If you’re not an experienced web developer, building a website all on your own can seem overwhelming. In addition, hiring a professional web developer comes with a hefty price tag. Yet, as a business owner, creative individual, or influencer, you know a website is more necessary now than ever before. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an affordable way to create a stunning, professional website template on your own? Fortunately for you, there is. Ready-made website themes empower you to create a beautiful website quickly and cost-effectively.
With the right theme, your new website can be ready to take live in minutes. The best part? There’s no coding required. Below, you’ll learn about what website themes are and how to choose the right one for you or your business.
In this article:
- What are website themes?
- How to choose a website theme
- Why should you use a ready-made website theme?
What are website themes?
A website theme is a collection of digital files that establish the look and layout of a website. These files dictate how design elements behave across different devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.
Your choice of website theme will determine:
- Whether your website’s template is static or responsive.
- The location of visuals, text, sidebars, custom widgets, and menu bars.
- The style of your navigation bar.
- Your website’s mobile-optimization.
- Which features you can use, like an eCommerce store or third-party integrations.
Why do website themes matter?
Your choice of website theme has lasting implications. You need to choose one that aligns with your brand’s aesthetics and offers the functionality you require.
For instance, if you run a law firm, you need a website theme that exudes professionalism and provides a place for client reviews. On the other hand, if you own a small tie-dye t-shirt company, you might want a more creative, colorful design with built-in eCommerce features.
Depending on your personal needs, different website themes will be better suited for you than others. With that in mind, let’s explain how to find the perfect website theme for your business or personal website.
How to choose a website theme
With thousands of web store themes on the market, it’s hard to know which one you should choose. These steps will guide your decision-making process and help you pare down your options.
Consider your website theme’s design elements
Here are three major design elements to focus on when choosing a website theme.
1. Responsive design
Did you know that over 60% of Google searches take place on a mobile device? Due to the popularity of smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-optimized website is an absolute must these days. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it will frustrate users and harm your search engine optimization (SEO) — this is what allows your website to be found on search engines like Google and Bing.
To make sure your website renders correctly on mobile devices, choose a responsive website theme. Responsive design enables websites to fit any screen size or orientation through the use of flexible layouts and specialized CSS media queries. Using a responsive theme ensures:
- Your navigation bar is optimized for a touch screen.
- Your call-to-action buttons are large enough to be clicked on.
- There is enough white space between images and text.
- Your content looks good, whether the screen is using a vertical or horizontal orientation.
Does this sound complicated? Don’t worry — when you choose a website theme from Constant Contact, rest assured that it will include responsive design so your website can present beautifully on all devices.
2. The home page header
One of the most important elements of your website theme is its home page header. It’s the first thing a new website visitor sees, right at the top of the home page. In turn, it can make or break your website’s first impression.
Your home page header should communicate your brand’s mission and business offerings, using a compelling combination of visuals and text. Here are the different customization options to choose from:
- Static images
- Static images with text overlays
- Slideshows of images
- Looping videos
- Text on its own
Make sure your website theme can support your preferred header design. For example, if you’re set on using a looping video in your header, find a website theme that makes this possible.
3. Menu bar
Another critical element of your website theme is its menu bar. This feature enables visitors to navigate your website with ease, providing convenient links to the most important pages of your website. Without a menu bar, visitors would struggle to find what they’re looking for.
It’s best to stick with tried-and-true menu bar formats. This way, your website visitors can find your menu bar quickly and use it intuitively. Some common menu bar formats include:
- The top horizontal menu bar: This type of menu bar is shown at the top of the web page. When you scroll down, it goes out of view, requiring you to scroll back up to find it again. This is the most common type of menu bar, used by the majority of websites.
- The fixed top horizontal menu bar: This type of menu bar remains visible at the top of the screen, even as you scroll down a web page. That’s why it’s considered “fixed.” This menu bar is great for websites that have longer pages since it saves visitors the hassle of scrolling up.
- The side vertical menu bar: This type of menu bar is located on the side of the screen, rather than at the top. It’s perfect for websites that show off a lot of visual content since it stays out of the way and allows the visual content to take center stage.
Make sure your chosen website theme offers the menu bar style that will be best for your business.
Focus on functionality when choosing your website theme
Once you’ve locked down your desired design elements, it’s time to turn your attention to your website theme’s functionality. A beautiful website won’t be of much value if it lacks the basic functions you need to conduct business. Here are some important features to look out for:
- A blog
- Contact forms
- Email subscription forms
- An ecommerce store
- Photo galleries
- Google My Business integrations
- Google Maps integrations
- Social media integrations
- Food delivery service integrations
- Featured reviews
Some of these features will be more important than others, depending on your goals.
For example, if you run a restaurant, you need a food delivery service integration in order to fulfill orders online. Conversely, if you’re a travel blogger, you want a beautiful blog with ample space for photos and videos that show off your travels.
When you choose a website theme from Constant Contact, all of these features will be available to you.
How to choose a website theme tailored to your industry
As you now know, your website theme should serve your specific business goals. To make this even easier, Constant Contact provides website themes customized to various industries. Constant Contact creates website themes specifically for:
- Small businesses
- Travel agencies
- Beauty professionals
- Restaurant owners
To get your ideal website theme, simply provide Constant Contact with some basic information about your business and let the A.I.-driven website builder do the rest. You’ll receive a website theme that’s fully-equipped to handle your specific industry needs.
Choose a website theme with built-in stock photos
A website’s visuals set the mood and play a major role in its overall aesthetics. Choose high-quality images that bolster your brand. However, due to copyright laws, you can’t just upload any old photo you find on the internet. You have to find images that you have a legal license to use.
Fortunately, stock photos provide you the copyright permission you need to safely upload photos to your website. This helps you avoid any expensive copyright infringement debacles. Due to this, it’s worthwhile to find a website theme that provides easy access to a stock photo collection.
For example, Constant Contact’s free website themes include Unsplash’s library of 550,000+ high-resolution images. These photos have no copyright restrictions, so download, copy, modify, and distribute them however you please.
Select a website theme that comes with technical support
No one likes dealing with technical difficulties, especially if you have no one to turn to for help. Fortunately, when you use a pre-built website theme, you are guaranteed support from the website theme’s developer.
Constant Contact’s website themes use machine learning technology to keep things running smoothly. They also come with comprehensive technical support services. No matter what questions you have, Constant Contact’s support resources can provide you the answers you need to get things up and running again.
Why should you use a ready-made website theme?
Avoiding complicated coding isn’t the only reason to use a website theme. Here are some benefits you’ll receive:
- They’re affordable – Custom web design can be expensive. If you run a small business, this might not be in the budget. Fortunately, free website themes offer comparable quality at a much lower price.
- They’re ready now – In addition to being expensive, custom web design is time-consuming. You’ll have to wait on your web developer’s schedule. On the other hand, free website themes are available right now.
- Quality is guaranteed – With pre-built website themes, you know that each one is thoughtfully designed and reviewed for quality control. In turn, rest assured you’re getting a high-quality product.
- They’re easy to use – Pre-built website themes are made for people who know nothing about coding. Thus, they’re intuitive and easy-to-use. Add and remove sections with the click of a button, rather than mulling through complicated code.
- They’re customizable – Just because free website themes are pre-made doesn’t mean you can’t customize them. Adjust everything from the color scheme to the font. Plus, it’s easy to move around elements of the layout through a simple drag and drop process.
- They’re made for mobile – These days, having a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable. Constant Contact’s website themes come with a fully responsive design, meaning your website will automatically adjust to fit any screen size.
- They’re SEO-friendly – If you invest in a new website, you want it to show up on Google. Fortunately, most website themes are built with SEO in mind. For instance, Constant Contact’s website themes offer fast-loading pages, secure SSL encryption, and easy on-site SEO optimization tools.
With all of those perks, the choice to use a ready-made website theme is clear, especially when you use one from Constant Contact.
It can also save you from these pesky problems
On the other hand, if you decide to go rogue and forgo a pre-built website theme, you might run into a plethora of complications. The pesky problems you avoid with a pre-made website theme include:
- Images with improper dimensions
- Confusing 404 errors
- 403 forbidden errors
- SSL security issues
- Incorrect keyword research
- Improper URL structures
- Loading issues
- Missing buttons
- Outdated plugins
- Slow-loading pages
These aren’t the things you want to focus on when you have a small business to run or a personal brand to build. To circumvent these issues, opt for a high-quality, mobile-friendly, and ready-made website theme. Your future self will thank you for it.
Get your website theme today
Free website themes make the website building process much easier. Furthermore, they provide built-in mobile optimization, technical support, SEO benefits, and easy customization. If you want to take advantage of all that, start the process today with Constant Contact.
Customize your website theme by following these easy steps:
- Start with Constant Contact’s website builder.
- Design your website using a website theme tailored to your industry.
- Customize your website theme design.
- Select your desired stock photos.
- Purchase a website plan to publish your brand new website
A brand new website is easy and affordable with Constant Contact. So what are you waiting for? Get started for free and take advantage of Constant Contact’s website themes today.