Two of a nonprofit website's main functions are to lure volunteers into getting involved and to stimulate others to provide donations for the cause. These two goals can be achieved more successfully through the selection of the right design template. Pick templates that encourage donations and volunteer work. These templates will usually feature highly visible, contrasting buttons on the homepage and the content pages. The buttons come with a call to action and make it easier for everyone who is willing to get involved.
A purchased template must be edited in order to fill in your own content, images, logo, contact information, etc. Custom flash or HTML coding should also be done in order to make the template truly match the theme of your website. Many of the web templates you found on different sites might look similar to a certain point, and are often overwhelmingly corporate feel. Also remember you are not the only custom who purchase the web template unless you buy an exclusive license of the template (costs thousands!). And even if you do, prior to your purchase other customers might have already purchased that web template and have used it. This might not be a great problem for a personal home page. But many corporate or serious Internet business websites would need template customization beyond just replacing text and images.
It is possible to fall into a number of design traps if you are not completely comfortable with web design. Those who have at one time used Microsoft FrontPage are aware that it is possible to build certain constructions that look the same but have different construction. This may look good when viewed only with Microsoft Internet Explorer. The same page view with Firefox or another browser may find that it is all out of shape and balance. The design skill that goes into the building of a good template will save a person from this danger. The template will have proper structure and consistency in its design. It will probably have commented areas which show where to type in the text. This consistency makes a good website and saves us from the pain of getting negative comments on our work.
This is the main difference between traditional templates and the ones designed for nonprofit websites. A template that is created for a corporate or a content-based website will usually be inappropriate for a nonprofit project. Contemporary websites encourage interactivity and this feature is even more important for a nonprofit website.
When you change your template by choosing Pick New Template, Blogger's system is intelligent enough to preserve the gadgets you currently have set up. For instance, if you have added some gadgets using the Add a Gadget link on the Layout -> Page Elements page, those gadgets will be preserved in your new template design. I'll discuss later a method for changing your template design that requires more caution.
Joomlafreetemplates.com offers more free templates for both versions of the software. Again, samples are available for you to look at. At the present time, they have 224 free templates for the 1.0.X version and 103 free templates for the 1.5.X version. It may take you awhile to search through the templates to find the one that you want.
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