Templates are a tool for low cost web design because they save both time and money to the end user, with proper selection anyone can maintain a professional looking site that operates like one as well. When choosing a template it is important that you choose a template that matches the feel of your site, colors are an important tool in design since they can subconsciously alter the mood of your visitors. Another important aspect of color is to consider the contrast of the text and the background image, text is always easier to read when they are visible and legible in the first place. The background should not draw attention away from the main content of your site, and as such it would be best to stay away from using photos as backgrounds. The presence of a photo in your background makes the page load slowly and to most people it’s a sign of immature amateurism on a website (much like a Myspace page).
Being a web designer is a mix between art and science much like clock maker, and as a clockmaker one should avoid putting too many unnecessary parts on a time piece. When choosing a template it’s best to look for one that offers space for a navigation menu on each and every page to make browsing your site a quick and simple ordeal. Drop down menus should be looked into when possible however a well designed plain text system is just as effective. Avoid templates that frame the entire site, this disables the people visiting your site from using the navigational buttons on their internet browsers; worse yet it makes it impossible to find specific pages on your site from a search engine. Always maintain a balance between functionality and aesthetics, in my opinion a plain looking site that has a good layout is much better than an over the top flash animated website. To me flash laden sites scream “look at me don’t you think this is cool”, and often fail to give me enough information; whereas a plain looking site with easy navigation and lots of easy to read text gives me all the information I need in a simple easy to read fashion. Going with the simple site also reaches a larger population of people world wide where the internet and computer capabilities are not always the fastest or smoothest, and in the end it is the cheapest web design.