A Theme in a Hat – What’s bad about that?

How important is it to be unique these days? Does differentiating yourself from others have its merits? Dr Seuss knew this to be true and he said it quite right “there is no one alive who is youer than you” We think it’s important to celebrate uniqueness and with more than 2-billion people using the internet why should it be any different online.

generic web themes

Ready-made website themes or ‘pre-existing infrastructure’ as we like to call them, have an allure about them that promises a professional and aesthetically pleasing website faster and cheaper. Many in this modern world will argue that cost and speed are what makes it go round but how useful are these templates? Conceptually they can be stored on the same shelf as fonts and paper sizes. You wouldn’t develop a new font from scratch simply to type an email and you wouldn’t re-invent the A4 document for a letter so why would you want to build a website from the ground up? When thinking about this issue one cliché in particular floats to the surface, “the first impression is the last impression”. It has been said that an opinion is formed in the first 7 seconds of seeing someone or something for the first time. It has also been said that website themes are downloaded and used by hundreds of people every single day. By using a pre-existing theme for your website your chances of being unique start to go down and arguably so do the chances of those first seven seconds leading to a good impression. The solution to this problem is to adapt the template and fill it with all the things that make you, you!

This brings us to the subject of customisation. If you’re a V8 Supercars fan you will know how important this is. You know that a stock standard Holden Commodore will never beat one that has been customised with bigger wheels, bigger brakes, a better engine and improved transmission purely for the purpose of racing. This is essentially the same with websites! It’s necessary to customise a pre-existing theme in order to transform your website from something that shares the same DNA as another using that theme, into a unique and eye-catching website that draws a crowd! You can’t customise a car without a manufacturer for the parts and a good mechanic to put it all together, much in the same way you can’t complete a website using a pre-existing theme without a good design team and an excellent website developer. The word complete is key here, if you want a website to look the way you want it to and work the way you want it to, a website theme isn’t enough and it really is important to have a design team and a web developer to overcome the obstacles that present themselves. It’s our job as professionals to do just that and provide you with a beautiful website that is all your own and flaunts your you-ness!

by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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