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While it's easier to create a website now than ever before, it's not so easy to design your website in a way that will be visually appealing, easy to use, and fast to load. For that type of attention to detail, you still need the skills of creative people who can pull those elements together into a beautiful website that meets your needs. You generally have two choices: hire expensive people yourself, or use a website template.
Website templates are example layouts that website designers can use to create functional and beautiful websites faster than if they were to try to design a whole website from scratch. They're a way to accelerate the pace of website design and development using tried and tested design techniques and patterns common to most websites. They're also a way to quickly get design inspiration from the efforts of others, usually for a low purchase price or, in some cases, even free!
Tuesday, March 28th
While Elegant Themes does offer website templates, the company is best known for its popular and versatile Divi WordPress theme builder and page builder system. The over 2,000 pre-made website templates Elegant Themes publishes are therefore built using Divi and can be imported into a WordPress website for further customization. You can also design and build a website completely from scratch directly within the Divi theme and page builder system. And, for WordPress themes from other vendors, you can use the separate Divi Builder Plugin to enable Divi Visual Builder features.
Intuitive Visual Builder
The core of Divi is its Visual Builder experience. It's not just a drag-and-drop editor but a whole inline editing and design interface that allows you to create a mobile responsive site in exactly the same way the user will see it when it's published. You can quickly add and configure sections, rows with one or multiple columns, and modules of varying types of content into a flexible grid.
There are over 40 modular page elements including simple things like buttons, images, and text as well as a pricing table, contact form, email-opt-in, bar counters, audio, countdown timer, gallery, and more. If you need a more specific module, the thriving Divi add-ons marketplace more than likely has something that will fit your needs. If not, and because Divi is extensible, you can hire someone to make whatever custom modules you need.
Elegant Themes provides an incredible number of features in their product. These include:
Global Element Styling
If you want to define global styles for color, typography, spacing, margins, and other design elements, you can do so within global editing tools. You can also select multiple elements, or use find-and-replace or copy-and-paste, to do bulk style and content editing of multiple items on each page all at once.
Divi is extremely versatile and portable. Once you finish modifying a module, page, or a whole theme, you can store a copy of it in the Divi Cloud for later use on other sites or sharing with others. Or you can download a copy of a module, row, section, page, or theme as a JSON file to import into another site, as a backup, or to send to another Divi user to import into their design.
Advanced Visual Design
Divi has advanced design features such as hover states, transforms, shape dividers, and 3D effects all without writing code. If you do need to modify something beyond Divi's native capabilities, you have total control over that with CSS and other custom code.
Mobile Responsiveness By Default
Divi's default is to automatically create responsive pages so that they change gracefully to adapt to every screen size. You can use the Visual Builder to easily make additional customizations to mobile and tablet screen sizes beyond the defaults.
Magazine-Enabled Theme Design
For newsletter-like publications or news sites, Divi has a separate product called "Extra" that allows you to publish articles in a pre-made magazine-like theme.
WooCommerce Design Support
For eCommerce sites, Divi supports WooCommerce with its own set of modules for the shopping cart, checkout, product, buttons, and other controls. They're completely customizable so you can make unique designs that go far beyond what the default WooCommerce pages provide.
Marketing Tools and Integrations
For marketing, Divi has the ability to perform split testing to see which version of a particular section, row, or module people engage with the most. You can add email opt-in lead generation with the Elegant Themes Bloom plugin and social media sharing buttons with their Monarch plugin.
Elegant Themes has two pricing models that customers can choose from:
Vendor Stability and Longevity
Elegant Themes isn't going away anytime soon. The company employs over 150 developers and designers and publishes new Divi layouts each month. And, documentation for Divi is plentiful on Elegant Themes with video tutorials and blog posts demonstrating how to do everything Divi enables. There are also dozens of helpful third-party blogs and YouTube accounts that frequently post Divi tutorials as well as Facebook groups where you can ask questions. Nick Roach, the founder and CEO of Elegant Themes, is known to answer questions on Facebook groups, especially when a new feature is about to be released or a problem users are having might result in a new feature being added.
Comprehensive and Helpful Support
If you need additional help, just use the ever-available chat icon on the Elegant Themes website to tell a support representative what you are trying to accomplish. They will even be able to use a special support feature of Divi to log into your website securely and figure out any issues. If any extra styling code is needed, they will often helpfully provide examples that you can copy and paste right into your CSS styles. Agencies, studios, and individual developers and designers who specialize in Divi are plentiful if you need to do something truly custom - or if you simply want to outsource or hire a design and development team.
Return On Investment With A Single Site Launch
The cost for everything Elegant Themes offers-including Divi, Extra, Monarch, and Bloom-is very affordable at $89 per year or $249 for a lifetime subscription and use of Divi on unlimited websites. Both pricing options include a 30-day money-back guarantee. The $249 lifetime subscription easily pays for itself with one successful website.
#1 For Website Templates
After looking through the comprehensive solution Divi offers, which goes far beyond just website templates and into actually helping non-technical users achieve highly-professional website design, we give Divi our highest recommendation.
Elementor is a highly-advanced and mature drag-and-drop website editing and templating system for WordPress websites. The Elementor Kit Library is a set of over 100 responsive website templates organized under 20 different categories from Beauty & Hair to Travel & Tourism. Every template can be directly imported and edited using the Elementor page builder tools.
Real-Time Browser-Based WYSIWYG Design
With Elementor, as you shape your design and edit your pages, you'll be able to view in real time exactly what users will see, all without having to switch between browser tabs and designer tools. What you see is what you get.
Mobile Responsive Design Tools
Elementor is mobile-responsive right out of the box, with design support for up to seven different screen sizes. A selector tool in the Elementor user interface allows you to immediately see what your page will look like on smaller screens and make your adjustments accordingly.
Lots of features
Elementor offers an impressive number features. These include:
Global Style Settings
For global settings such as color, typography, and other controls, Elementor has a settings management interface that allows you to establish the foundation of the common aesthetics for every page.
User Interface Kits Library
Elementor has a UI kit library of 100+ website templates that you can import into your site as a design starting point for modification and for the addition of your own content. You can use motion and 3D effects to beautify and add pizzazz to your custom or imported designs.
Support for WooCommerce
eCommerce websites that use Elementor will benefit from its support for WooCommerce modules and checkout flows. You can design your eCommerce website to look exactly like you want it to rather than have to stick with the default WooCommerce look and feel.
Marketing Components and Integrations
Elementor has features for better marketing your site by facilitating landing pages, forms, popups, and dynamic content. It also supports third-party marketing tool integrations such as email marketing, social media, analytics, and optimization. From A(Weber) to Z(apier), you'll benefit from dozens of marketing extras.
24/7 Support and Community Presence
If you ever need help with Elementor, you can benefit from 24/7 customer support via live chat where they will give you advice and even code if necessary. There are also numerous Facebook and Reddit groups and forums where you can ask questions of the Elementor community. Agencies, studios, developers, and designers who live and breathe Elementor are plentiful if you need to engage with them for additional support and customization.
Builder Plus Hosting Option
Elementor is very affordable. You can choose to pay for the builder and host on Elementor's own hosting, or just to pay for the builder without hosting.
Excellent For More Experienced Users
While Elementor and Elegant Themes are nearly indistinguishable in terms of functionality, versatility, sheer power, and advanced features they offer to all types of website owners and professionals, we did find Elementor to be slightly more complicated. Some users new to designing their own sites from scratch or with Elementor's templates will struggle a bit more with the less intuitive user interface and having to add custom code to achieve the same results as Divi users can. Additionally, the pricing plans for Elementor were a bit more complicated and limited than with Elegant Themes. So, while we might not give Elementor our highest rating, it's still an excellent product and worth your time to check out.
Template Monster offers an enormous online catalog of over 250,000 individual assets covering website templates, presentation templates, video and audio assets, and 3D models. You can browse website templates and other assets by multiple categories, by topics, by what's on sale, by which templates have web forms of various kinds, styles, tags, features, colors, ratings, prices, latest updates, and the number of downloads.
Template and theme pricing
Template Monster offers a number of pricing models to fit your needs.
Payment is made through secure and trusted payment methods, and you can unsubscribe from any plan at any time. The support options include tickets, live chat, and advanced support for more complex solutions requiring more time to resolve.
Marketplace for Theme Creators
If you're into creating digital assets like templates, graphics, video, and audio, you can register to sell your products via the MonsterONE catalog.
Customer Reviews Are Very Positive
Customers overwhelmingly like Template Monster and say their favorite things are their great customer service and selection of advanced themes and templates. Customers who dislike TemplateMonster had trouble getting refunds for non-delivered assets. They also don't like that some templates are faulty or depend on premium WordPress plugins to operate correctly.
Solid Choice If You Know How Templates Work
If you know what to expect from a website template site and how refunds work on most template sites, you shouldn't have anything to worry about when downloading website templates from Template Monster.
Envato is a popular and ubiquitous marketplace for everything you need to design, build, and launch your next website project. Their catalog boasts over 4,100 mobile responsive website templates, over 2,600 of which are also Retina-ready for high-resolution Mac and iOS displays.
Filtered Search Reveals Useful Combinations
With Envato's filtered search, it's simple to refine your selection process and find combinations of website template features. You can combine a keyword query with four categories (Admin Templates, Email Templates, Site Templates, and Landing Page Templates) and four properties (Responsive, Retina Ready, PSD Files Included, and SKETCH Files Included). From there you can sort by popularity or how recently the website template was added to Envato. However, we did feel like it would also be nice to be able to filter by tags, price, file types (HTML/CSS), and other key attributes.
CMS and Other Asset Support
The CMS software Envato website templates support includes WordPress, Drupal, PrestaShop, Joomla, Shopify, Magento, Unbounce, Muse, Ghost, OpenCart, and Tumblr.
For other asset types, Envato has email templates, PSD files, Sketch files, videos, music, graphics, photos, fonts, and PowerPoints you can search for and download. They also have numerous web design, illustration, code, photography, video, and business tutorials, tips, and resources.
Low Membership-Based Pricing
Membership on Envato starts at $16.50 per month for the Individual Plan or $10.75 per month per member for the Teams Plan. Enterprise pricing is revealed only after contacting Envato to request it. If you're on the fence about buying a full membership, you're welcome to a 7-day free trial where you can download as many assets as you want and cancel at any time.
With an Envato account, each month you'll also receive 12 hand-selected files, fonts, presentations, videos, and other assets.
Licensing of the assets you download is subject to a simple commercial license for all items. That gives you broad commercial rights for all work or personal projects. Each time you download an item, you have rights for a single specified use. Note that you cannot resell, redistribute, or use items in on-demand services.
Great Customer Reviews
Envato customers are mostly happy with their experience with the website overall. They like customer support and how the service saves them time and money. Everything is in a central location and they don't feel the need to go to other providers to find something they're looking for. Others who didn't like Envato complained about customer service, problems with the search algorithm, account issues, lack of support from sellers, and a confusing purchase process for some assets.
Website Templates Made Easy Here
We rate Envato highly due to its popularity, massive selection, quality, and simplified pricing. Their site makes it a breeze to get access to as many website templates and other assets as you'll need for your projects.
Bootstrap Made is a catalog of website templates just for the Bootstrap website design framework. The Bootstrap framework is a disciplined approach to building and styling websites that takes into account responsive design and tooling for adding dynamic content and messages to websites. Code in Bootstrap website templates is highly organized and customizable even for people who do not create websites professionally.
Template categories include Bootstrap versions 4 and 5, business, one page, portfolio, personal, real estate, transportation, construction, blog & magazine, and more. In all, there are 90 individual templates.
Low Licensing Costs
Licensing costs for Bootstrap Made are quite reasonable.
Basic Email-Based Support
Support comes through a ticket system that sends emails for communication about your case. For everyone else, there's a simple contact form.
Confusing Licensing Restrictions
It's not clear to us how the number of websites and domains is restricted once you have downloaded and modified the templates, nor is it apparent how they would stop free template downloaders from creating websites for clients. Perhaps it's an honors-based system.
Useful But Limited
Bootstrap Made is fine if you're looking for only Bootstrap templates for Bootstrap projects. However, this site is too sparse on templates and some necessary details to fully understand what you're getting with your membership purchase. We don't have enough clarity to fully endorse Bootstrap Made, but it may be useful for your needs.
One Page Love is a website template vendor that specializes in a very specific type of template: single-page websites. In other words, they make templates for websites that only have a home page with the content of all the different sections displayed on that single, long-scrolling page. These types of websites are typically set up as landing pages for restaurants or for single-product offers/services that need relatively little content to describe them. They're also an unconventional, uncomplicated, and artful way to convey messaging.
Supports Popular Website Builders and Tools
One Page Love includes templates for popular builders like Squarespace, Webflow, and Wix as well as lesser-known builders like Carrd, Framer, and Bio Sites. You can browse by builder or by platforms such as Bootstrap, Elementor, Figma, HTML, HubSpot, Shopify, Sketch, Tailwind CSS, and WordPress. You can also browse by 15 individual categories from app to restaurant to no-code templates.
Affordable Pricing for Website Templates
Website templates on One Page Love range from free to about $99. The free templates are mostly for Wix, Squarespace, Carrd, and other builders. One Page Love seems to be a reseller for lots of other vendors of website templates. When you click to buy a non-free template, don't be surprised if you are redirected to a completely different site in another tab.
Website Design Inspiration Guide
An interesting part of the One Page Love website is the "Inspo" section where you can browse for inspiration and references. Each reviewed template includes a set of tags that you can click to narrow down to specific template topics such as websites for music or events.
More Than Just Website Templates
Additional assets on One Page Love include over 230 vector graphics that are typically used as decorative elements on websites. You can choose from categories like "arrows" , "doodles" , "lines" , "circles" , "dividers" , and more.
A resources section includes learning and services resources associated with landing page articles, fundamentals, trends, and tutorials as well as Squarespace resources. There are services that convert Figma/PSD files to Webflow or to Carrd. If you want more landing page tips, you can download an eBook or a "page spice" kit with even more vector elements.
Limited Scope and Utility
One Page Love is fine and affordable for its specialty, which is single-page websites. But if you need website templates for multiple page websites, you won't find much to help you. It would also serve users better if the search engine on the site worked better with simple keyword searches and had more ways to filter and narrow down search results. These are the reasons why we can only give One Page Love an average rating at this time.
Canva is a relatively well-known online design tool for anything you can imagine designing. From logos to memes to social media posts to websites, you can start designing from templates or from scratch with thousands of images, fonts, and design elements that you can add and arrange however you like.
Lots of Ready-Made Templates
For website templates, there is a selection of over 600 pre-designed templates that you can start with and change to meet your needs. They are categorized by themes like portfolio, business, resume, wedding, education, artist, restaurant, and more. Within the search results, you can filter down by style, theme, price, and color.
Point-and-Click, Drag-and-Drop Interface
The first time you choose a template to edit, you get a quick tour of how to use Canva's user interface. You can add elements (shapes), upload your own images, add text, insert pre-made styling, and add videos, backgrounds, and charts.
Low-Quality Website Export and Publishing
However, the website templates category doesn't actually produce HTML with CSS and folders of pages and images that you or a developer can download as a .zip file to turn into a website directly. What you're actually getting is either an image file (only PNG or JPG) that represents the design or the ability to publish your web page to a free domain or a purchased domain. Most websites are not successfully designed and launched this way. Plus there is no apparent way to handle critical search engine optimization (SEO) tasks that need to be done before a site goes live. So it's unclear what value Canva is providing with their website templates.
Canva offers 3 pricing methods for their customers.
For websites you publish through Canva, there is a minimal Insights tool to see your views (real-time, by country, or by device), traffic, and engagement. You can view this data for 7, 30, or 90 days, or for all time. But, again, successful websites typically use more sophisticated analytics software tools. Canva isn't helping people much with their offerings.
Customer Sentiment Is Low
Reviewers of Canva gave it quite poor ratings despite being as established and well-known as it is among designers and marketers. Most complaints were about customer service and people feeling ripped off with unreceived orders or subscriptions being canceled for no discernible reason. Others had issues with deleted or unintentionally-altered content and design elements. The relatively few users who gave it positive feedback liked the quickness with which they could design something sophisticated.
Great For Many Things, But Not For Website Templates
Canva is not a good choice for users looking to either download templates or publish websites. Minus the issues described in negative reviews, perhaps it does fine in other areas. But if you want quality website templates, Canva is not on the short list.
Creative Market is a website template vendor that features WordPress themes, and support for Bootstrap, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, Shopify, OpenCart, Tumblr, Ghost, and static HTML/CSS. It also has a diverse selection of app designs, landing pages, static site UI kits, and wireframe kits made in Figma. And, the site includes graphics, photos, fonts, and add-ons to support whatever type of site you may be building.
Multiple CMS Types and Categories
Depending on the flavor of website template you're after, you can choose WordPress, Bootstrap, and other CMS templates for blogs, business, commerce, photography, portfolio and landing pages, magazines, and nonprofits. There's even a WordPress plugins directory for over 60 helpful premium plugins.
If you're looking for design inspiration, Creative Market has a helpful "Get Inspired" section to show you different design approaches for various types of businesses, design trends, and content categories.
Website Template Search Filtering
You can search Creative Market by any keyword or phrase to pull up related assets, and then further filter by multiple categories, price range, file type, software type, and properties of each asset.
Creative Software Tool Add-ons
The Add-ons section of Creative Market contains add-ons, palettes, and brushes for Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, Procreate, Affinity, and other software.
Credit-Based Pricing System
Membership is done via a credit system. You can pay utilizing one of the following plans:
With your membership, you also get monthly free assets of varying types valued at up to $1,000.
Customer Feedback Is Inconsistent
Reviews for Creative Market were very mixed, with the bulk of sentiment in negative territory. Lots of people complained about customer service, outdated free assets, poor-quality art, dissatisfaction with the membership structure based on download credits, and the company not honoring credits when making purchases. Asset authors on the service dislike revised commission rates that reduced their income significantly from what was promised at signup.
The lesser number of people who like Creative Market have the opposite opinion about the quality of the creative assets and the customer service and say they like what they are downloading and what they pay for their templates and assets.
Choose A Different Website Template Platform
Given the bulk of negative reviews about Creative Market, if you're looking for up-to-date website templates and other assets, it's probably best to look elsewhere. Creative Market just isn't so creative anymore.
Templates leaves much to be desired in its overall user experience of browsing and purchasing website templates. The website seems to not be under the proper care of a website team that understands the need to eat one's own dog food (or drink one's own champagne) by making the site more user-friendly. That made us immediately suspect that all would not be well with the templates they sell. We recommend you not consider Templates as a serious option when looking for website templates.
Clumsy User Interface and Checkout System
Templates has a rather clunky browsing and purchase process that relies on multiple tabs opening in the browser to be able to view the live demos. This is confusing when you're browsing multiple template options and puts an extra burden on you to keep track of all the different options available across multiple tabs. It also slows down your computer the more tabs you have open as you shop for different templates.
Hidden Pricing Information
Pricing is only discoverable when you view an individual template product. After adding an item to the cart and then emptying the cart, there's no easy way to get back to the home page other than closing the tab and going back to the original home page tab. The usual method of clicking on the Templates site logo to return was thwarted by the fact that it isn't linked.
Broken Demo Pages and Screenshots
Some live demo pages wouldn't load properly or at all, and some thumbnail screenshot images were blank when browsing the grid of template products in the catalog.
Poor Mobile Responsive Layouts
Additionally, mobile responsive templates should not be their own category for a modern website template store. If they were producing and selling quality templates, then all the templates would be responsive to any screen size they're displayed on. Any non-responsive templates simply shouldn't be part of the overall catalog.
Some of the templates we tested were not responsive in very significant ways, such as menu bars not reconfiguring properly for mobile devices and pushing content further down the page with a big blank area just below the menu.
Stay Away From This Service
As a Star Wars stormtrooper would say while under the spell of a Jedi mind trick, Templates is not the website template vendor you're looking for. Move along.
Dream Template is more of an archaeological site than a website template site. While digging through its rubble, we found a whole catalog of ancient Flash templates that will no longer work in any modern browser. In fact, most operating systems will not allow Flash to run anymore, so even if you downloaded Dream Template's .swf files to try to play them for nostalgia's sake, the files won't load. Not without a special emulator or some creepy piece of spyware you'd have to download from a Russian black market website.
Ancient Technology No Longer Favored By The Browser Gods
Leaving aside the Flash templates, as we reviewed the individual HTML/CSS static website templates, we were similarly unimpressed. The website template designs on Dream Template seem like a scrapbook of GeoCities ripoffs from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Unless you want to build a retro-looking site while painstakingly upgrading the template code to something that will actually display on more modern browsers, there's really nothing worth considering on Dream Template.
Dream Template costs a one-time fee of $59.95 for unlimited downloads
Annoyingly Nagging Sales Discount Popup
Another annoying feature of Dream Template's website is a popup that appears on every page. No matter how many times you try to dismiss it, it keeps appearing. It offers a discount with a counter displaying the currently-available discount percentage amount, which continues incrementing. It's an apparent desperate attempt to trick the user into clicking the popup in a game of "The Price Is Right" to see how high it will go, and then enter an email that will either go nowhere or will be known by someone likely very untrustworthy. It's a silly gimmick that further cheapens the already cheap-looking offerings they have.
Avoid This Service At All Costs
Dream Template is a nightmare. Avoid this garage sale of a website. There's nothing you need here and you won't be able to resell it for any appreciable value.
At first glance, the Dreamweaver website template site has a normal look and feel that one would expect for what it's selling. However, the problems with Dreamweaver only get worse the more you look at it and the deeper you drill into the catalog.
Selling Templates Under False Pretenses
The name "Dreamweaver" is actually a trademark of Adobe. So, initially, we believed that Dreamweaver's templates were directly related to the once-popular Adobe Dreamweaver software that website designers used to use to construct pages for their clients. As we looked further at the offerings, it became confusing that this site has the name "Dreamweaver" while possibly, but not definitely, offering something specific for users of Adobe Dreamweaver software.
In spite of the "Adobe Authorized Affiliate" logo, that brand alignment became increasingly misleading to us as reviewers of the website as we looked for other signs that templates were made in or for Adobe Dreamweaver specifically. It must be very confusing, also, to those who might be thinking they're getting official Adobe Dreamweaver templates when they're not.
Non-Standard Coding, Broken Demos, and Embedded Malware
As we perused the catalog of templates to review them for responsiveness, code that is up to standards, and general aesthetics, we were frequently and unpleasantly surprised to have our anti-malware software warn us of malware. It seems that malware is embedded in several of the live demo pages of the website templates they offer.
The cost varies depending on the template
404 Not Found Errors In Abundance
Other live demo pages simply don't exist for preview. When we clicked on them, an icon indicating a broken page appeared and informed us that the IP address no longer exists for the website we were being sent to within a frame of the Dreamweaver website.
Worst Option For Website Templates
Definitely avoid purchasing anything from Dreamweaver. You've got numerous reasons to run as fast as you can away from this site and to choose a reliable provider of website templates.
However, it's very important to know what you're getting yourself into when you download a website template with the intent to create your own website with it. Here are some things to consider when researching and buying a website template.
To help you get the best templates for your website, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the top website template vendors on the market today. We're confident that this information will make it easy to set up your own website!
Select any 2 Website Template Providers to compare them head to head
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