Web Site Templates

Should Yahoo Store merchants seeking a new (re)design buy an off-the-shelf web design template instead of hiring a designer to come up with a unique design?

I always used to dismiss templates, but now I am not so sure. You do need a professional design for sure, but what if the templates are in fact professionally-designed? And then you would still add your own logo and tweak the design for your particular needs to differentiate yourself from other people using that same template. And what about other sites using the same template? Well, even if a template has been downloaded 50 times it is still unlikely that your design will be confused for someone else’s site. We are talking about 50 sites out of millions. Besides, designers are "inspired" by what others are doing on the web. So, how unique will your custom design actually be? Also, a professional design with clean HTML and CSS is very time-consuming to do.

All the major blogging tools use (professionally designed) templates that you can select for your blog. Does it hurt bloggers that they therefore often use the same templates?

NO! Why? Because it’s about the CONTENT.

If you are a Yahoo Store merchant you need to create unique content, with original product descriptions and product images. Your expertise and professionalism need to shine through well-written buying guides, "About us" pages and clear shipping policies. When someone calls or emails you, you have to be able to answer your customers’ questions and concerns knowledgeably. That obviously come on top of actually being in the right kind of business that allows you to compete with others in terms of price, selection, marketing, convenience, etc…

Do get a professional-looking site, but focus your attention on creating great content instead of worrying about different shades of blue for your nav-bar background. So if you can find a professional template that appeals to you, why not use it?