When it comes to search engine ranking “cute won't cut it". While search engines can generate a mind staggering volume of traffic what they feed off specifically is content. Search engines utilize software known as crawlers or spiders. Unfortunately spiders are blind to web design they do not index images or flash animation. Essentially a spider will visit your website peruse your content and report back to the search engine.
Based on the creepy little crawler findings your site achieves a ranking. The higher the ranking, the more visible your site becomes and a greater number potential customers using search engines will be more likely to find you. Needless to say our goal is to achieve the best possible ranking. So given that beauty is only skin deep and content is king, “Why would you spend thousands of dollars to hire a professional web designer?" What's worse; drive yourself crazy looking for original concepts, matching appropriate color schemes etc, etc, etc…
Nevertheless people are influenced by the esthetic characteristics of your design, and quality web design lends credibility to your brand. While design might not be the most important reason visitors end up finding your site, it is one of the key ways to keep them coming back again and again.
Before you do anything rash, check out the alternative. Website templates are ready-made web designs created to be used as a basis for fast and high-quality website. Each template is unique and completely customizable right out of the box. What is more, most quality template shops will provide you with a free sample template so you can evaluate the quality of the product and try your skills before you buy.
These quality website templates are also perfect for self-taught designer such as myself always hungry for knowledge and looking for inspiration. I can't count the number of times I have stared desperately at my laptop in search of a new idea or two. Now whenever I'm stuck, one of the things I like to do is browse to one of these template shops. In seconds I'm perusing through hundreds of different flash animated templates. Once I come across a design that I find particularly intriguing I'll purchase the template download the complete set of source files and study it. Ultimately I'll be able to pickup a new masking technique, duplicate a fancy movie clip, advance my knowledge of ActionScript or simply find simpler solutions to old remedies.
In sum you have a couple of options available depending on what skill you posses. If you feel comfortable around html and you have time to do it yourself remember you'll always be able to get online help in a hurry. Check out the template help center knowledgebase or speak to a website template specialists about your problem. Also many good quality template shops will customize your website template for you and even integrate many useful script add-ons such as contact forms and the like, all for a small fraction of the cost of going through a conventional developer.
Dave Collado is a senior design consultant at http://www.Foamers.net and freelance web designer since 1999. Foamers.net offers quality website templates template customization, flash templates, phpnuke themes, phpbb themes, osCommerce templates, SWiSH templates, web design tutorials, and many other website design and web hosting services.