Making Your Work Easier:

The Rise of the Responsive Design Templates.

wheel
Should the wheel be reinvented?
Let’s face it. Every website needs to work across all possible media platforms. While there are plenty of different strategies and philosophies about how to do this, one fact everyone will agree with – it’s a total pain in the ass.
So the question is, should web designers & developers take the pains to create something that has already been successfully created? Or, is it ok to use responsive design templates?

To Template or Not to Template…

Not interested in CMS platforms? Love the HTML? Pride yourself on custom, hand coded websites? I’m with you, and I understand and respect your skills and integrity.

Unfortunately these days there isn’t an amazing amount of wiggle room outside of convention. Web standards have become a reality and people expect things a certain way. Since most of your websites will require the same basic foundation to comply with these standards, why wouldn’t you get a running start on your project and simply use a template?

Designers who find themselves struggling with this dilemma need to be asking themselves the question:

“Was I going to create something much different or better than this?”
and/or
“Does this project require a completely custom design?”

My advice is that if the answer is ‘no’, then there is no reason not to save yourself the time and trouble…just use the darn template!

This goes beyond just the foundation of your design. There are templates and plug-ins available for navigation menus, image galleries, forms, tab systems, tables, etc…and it’s ok to use them!

Assuming you’re already an HTML/CSS wizard, just customize these templates to suit your needs and let someone else do the heavy lifting.

Work Smarter Not Harder…

Just think about how much faster you can deliver a fully functional and responsive site to your client. napkin
It’s now simply a matter of where to start, but with thousands of free designs available for all different purposes, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something you like.A great place to look for really minimalistic designs is foundation.zurb.com. Not only do they offer basic HTML frameworks, but they have built their own pattern library full of snippets to help you design even faster.

Myresponsee.com also offers modern responsive templates as well as pre-built image carousels, forms, navigation panes, tables, and tabs. A lot of this code is available for free, but with premium membership it seems they will host and help set up your site as well.

If you don’t have a problem paying for templates (or passing the buck to your client!) check out the work at TemplateMonster for thousands of website templates and CMS themes. If you can’t find something to work with here then you’re probably hopeless.

Looking for a slick one-page design with parallax scrolling and full screen images? Build it yourself or look to Spectral and Oxygen for effective and sleek downloadable demos.

Because Deadlines Matter

helihouseThis is a fast paced business. We’re all on a deadline and it’s important to be able to deliver on time.
You may not be using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or any of the dozens of popular CMS platforms out there – but I’m willing to bet that your competition is.
And you know what? Their clients probably don’t really know or care, maybe even like it! Hmmm…It may be worth getting on board the CMS train after all.

But if you’re not willing to go that route quite yet, consider the templates! Remember there’s a lot of competition out there offering the same product cheaper and faster.

So get a running start on your next project and make your work easier.