Blue Utopia Blog

Our approach to website templates

Mon, Jun 13, 2016 - 02:57 PM

Today, we’re launching over 400 new template-themes that make publishing a polished, professional, mobile-friendly website as easy as you can possibly imagine. But as we do that, we thought we’d write about templates and why our approach is different -- and better, at least for our audience.


Website templates sound great but hey can be a difficult feature to do right and deliver end-value. If you've ever scrolled through and purchased a template, you've encountered the problem – a brown and tan colored template for selling coffee beans. It’ll have a bunch of beautiful pictures (that you can’t use) and neat CSS and JavaScript effects. If you’re not selling coffee beans though and don’t want all the fanciness, then you end up with a bunch of useless JavaScript and CSS files and images that you can’t use. Now you’re faced with the considerable task (and cost) of designing a site that just hours ago looked awesome.

We take a slightly different approach to our templates.

At the onset, we divide the initial decisions into two parts. Part 1 is the template choice, which, for us, is limited to container layout and default content and always minimal JavaScript files. You can think of this as the wireframe and there is no color or ‘look’ considerations at this stage. The second step is the color theme but it’s more than just color. When you select a theme, we apply a combination of textures and colors that look great together.

Because we've built hundreds of political campaign websites, we have considerable knowledge of what content needs to be displayed and how. For example, a series of standard calls-to-action, a donate visible button, upcoming events, a list of endorsements, to name a few. We use that knowledge and build it into the templates and this saves our clients a lot of time and money.

Then we enable webmasters to have full control over the template files. Yes, it’s important to enable small campaigns with no technical expertise to have great websites but it’s just important to enable a webmaster to take much more full control where necessary.

Lastly, we complete the circle by providing all the support services around setting up, hosting, and supporting your website. This is critical for campaigns that normally don’t have resources to manage technology and deal with the inevitable technical issues that pop up.

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