Need Non-Cheesy Professional Website Template
August 22, 2009 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Seeking a high-end corporate website template (do those exist?) that is designed for extensive customization.

I'm a media consultant working on an extended marketing/rebranding campaign with a mid-size company, and we're in the process of (among other things) developing a new website. I am reasonably proficient in HTML and CSS, but I'd like to have a basic website to use as a jumping off point while I work on designing some of the visual elements and then customize the layout, etc with CSS.

Most of the website templates I've seen are $20-$100 cheesy templates, and I see those same templates appear over and over again on the dozens of template seller sites out there. On the other end of the spectrum is full website creation and customization (usually costing several thousand dollars or more). Surely there is something in between - a small company or individual that designs less commercialized templates? Anyone have any experience or recommendations?
posted by swilkerson to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What do you mean by "mid-size"? More than 500 but less than 2000 employees? Some other number?

"full website creation and customization" for a mid-size company would be a bargain at "several thousand dollars". This website, for example, cost ~$75,000 and more for SEO according to a neutral expert I consulted for a project.

Yet the people I was doing the research for wanted the same type of website and wanted to pay less than $10,000

This is really not intended as snark, but I just don't understand. Are you working for a company that thought it would save money by hiring a media consultant to do website design?

MeFi Jobs is potentially a good place to look for a designer depending on what your expectations are w/r/t cost.
posted by mlis at 3:34 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Caveat: I have not worn my web designer hat nor built a pure HTML/CSS site in several years, so I haven't really looked at what people are selling in terms of templates. That being said, I am not sure that what you're looking for exists, mostly because the fact is that good, top to bottom custom design is a time consuming process, and those who become accomplished at it tend to charge for it un-apologetically.

As an aside not-directly-but-somewhat-related-to your question, have you looked into content management systems (CMS) at all? There are numerous open-source ones out there and while it takes some getting used to, the benefits are countless, especially when it comes to redesigning a site; because a good CMS separates the site's content from its appearance, the process of updating a CMS site's design can be as simple as installing a new set of templates and CSS, rather than painstakingly copy/pasting content out of one HTML file or into another, or relying on Dreamweaver's template system to do it for you.

Plus you can hand off all the tedious content tweaks and updates to the client.
posted by usonian at 4:03 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: is a good place to get templates that are not as far flung and replicated.
posted by petethered at 5:06 PM on August 22, 2009

Best answer: Yes, high-end templates do exist. Check out this website.
posted by Danniman at 7:42 PM on August 22, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who responded. Like I said, I'm not looking for someone to design the site for me - I just want the template as a foundation. Will check out the two links above; I also found (for anyone who is interested) this site, which seems to have a few less often seen templates (at least the CSS templates look decent).

Usonian - will look into CMS more; thanks!
posted by swilkerson at 8:56 PM on August 22, 2009

Response by poster: (and having looked through these a little, Themesforest has some great stuff - and is ridiculously inexpensive - thanks so much again).
posted by swilkerson at 9:02 PM on August 22, 2009

A mid-size company that can afford a media consultant should not be buying web templates.

You need your client to take the web much more seriously, and budget accordingly. Mid-size companies have entire teams or departments developing their web properties, not one guy (however capable) shopping for templates!
posted by rokusan at 12:43 AM on August 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've worked on websites costing $250K and over for 'mid-size' companies.
posted by lsemel at 9:07 PM on August 23, 2009

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