t want to design a website yourself, then a Web template is likely the best option. Here are some types of sites that offer Web templates to use when designing a website for your online business:
1. Free Web Templates – There are many websites offering free Web templates. Many of these free Web templates are table-based designs, although several sites specialize in offering open source free CSS Web templates.
2. Pay Per Template – Some sites offer pre-made Web templates that you can use to design a website, where each template is purchased individually. Some sites offer Web templates for exclusive sales (meaning only you can use that Web template, similar to having a custom Web design). Other pay-per-template sites allow you to buy a license to use a Web template non-exclusively, meaning other online businesses may be using the same Web design (unless you alter the Web template design significantly). Some Web template sites offer templates both for exclusive and non-exclusive sales.
3. Subscription Web Templates – There are many Web template sites that offer hundreds, or even thousands, of Web templates only to subscription site members. Basically, you pay a monthly, quarterly, yearly, or similar fee to access the website, and you receive the right to download any or all of the website templates available there at no additional cost. Subscription Web template sites might be the best option if your online business will involve running multiple websites that each need a different Web design.
No matter how you decide to design a website for your online business, make sure that the website design serves the needs of both your online business and its customers or target visitors.