Throughout your business journey, you’ve likely come across lingo like “website theme” and ”website template”. The two phrases are often thought of as the same thing and are similar in that they both provide a pre-designed structure for building a website. However, there’s an ocean of differences between website templates and website themes that you’ll want to consider before sailing down a certain route for your business. Both can be useful for building a professional, visually appealing site, but the choice between a theme or template will depend on your specific needs, skillset, timeline, budget, and preferences (especially if you plan to DIY-it).
A website theme is a pre-determined set of styles and layouts that can be applied to a website to give it a specific look and feel. Themes are comprehensive in that they ensure your website will have a cohesive vibe to it all. They are really great for layout options for the various sections of each website page (e.g., home page, blog page, product page). Let’s say you’re a photographer, and you want to blow your clients away with your beautiful images and testimonials. Using a theme might offer you 3-4 different layout options to add a gallery or a reviews section to your site.
For example, imagine you are baking cookies (what’s your fave? Definitely chocolate chip over here!). A theme is like being handed all of the ingredients but without instructions to bake the cookies. You’ll have everything you need to make them super tasty, but you’ll need to figure out the order to add each ingredient and how long it will take to bake ‘em in the oven. A theme is the same way – you’ll have a great toolbelt with styles, layouts, and features, but it’s up to you to put each piece on the page and ensure your website has a great flow for your customer.
On the other hand, a website template is essentially a whole website that’s already designed with a complete flow for each page. Templates provide a framework for a website, including its layout, navigation, and content areas. They also often come with a color palette and fonts set up for you to use already if you like them (you can add your own colors or brand fonts too). Templates can be used with a variety of website builder platforms, such as Showit or Squarespace, and can be easily customized to fit the needs of a particular business.
Using our cookie metaphor, a website template is similar to the mixes you’d buy at a store where you just need to add some water and pop it in the oven. You’ll either add your website copy and images on your own or work with a web designer to customize the template for your exact needs. But besides that, your website is essentially already built and done for you!
The best thing about templates is that they can be completely transformed to YOUR style and needs! You are not confined to the pre-determined style of a theme. Also, website templates are often a more budget-friendly way to have a fabulous website without breaking your business bank.
Our Showit Website Templates:
For us, one of our core values is accessibility – we believe that any business should have access to beautiful and professional design no matter the stage they’re in. We created our Showit website templates and semi-custom brand products to serve those that are on a smaller budget or shorter timeline but want to stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking for a way to level up your website, check out our demo sites on our shop!