TL; DR: Almost 20 years ago, David Braun found himself in the same predicament many of his customers currently face: running a small web design team that was being overwhelmed by requests for custom websites. Looking to save time, his team began creating ready-made templates that could be adapted for others’ needs. Now, TemplateMonster boasts a marketplace of more than 24,000 designs for a variety of content management systems, eCommerce platforms, frameworks, and languages. David has increased TemplateMonster’s offerings to include tools that help both beginners and experienced developers get their site online with ease.
Australian stuntman and filmmaker Philippe Deseck had given up several times when trying to create websites for his company. Whether he hired a developer or tried to build something himself, Philippe never liked the end result.
He chose a design from TemplateMonster, one of the largest collections of ready-made website themes. Most templates come with a visual site builder, which Phillippe used to get a basic site online in just a few hours.
In addition to helping novice website creators build an online presence, templates can help experienced developers accelerate project timelines and take on more customers.
Despite having a degree in computer science, Canadian web designer Paul Lizzi chooses to work with ready-made designs from TemplateMonster. Coding websites from scratch took too long, so Paul improved his business by offering templates to potential clients.
“I show them my work and literally can afford to beat the competition by half, making me super competitive,” he said in a customer success story. “The mindset of design is changing. No one wants long and expensive designs. They just want it to work and save a few bucks while still giving a great impression as if they spent a ridiculous amount.”
TemplateMonster: From Overworked Web Studio to Theme Marketplace
TemplateMonster’s backstory mirrors that of several of their customers: David Braun started a small web design studio in the Ukraine with fewer than 10 employees in 1998.
“We were doing quite all right, but very soon the demand started to outgrow the supply,” he said. “The team was too small and the number of clients was constantly growing.”
David and the company found relief by creating and using ready-made templates that dramatically reduced development time. “It was a fresh take on the problem and a real breakthrough in our business,” he said.
The web studio grew rapidly and became TemplateMonster in 2002 — the developer who led the charge on templates liked sketching monsters. They started by producing Photoshop documents and eventually shifted to HTML designs. TemplateMonster adapted to the trend for creating websites with Flash and later joined the fray with themes for content management systems.
“We passed through several eras of template development,” David said. “With each of those steps, the staff was increasing. The atmosphere is ideal for creating high-quality products.”
Serving Up More Than 24,000 Templates for a Variety of Website Needs
TemplateMonster’s design marketplace supplies themes for seemingly every industry and web platform. Most themes come with a site builder to tweak designs without touching code, and all templates come with 24/7 lifetime support.
Customers can browse themes by category:
- Art and culture
- Animals and pets
- Design and photography
- Education and books
- Business and services
- Cars and motorcycles
- Sports, outdoors, and travel
- Fashion and beauty
- Computers and internet
- Food and restaurant
- Home and family
- Entertainment, games, and nightlife
- Holidays, gifts, and flowers
- Society and people
- Medical and healthcare
- Real estate
If you already have an idea about how you want your website to function, templates are also sorted by functionality and back-end framework.
Bloggers, for example, can have their pick of content management systems. TemplateMonster boasts more than 3,000 designs for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, while also promoting MotoCMS as an alternative option.
Online store owners have a similar breadth of options, with TemplateMonster providing hundreds of eCommerce themes for Magento, osCommerce, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, and Shopify.
Other options include themes for HTML5 and Bootstrap, along with specific website elements such as photo galleries and newsletters.
Despite the massive number of templates, David credits his team with staying abreast of web design trends and producing vibrant, unique designs.
“It is really important not to tumble into producing run-of-the-mill, similar items without any zest,” he said. “Our templates have distinctive features, which helps us not get lost in the market.”
Strong Designs Contribute to an Efficient Workflow for All Customers
According to David, most TemplateMonster customers have very basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. That is why the company includes documentation, installation wizards, and visual site builders with as many templates as possible.
“The themes we produce are absolutely user-friendly,” he said. “They are designed with a view to those users who don’t have any coding skills or technical knowledge.”
Beginner-Friendly Tools and Support for First-Time Site Owners
Even if you don’t know an ounce of code, David said users should be able to completely redesign their chosen theme on their own. “The end user, even if he or she is a beginner, will have no problems maintaining the template,” he said.
Most TemplateMonster designs come with an intuitive interface for moving photos, blocks of text, and other website elements, in addition to changing colors and uploading images. The company also provides stock images and 24/7 support via chat and phone with each theme.
For users who are having trouble or are intimidated by the process, the TM Service Center will install a template and relevant plugins for a fee.
Source Code, Commissions, and Recommendations for Experienced Developers
For more experienced site owners, TemplateMonster designs can remove a lot of the headaches with coding and let you get projects online in a fraction of the usual time.
“Building a client’s website from scratch, developers spend a lot of time on the design and basic functionality,” David said. “Instead, they can use a ready-made template and adjust it to the client’s needs. This saves a lot of time and allows for completing more projects.”
Professional developers can further benefit from an affiliate program that returns up to 50% commissions from each referral sale. By passing a certification course, studios and freelancers can be listed in TemplateMonster’s Web Studio Catalogue, which potential customers can search.
Multipurpose Designs and a Youthful Team Keep Templates Fresh
TemplateMonster launched a series of multipurpose GPL templates across content management systems and eCommerce platforms in 2016.
“This is really the beginning of a new era of WordPress themes,” David said of Monstroid2, TemplateMonster’s first multipurpose GPL theme for WordPress. All of the multipurpose themes are packed with extra page layouts, color schemes, and design elements to remove any limitations for site owners.
“People love the multipurpose designs,” David said. “It allows you to adjust the theme to any project without additional effort. You have everything you need at hand.”
The focus on usable and flexible multipurpose themes will continue in 2017, according to David, who said the company relies on young employees to stay abreast of design trends in the industry.
“These are people who constantly come up with bright new ideas,” he said. “We have many creative people joining our team constantly, from different backgrounds and professional experiences. By joining together, they can generate such great ideas you can’t help but admire.”