Not even five years ago, there was a word that was downright dirty amongst professional Web designers: template.
If you worked with a template, especially on behalf of a client, you weren’t worth much to anyone – after all, a template was supposed to be something anyone, even a layman, could effectively implement on their website. Well…things changed. Looking back on Web development over the last few years, I’ve figured out why.
Business owners wanted their websites to be easy – no extra software, no bizarre coding language – and still beautiful. That meant the easy aspect of the template had to be married with a more complicated visual layout. They evolved and in present day, templates are a standard with which designers create websites that are not only visually appealing, but also quite easy to navigate on the backend. In a blog post on BizCommunity.com, the author covers some of the many benefits of using templates – including the immediacy of templates, which is undoubtedly another element contributing to the booming popularity in this market.
The evolution has been interesting to observe. At one time, templates were the type of simple Web building tool that even my mom could use (no offense meant, mom!). Nowadays there are so many facets to the customization and implementation of a template that your site absolutely has to be built by someone well-versed in Web languages (such as a professional), to leave you with a gorgeous site and a method to update that’s simple for the manager.
Obviously when templates became a more versatile and complex tool, they did leave a gap in the market that was quickly filled by in-browser site-builders. Consumers who want to build their own site have left the templates to the pros and moved on to drag-and-drop HTML5 building tools that allow you to customize your site directly in-browser.
Like “template” before it, “site-builder” is the new dirty word. No designer worth his or her salt uses a site-builder. That, of course, bears the question: five years from now, will site-builders be the new king of professional Web design? It’s like a conga line of progress. I can’t wait to look back in a few years’ time and see exactly where all this dancing has put all of us designers. Hopefully it’s somewhere with Wifi.