Table of Contents:
- Content Width
- Header Layout
- Navigation Bar
- Images and Colors
- SEO and Browser Compatibility
At TemplateMonster, we believe that beautiful websites can (and should!) inspire new projects. For those starting off in web design or launching a business, we release a collection of free website templates. They are well suited for business websites, e-commerce stores, blogs, or portfolios.
Our free themes can be used with:
If you a hesitant about buying a premium template, download our freebies first! You can customize any of these designs to build your free website, but please don't charge for it.
We are delighted that you have chosen TemplateMonster for showcasing your ideas!
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Our free designs are fully responsive and carefully updated. They have fewer features than premium ones but still look great. You will also receive our long-term support after installation.
If you want to learn how to pick the best free theme for your needs, this article is for you.
First of all, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your website for? What goals do you have?
- What do you want visitors to experience when they enter your site?
- What are the minimum features you are looking for in your next website?
- How do you want to showcase your products of content?
- Think of a website that you particularly like. What makes its design special? How can you emulate it?
Let's move on to the main points you need to consider when choosing a design for your new site.
Your home page can have a wide background image that covers the whole screen - it will have a full width responsive design. Such a solution is perfect for a mobile responsive site that is rich in content. After the background image adjusts to different screen sizes and resolutions, the positioning of your content on top of it may change too.
If you choose a template with a boxed width header image - your content will be put in a frame, with free space on both sides of the screen. Such a theme will look more formal and work best for a business website.
Choose your home page layout wisely, it should help you make the right impressions on your visitors. The header may feature a small logo, a full-width header with or without content, a slider, or even a background video.
Go for a header image with no other elements on top of it if you can easily communicate your main message with a single picture. If you cannot rely on visual experiences alone, you will need to add a bold headline, a tagline, and a call to action button or contact form.
A slider header can be used for organizing your offers to separate customer groups or for displaying different products.
Most site visitors will use website navigation, and you need to make it intuitive and clutter-free. Navigation bars can be horizontal and vertical. The latter work best for media-heavy sites because vertical menus may be scrollable and have as many tabs as you desire. You can get a template with a sidebar located at the top or bottom of the homepage or on both sides. Top horizontal menu bars are all-time classics, good for most sites. They look awesome in combination with call to action buttons and contact forms. A website with a sticky navigation bar will allow visitors to switch between pages without too much scrolling.
Of course, you need to display your logo on the main page. B2B businesses prefer to place it in the same line with a horizontal menu bar so that users' attention wouldn't be distracted from products and services. You will make most of your marketing if you place a huge logo in the center of the home page. Such approach is characteristic of retailers and other B2C companies that want to emphasize brand identity.
You need to look beyond beautiful graphics and check whether the template that you chose has all the features specific to your business. Many templates in this free collection are designed for e-stores. Let's look closely at the functional elements that all our premium e-commerce themes have:
- Popular products section - for the visitors who are new to your site and unsure what to buy
- News and Updates section - to keep your customers informed about the hottest offers and sales
- Search box - it is your responsibility to ensure that customers navigate your site with ease
- Contacts section - even if you don't expect customers to visit your offline store, make sure you disclose a phone number and some additional contact option
- Payment options widget - clients should learn how to make payments in a way most convient for them
Not all these features come with our free web templates, but they have enough functionality to give you an overall feel of a good e-commerce design.
If you are building a business website, make sure the colors of the theme match your brand's identity and values. For your personal blog or portfolio, we have stunning free templates with clean and elegant designs. You can see a demo and make your choice. Remember that you should supply your unique background images for all designs because the ones used in them are merely examples. When you get a theme with a responsive layout (all our free templates are up to date and responsive), your pictures and other visuals should be of highest quality or they will look blurry on wider screens.
Remember that a blog is an essential element for any site, be it personal or corporate. One-column blogging layouts will include one column of content without any sidebars. In a two-column layout, you will see the main column (usually three-quarters of the screen wide) displaying posts in reverse chronological order and a vertical navigation bar. Blog pages that are very media-rich may need two sidebars on both sides or the visitors wouldn't be able to navigate the archives with ease.
If you are looking for a perfect theme, always examine the deeper layers ("About us", "Contacts", etc) - they may look slightly different from the main page. Our designers do their work with love, so you will be satisfied with home pages and all the internal sections of our themes. Check out for yourself!
No one needs a poorly coded template that can make you invisible to search engines and slow down your work. Your site design should also work with all popular browsers and different types of devices. It is no longer optional. Our themes are SEO-friendly, consistently updated, and fully responsive.
Now that we've touched upon the main features good templates, dive into our incredible package!
We would love to receive your feedback, please feel free to leave comments and rate our products.
Have fun and conquer the web with TemplateMonster!