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How to Use Web Templates

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Cameron Dozier
How to Use Web Templates
on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:55:18 pm

Hello,

I had built a custom site with Dreamweaver a few years ago, and at some point something became outdated and my icon animations broke, some icons went away completely. At this point I have forgotten everything I learned about Dreamweaver, and the newest version looks very different from the version I was using years ago. Site needed an update anyway.

My site had Fancybox built in to play my videos professionally, and it had fluid grids that resized for any screen. It was very simple and functional. I need a good recommendation for a place to get templates, and I need some general advice on templates as well:
-What is the difference between a wordpress template, or a CSS/HTML 5 template?
-In terms of general differences between web templates, what is the easiest, drag and drop template, that still looks sleek and professional? I don't mind spending a couple hundred bucks.
-If I can't find a template that will work with Dreamweaver CC, will I need another software to use a Wordpress template? What templates will work in Dreamweaver?

Just really need a professional to at least point me in the right direction. When I have the dough, I'll hire someone that knows what they're doing for sure, but it's looking like I gotta come up with a good solution on my own for the next couple years. Thanks in advance.


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Bret Williams
Re: How to Use Web Templates
on Sep 12, 2018 at 10:00:25 pm

[Cameron Dozier] "My site had Fancybox built in to play my videos professionally, and it had fluid grids that resized for any screen. It was very simple and functional. I need a good recommendation for a place to get templates, and I need some general advice on templates as well:

Hey Cameron, I too used to use Dreamweaver for many a year. I was never a coder nor a DW expert, but I used it to make my own website and over the years a few websites for video production clients and the occasional small business. Potential clients were asking for CMS systems and it just became too much too keep up with technology-wise as a side hobby/business. And I too have forgotten all I know about dreamweaver.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself making a new site for myself. I asked around like you are and the consensus seemed to be to make a Wordpress website. It's not just for blogs anymore!

So I'm still a Wordpress hack and have only put together a couple, but I've been maintaining mine for a couple years now. No additional software is required. It can pretty much done on the web. There's two ways you can go about a wordpress site.

1- You can go over to wordpress.com and start a free account and pick a template. There are some free ones that support a video portfolio I believe. Once you've got everything the way you like it, you can bump up to a paid account and point your domain to the wordpress servers. This is a pretty safe way to do things because wordpress.com will keep everything updated and hopefully malware-free. Yep, once you've got a CMS system, you're open to hacking! Yay.

2- You can install the wordpress system on your host and upload a template. Most likely your host already has wordpress as an option when you log into the cpanel (or your flavor of control panel at your host). Setting up a site is usually pretty simple. You'll fill in a few questions about how you want it structured or your host might have most of it done for you. The best bet is to use a host like Siteground that are wordpress experts.

In either case above, you can go into the site admin panel and choose a Theme (template) that you either upload or one from wordpress themselves. You can get templates everywhere, but you want to make sure they are legit and will be supported over time. Themes are made up of many different bits of tech for all the different functions such as sliders or other plugins. These elements get updated almost daily and when a security issue is found in some function, that function might be used in hundreds or thousands of themes around the world, so you want to make sure that things are updated promptly. Downloading some free theme from some unknown place or person can be a risk going forward.

No matter what theme you choose, there is a whole store of plugin add-ons built right into wordpress. Most have a free version that has more functionality if you want to give them $x a year, etc. The theme will control the overall look of your site regarding menus, footer, logos. Usually it will have preset page looks for portfolio, blog, contact, homepage, testimonials and so on. And although things are changing quickly, a lot of what you'll do isn't wysiwyg. It's inputting content or images that go into a pre made page structure. It's all built on a database which is separate from the template structure. So you can switch templates almost at will. But as usual, if one template does some weird stuff the other one doesn't support, you'll have some cleaning up to do. But the content should remain in tact.

[Cameron Dozier]
-What is the difference between a wordpress template, or a CSS/HTML 5 template?


I'm not sure there is really, or that that is an apples to apples comparison. Wordpress is software that runs on the server and calls for the theme page and the database data and I'm sure it utilizes php, html5, CSS and all sorts of scripting. I'm not a coder obviously.

[Cameron Dozier] -In terms of general differences between web templates, what is the easiest, drag and drop template, that still looks sleek and professional? I don't mind spending a couple hundred bucks.

Probably more like $30-50 bucks. There's so many and the backend guts in the wordpress admin system is generally going to work in similar fashion. Take a look at the results for video portfolio theme over at theme forest... https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress?_ga=2.34077352.885660132.1536787...

So maybe some others will chime in with their experiences. It's a lot to take in but unless you want to be some sort of guru coder, I don't see the point in using Dreamweaver any more. You'll be able to do more by using wordpress. In a matter of days I had a theme going with products and the ability to take credit cards and sell software. After a month or two a was feeling really comfortable with it and redid a friends old website that had previously been dreamweaver. She can now log in and add videos (you'll want to upload those to vimeo BTW. Don't try to stream from your host/server) and change the text or add posts or testimonials.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCPX Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists
Hang Tag http://bretfx.com/product/hang-tag
Overshoot Text http://bretfx.com/product/overshoot-text/
Outliner http://bretfx.com/product/outliner/
Clock Maker http://bretfx.com/product/bretfx-clock-maker/


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Cameron Dozier
Re: How to Use Web Templates
on Sep 12, 2018 at 11:05:26 pm

Thanks so much for the info! Looks like I'll be building a Wordpress site, long overdue. Thanks again.


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Bret Williams
Re: How to Use Web Templates
on Sep 13, 2018 at 8:35:16 pm
Last Edited By Bret Williams on Sep 13, 2018 at 8:37:21 pm

You mentioned a fluid layout. When looking for themes, look for ones that claim to be a responsive theme. Those will change their look with different screen sizes. Most are these days. But they might even put a small hamburger menu in the corner instead of a bar of links when the size is too small like on an iPhone. When designing in Wordpress you can preview on different sizes as well.

Check out the themes that Ron suggested in a below thread. https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/16/859414

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCPX Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists
Hang Tag http://bretfx.com/product/hang-tag
Overshoot Text http://bretfx.com/product/overshoot-text/
Outliner http://bretfx.com/product/outliner/
Clock Maker http://bretfx.com/product/bretfx-clock-maker/


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