There is no doubt that most of you have seen or even used some ready solutions such as templates or even ready-made solutions or packages for your web purposes. And although you already know the major benefit of them – they are great time-savers. This is one really big advantage especially at that high-speed time we live on now. Having in mind the complexity of the sector and the fast development pace some minor fixes may need to be done before project is released-such as need of image manipulation, CSS fixes, minor bugs, etc. However similar quality control stage exists in all project types, including custom and bespoke web development which makes template and package solutions a good option for all kinds' web starters.
So far so good but unless you used a template you may wonder what exactly is it? To start, let's see what website elements are. Mainly there are two directions: front-end and back-end development. As front-end development covers graphic design (PSD files) and HTML, CSS layout coding, the back-end is for the functional development, ie PHP, MySQL, etc.
Speaking of templates, it's understood, we have the front-end completed. Or put simple, a template visually representing the graphics, or otherwise it is a coded (HTML and CSS) solution. This means there is no need to have your design created on PSD and then converted into CSS and HTML. Someone else has already done it for you and provided you with the final product at a particular price. Yes, templates are often not free but definitely are at affordable prices. Once purchased a template you've got to replace default images and content with your own. If you are not familiar with front-end development you'll probably prefer to use a professional help.
Due to the intense development of technologies and techniques and for users' remedy more and more templates are developed with regard to a specific CMS in mind. For example, you'll find templates for Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, Magento, etc. This is very handy (and reduce the time for template integration) when creating a website with some of these systems / frameworks.
Now you are familiar with the front-end development and the options you have so we may continue with the back-end and the ready-made solutions that are offered. Some would call it software, other-engine, functionality, etc. Certainly the most popular one that is being offered and widely used is the solution for e-commerce. It has many names, distributors and technologies used. Although e-commerce solutions are fast-growing business there are plenty of other functional solutions, ready to be used, tested and easy to be integrated. Just to point out some examples: there are ready back-end solutions for small and middle size businesses (or corporate websites), social networks solutions (even similar to Facebook and Digg), solutions for adverts postings / job boards / real estates, product catalogs, etc. All of these packages have an integrated system for content management such as Drupal which makes them very appealing and user-friendly because owners are able to manage their content as they wish, independently.
To have a skyrocketing web presence you not only need to have a catching design but also bug-free and flexible back-end functionality. So here we come to the final stage- to integrate those two parts of the development work. Often the template is integrated into the functionality and not otherwise. This can hardly be done by a non-tech guy. You need to be PHP, MySQL and HTML, CSS literate to put changes into the source code and "to sew them together" in order to create a smoothly operational web site. Bear in mind that this would take some time. So it's highly recommended to have it done for you. Important to know is that if you decide to use a particular CMS or framework it'd be advisable to choose a template made for that CMS. Of course, you are not obligated but if you are on a tight scheduling that might be the best thing to do.