Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thank God for free-templates.org

You have just set up a website. It's a euphoric moment. But if the site isn't a blog, you are probably looking at a blank index page - and wondering what to put on it.

If you are like me, you probably realize, after several attempts at website design, that your skills leave a little to be desired. And at that stage, you probably go looking for a template.

That's when the second problem arises. Downloading a template, in my experience, is a bit like bringing home a kitset wall unit, and then trying to assemble all the components. I have done it, but I can't say that I enjoy doing it.

If your website is a personal one, you may also find that most of the templates on offer are too commercial in appearance. Or you may find, if you are looking for a free template, that they are unacceptably crude.

It was at this juncture that I said to myself: There must be a simple, satisfactory solution to these problems somewhere on the internet. And after searching for about 10 minutes on Google, I am happy to report that there is - at http://free-templates.org/.

I copied and pasted several of the html templates at free-templates.org, and was so pleased with the results that I invited their designer, Doyle Dawkins, to make a contribution to this blog. The following is what he wrote:

"My name is Doyle Dawkins. I am the webmaster / web page template designer for Mohr Multi-Media Inc. It is a 2-person company that started out promoting the songwriting talent of the company's founder, Jim Mohr. Jim writes Folk / Americana melodies that reflect his upbringing in northern Indiana rural USA. A few of Jim's songs can be found at http://songwriter.dmusic.com/.

"Jim hired me (as a volunteer!) in 2003 when Mohr Multi-Media Inc. was founded. I designed a website for Jim and we set out on a journey that has had many twists and turns. The songs made the website fun, but Jim also was a funny, creative person. The website became more popular for the other content, and we finally dropped the original songs altogether and concentrated on free content related to gaming and web design. So Jim's original website, http://jimmohr.com/ , is a free computer gaming website. It gets about 1000 hits a day and, at this writing, it was #1 in a Google search for "Free Computer Games". We also have 5 other gaming sites.

"I then convinced Jim that we could just give stuff away and make websites self-supporting by incorporating a bit of advertising. Our greatest achievement to this point is http://free-templates.org/. It is designed for beginners, and allows the visitors to just copy and paste the code straight from the page and have an instant website. With a little practice, anyone can edit the templates and personalize the pages. The templates are completely free, and contain NO advertising or spyware. The website is supported by donations from the many satisfied users who have found other free template sites too difficult to use.

"So what started out as a songwriter website has turned into a small corporation with 15 websites and 2 employees. Unfortunately, Jim and I still both have to have regular day jobs. Jim drives a dump truck for the county highway department, and I do freelance web design and website optimization for companies and individuals in the Indiana / Ohio / Michigan area."


1 comment:

Doyle Dawkins said...

Thank you Alan! It is Doyle checking in. I couldn't have said it better myself. I am glad our free templates are being used and appreciated. We don't get much feedback as the template code is just free for the taking, so it is nice to know what is going on out there.

So best of luck to you and keep up the good work.