When you’re looking for a new home, you can’t help but to judge each house by its facade. The facade of a house is often the most important aspect from a design perspective, as it sets the tone for the rest of the property.
If the facade is pristine and there’s a green manicured lawn in front, you’ll think highly of the residence and you’ll want to see more of it. Conversely, if you come to stand in front of a decrepit house, you’ll keep moving without any consideration.
The same thing applies to websites.
Your website, or your client’s website, is the first thing that customers see.
And you want them to get the right first impression.
In this article, we’ll focus on the five best web design templates and themes that most web developers use. They’re easy to implement, and provide great results for a variety of clients.
We’ll cover their pros and cons, as well as use cases, so you can choose the best web design templates or themes for yourself or your clients.
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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more details.
Why a Great Web Design Template Is Hard to Come by
If we’re all so aware of the importance of web design, why do we still come across websites with random themes?
Surely, the only piece of online real estate you and your clients truly own needs more attention.
Unfortunately, many clients either choose themes that don’t offer the functionality they need, or they’re hesitant to pay for a web developer to build a theme that fits their needs perfectly.
This results in websites that feel poorly made and are hacked together with plugins to make up for the lack of features.
This is especially common with WordPress websites.
Ultimately, when your client’s customers visit the website, their user experience will suffer.
As soon as they land on a website that feels unfinished, uncared for, or hard to navigate, they will be less likely to trust the company behind it.
If nothing else, that translates to a lot of lost revenue.
But with a great web design template, you and your clients will be able to improve customers’ user experience and attract more paying customers.
So if the clients don’t want to pay for hundreds of hours of code that you’d need to create a design template from scratch, what can you do?
The easiest and quickest thing to do is to use one of the best web design templates and themes described in this blog post.
Creating Beautiful Web Design Templates with Themes, Page Builders and Plugins
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to bury yourself under mountains of code to create a beautiful website.
Depending on your clients’ needs, you can use:
- A child (tweaked) theme
- Page builders
Of course, there are some cases where your clients’ needs are so unique that you can’t help but to build a theme from scratch.
However, in the majority of cases, you will save a lot of time and money by implementing the solutions that already exist.
In this post, we’re going to show you five of the best web design templates and themes that you can customize, and make sure your clients are getting the most bang for their buck.
How to Choose a Web Design Template
The best thing about using one of the best web design templates is the fact that you can focus on strategy:
- What are you (or your clients) really hoping to accomplish with your theme?
- What features do you need?
- What results are you expecting?
Keep in mind that clients are actually looking to get a solution. They don’t care if they get a website made from scratch, or a modified template that serves its purpose.
All they care about are results.
So when you’re considering potential solutions, keep your clients’ needs in mind.
One of the quickest ways of getting them results is by using one of the best web design templates and themes recommended in this article.
Best Web Design Templates and Theme Options
1. Elegant Themes (Divi)
Elegant Themes for WordPress is one of the most widely used themes. It’s versatile; both institutions and bloggers can use it to create beautiful and functional websites.
Its main perk is that it comes with an integrated drag & drop page builder: Divi.
The main benefit of Elegant Themes and the visual page builder, Divi, is that you can do everything on the front end. You don’t have to switch tabs between back-end code and front-end presentation.
Instead, what you see is what you (and your clients) will get. You can easily preview changes for the clients. Forget about InVision wireframes. Everything you need is right there in Divi.
Clients are expecting the drag & drop approach moving forward. After seeing platforms like Squarespace and Wix, and being able to adjust things with a simple drag and drop of particular modules, clients want web design to be simple.
Divi itself comes with over 800 pre-made templates, so if you and your clients see something that you like, you can simply implement it. New layouts are added every week, as well as royalty-free elements. It’s all included in the license fee.
If you work with a lot of similar clients, you’ll be happy to know that as soon as you pay for one license, you can create an unlimited number of themes.
Elegant Themes and Divi are one of the best examples of page builders, but they do come with a few cons.
- Faster build time. Since Elegant Themes and Divi come with a variety of pre-made templates and features, you can simply plug and play. The ultimate result will be a beautiful website. You don’t even have to spend hours coding it into existence.
- Easy to edit. If you or your clients need to make changes, you can do it in a few clicks. The majority of the work is front-end, although you will be able to use custom CSS.
- Layout and element library. Divi is one of the best page builders for a reason. It comes pre-packed with elements such as opt-in and CTA buttons, as well as templates and royalty-free images.
- Responsive design. You can customize different elements of the theme for different device versions.
- Website speed. Since Divi is full of elements (and chances are your clients are going to want a lot of them), it can cause code bloating and slow down the speed of your websites.
- Limitations. Divi has its own way of doing things, so you have to follow the framework closely. Unfortunately, it comes with some pretty hard limitations, so keep that in mind.
- Messy code. Since Divi is an ambitious page builder, it can leave some messy code behind if you ever choose to stop using it.
Use Cases for Elegant Themes (Divi):
- Simple websites. If you need to create an eCommerce website with hundreds of pages, avoid using Divi.
- One & done. Divi is a great fit for clients who don’t plan on making any significant changes to their websites. Otherwise, they could break something easily.
- UX. When your clients’ customers expect to see beautiful websites, go with Divi. Especially if you don’t plan on adding a lot of custom code or plugins.
- You can pay $89 for yearly access to Elegant Themes and Divi Builder.
- You can also pay a $249 one-time license fee that comes with lifetime updates and lifetime support.
2. Thrive Themes
If your clients want you to focus on results, Thrive Themes are a great choice for their websites. Promoted as conversion-focused WordPress themes and plugins, Thrive Themes offer a variety of features for next-gen business owners.
Thrive Themes offer a variety of other features and products that increase conversion rates:
- Thrive Leads – An email list building tool complete with opt-in forms and A/B testing features
- Thrive Architect – Visual, drag & drop page builder
- Thrive Landing Pages – Landing page builder
- Thrive Clever Widgets – Advanced widgets that allow your clients to target specific customers and adapt widgets accordingly
- The Headline Optimizer – Headline A/B testing
- Thrive Ultimatum – Scarcity marketing plugins such as countdown timers
- Thrive Ovation – Testimonials on autopilot
- Thrive Quiz Builder – Build quizzes that improve conversions, collect data, and build your clients’ email lists
- Thrive Comments – Gamified feedback collecting
- Thrive Optimize – An A/B testing tool
All in all, Thrive Themes offer more than web design templates.
The company provides well-rounded marketing and conversion rate optimization features, all embedded into the themes you create for your clients.
Similarly to other page builders such as Divi, Thrive Themes’ Architect comes with a variety of pre-loaded modules. The majority of them are specifically focused on improving conversions.
With a variety of plugins created specifically to get your clients the results they want to see from their website, Thrive Themes is a great fit for creating highly-marketable and successful websites that earn money.
- Marketing toolbox. There’s no way around it: Thrive Themes are actually a marketing toolbox, with all the plugins needed to improve your own or your clients’ conversion rates.
- Visual builder. Similarly to Divi, Thrive Themes come equipped with the Thrive Architect, a visual, drag & drop style theme builder. This means less code and more beauty.
- Templates. If you want to get a website up and running in a few minutes, Thrive comes equipped with pre-made themes, templates for landing pages, and modules you can use.
- Pricing. Thrive Themes cost a pretty penny, especially if you opt for full membership and/or additional plugins. They don’t offer a lifetime fee, which means you’ll have to work with $19/month for up to 25 of your own sites. If you’re a web designer, you’ll have to shell out $49/month for up to 50 of your or your clients’ sites.
- Lack of customization. Just like any page builder, Thrive Themes have some pretty hard limits on what you can customize without coding.
- Product confusion. It can be a bit confusing to separate products and choose the ones you and your clients need.
Use Cases for Thrive Themes:
If you work with clients who want to improve their conversion rates with the websites you make, or clients who sell through their websites, Thrive Themes are a great choice.
Thrive membership starts from $19/month for up to 25 sites.
Elementor is the world’s leading WordPress page builder.
Just like other WP page builders, Elementor offers plenty of pre-made modules you can drag and drop to your clients’ sites to customize them as you see fit.
Again, this saves a lot of time you’d have otherwise spent coding. Instead, you can focus on creating the solutions your clients want to see.
Elementor comes in two versions: free and pro.
In the free version, you’ll be able to use the drag & drop builder. However, there are a few caveats: you don’t get the WooCommerce Builder (indispensable for eCommerce sites), Theme Builder, or the Popup Builder.
Now, other page builders we’ve discussed come equipped with pre-made themes. Elementor doesn’t. It’s only a page builder.
If you want a theme that works with Elementor, you should get one on ThemeForest.
The site has hundreds of Elementor-ready themes. A popular theme used with Elementor is Astra, which is one of the fastest growing themes of all time!
Just like other page builders, Elementor is a great fit for clients that want to be able to easily customize their sites. And on the web design front, you’ll save a lot of time by creating beautiful websites on the front end.
The folks at Elementor even promise you won’t have to struggle with bloated code. Everything is compressed for improved speed and user experience.
However, the speed really depends on the features you’ll add to the website.
- Ease of use and development speed. Elementor is truly simple to use. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience with web development, you’ll have no trouble adjusting to the way things work with Elementor. The learning curve isn’t steep; you’ll be on your way to delivering beautiful sites in no time.
- Library. Elementor is an open-source project, and thousands of developers have contributed to it with their code. This means you’ll get plenty of support for integrating additional features.
- Over 80 elements. The majority of page builders have a very limited number of elements you can use. Elementor offers over 80, and new ones are constantly being added. Forget about plugins.
- Adaptability. On paper, Elementor works with the majority of WordPress themes. Still, we recommend using a ThemeForest Elementor theme or Astra.
- Customization. While Elementor definitely offers the simplest way of adding custom code to your themes, it’s still a page builder. Writing your own code for elements can be clunky but once you get the hang of it, it’ll run smoothly.
- Element editing. It’s not possible to edit elements directly. If you want to make changes to the elements (other than basic style changes), you’ll need to roll your sleeves up and get to coding.
- No lifetime fee.
Use Cases for Elementor Web Design:
Elementor is pretty flexible, so you can use it for any kind of website.
However, it’s mainly used for smaller sites that don’t require you to create hundreds of pages. You can also use it for affiliate sites or eCommerce websites.
Pricing:Elementor Pro starts at $49/year for one site, and $199/year for up to 1,000 sites.
4. Beaver Builder
Unlike other page builders, which tend to speak directly to business owners who want to make and customize their own sites, Beaver Builder has a strong background in the developer community.
Overall, Beaver Builder is a great fit for simple websites that can stay within Beaver Builder’s basic features. For example, it doesn’t offer portfolio modules like other page builders. This means that you’ll have to dive into CSS for every additional feature Beaver Builder isn’t offering.
However, if you often create simple websites with an emphasis on functionality, you may find you’re not missing the fancy stuff all that much.
It all depends on your clients.
- Simplicity. Beaver Builder is simple and functional. Forget about the sleek gimmicks of Elementor or Divi. Beaver Builder is ready to help you get down to business.
- Reduced development time. When you work with a variety of modules to create the perfect pages for your clients, you’ll be spending a lot less time on individual websites.
- Plugin & theme. Beaver Builder plugin works with the majority of themes. However, you can get the special BB theme that works like a charm and allows you to create a variety of different sites for your clients.
- Override core templates. If you opt for the agency package, you can override core Beaver Builder templates to create your own, and reuse them as you normally would.
- Back-end customization. Despite being advertised as a visual page builder, Beaver Builder will have you poking around custom CSS if you want to do simple things like resizing images.
- Limited templates and modules. If you’re using the basic Beaver Builder, you’re not going to have a lot of modules and templates to pick from.
Beaver Builder is a great option for creating blogging and affiliate marketing websites, especially if you spring for additional plugins that give you more features than BB’s core offer.
Beaver Builder starts at $99/year.
If you want to sell like crazy, ClickFunnels is a great option.
The majority of website builders offer a lot of features with no precise focus.
ClickFunnels, on the other hand, offers sharp focus on the one thing that matters: selling your products.
With ClickFunnels, you’ll be able to create sales funnel pages.
ClickFunnels is not a website builder, per se, but it gives you everything you and your clients need to sell through your website. It’s perfect for commerce websites. And when you consider some of its other features, you’ll have a sales toolbox before you’ve clicked “Subscribe.”
ClickFunnels’ features include:
- Visual website editor
- Sales funnel builder
- Smart shopping carts
- Marketing automation
And much more.
- The complete sales stack. If you provide a web design service with a focus on sales, then ClickFunnels is a great option for devising solutions. You can provide your clients with a full-stack sales service with just one tool.
- Diverse features. ClickFunnels has all the features you and your clients need to track sales, perform split tests, measure engagement, and run affiliate programs.
- Templates. The templates were made with conversion optimization in mind, many of them also tested to ensure that they’re conversion ready. You can simply pick a template you like, and plug & play.
- You may not need some elements. Again, ClickFunnels is focused on getting your (and your clients’) revenue up. This means it comes pre-packed with marketing automation tools.
- It’s (too) simple. Since all the templates are conversion-proofed, you may find them too simple for your clients’ sites. CF strips web design to bare basics and offers only the most important elements.
- Pricing. Since pricing for ClickFunnels starts at $97/month, it may be too much, depending on what you and your clients need.
ClickFunnels Use Cases:
There’s no way around it: ClickFunnels is the perfect website builder for web designers and clients who want to make money with their websites.
In addition to providing a drag & drop visual builder, ClickFunnels also provides sales tools.
The website is integrated with your sales process, which makes it really easy to advance your customers through the funnel and win more sales.
However, if that’s not what you’re building the website for, you may want to check out other page builders.
You can also use ClickFunnels as a landing page builder. It’s great for building landing pages for webinars and other products. You can generate a lot of high-converting leads since the first page they land on will be created to drive them towards making a purchase.
In general, ClickFunnels are used successfully by marketers, affiliate marketers, and numerous businesses that have short sales cycles.
- ClickFunnels plans start at $97/month for up to 20 funnels.
- If you want an unlimited number of funnels and pages, you will have to opt for the Etison Suite which starts at $297 per month.
Now It's Your Turn!
You now understand the importance of having a great design for your website and the five best web design templates and themes for you and your clients.
And now I’d like to turn it over to you:
Which web design template or theme option will you choose?
If you're already using one of these themes, page builders or plugins, what has your experience been like so far?
Or maybe you have a question.
Either way, leave a comment below right now.
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