When I try and create a website or a document the main thing that I am always conscious of is the appearance. I want it to look professional and slick, but I don’t want to spend ages working on it if I don’t have to. So when I am looking to design something the first thing that I turn to are templates!
Templates can save you an unbelievable amount of time but you just have to know where to find them. I’m not just talking about Microsoft’s site for Office templates because there is a whole world of Photoshop templates, HTML, CSS, and so much more out there. I definitely haven’t found them all but there are several different ones that I have bookmarked along my quest to save time.
–Office Templates (Text, Spreadsheets, etc…)–
- Microsoft Office Templates – Microsoft has an amazing selection of templates that are available for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and many other of their products. Microsoft was recently supposed to implement Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) when downloading templates but I haven’t noticed that taking effect.
- HP Online – They offer Word, Powerpoint, and Publisher templates that are professionally designed. You’ll find brochures, flyers, presentations and much more but the most useful thing that they offer are the “Business identity kits.” There are currently two of those kits put together and each gives you flyers brochures shipping labels, postcards, newsletters, presentation templates, and a few other things!
- Paper Mill Store – There aren’t many Office templates here but there are a few such as a label design. There are several other templates available but most of them are graphical and require Adobe Illustrator.
- Paper Mill Store – As I mentioned above there are a ton of templates at this site and most of them require Adobe Illustrator. That is because they are heavily graphics based but they did all of visual appeal for you so you’ll just have to change a few words. They have all kinds of things like greeting cards, calendars, wedding announcements, and a lot more.
- Zymic – There are a few different packages that Zymic offers: buttons, logos, banners, and splashes. Each one of those packages come in a single ZIP file so that you can easily flip through all of the designs to see which one you like the best, for example, the buttons package has 70 button templates inside of it.
–Website Templates (HTML, CSS, etc…)–
- Open Source Web Design – This is always the first place that I go when designing a new website. There are almost 1700 templates available which makes it pretty easy to find something that you’ll like. I normally don’t look for “what looks the best” because I really just want something that is laid out similar to what I want to design. That way I can utilize most of the CSS and just customize the graphics to what I need.
- Open Web Design – I know, a very similar name to the site above but they are a little different. Here you’ll find around 2000 high-quality templates that are sure to save you some time. Many of the templates on this site are also on the Open Source Web Design that I listed above, so I would just pick one of these two sites to look at.
- Templates Box – There are some really unique templates here and they do offer premium ones that cost money but their selection of free downloads isn’t bad either. What really makes this site unique though is that they have free Flash templates available.
- Zymic – Back to Zymic! They may not offer the largest selection of templates but the ones they do have are very high-quality. Many of the ones that they have available include HTML pages, CSS, images, Photoshop PSD files, blank images files, and even fonts. My favorite is probably Template 72 which can be seen in this live preview. Zymic also has these templates available if the site is more for a business.
- WordPress Themes – If you’re looking to give your blog a fresh new look then this site has over 980 WordPress themes gathered into a single location. It lets you know which ones work with WordPress 2 and how many columns the design has.
The thing you have to remember with templates is that they may not exactly be what you are looking for, but they will hopefully save you some time from having to start from scratch. The website templates are especially useful if there are live examples so that you can see what would be the easiest for visitors to use on your site. Just dig around a little bit and I’m sure you can find a template to give you a helping hand.
There are probably other sites that offer free templates that I may not have mentioned, so please let me know so that I can add them to the list.