Before we start on the template and area of web design that is often over looked is web site usability. If you are not familiar with web usability a great book to start with is Don't Make me Think by Steve Krug. This book has really helped me understand how people browse the web and how to design sites that are the easy to navigate and make the information easily accessible. This book was a big infuuence when creating Joomla Hosting Reviews
I start by thinking about how I want the navigation or menu system.
- Top only
- Top and on the left
- Top and on the right
Once I decide how I want the navigation then I start looking for templates that have navigation systems and layouts that I like.
Look and Feel
I also decide if I want the site to have lots of different modules or to be simpler. After reading "Don't make me think" I have started to opt for the simpler sites.
Another big factor is I have already paid my money to Joomlart and rockettheme for yearly subscriptions. So any template I use from them I have already paid for.
Template Club Support Forums
There are so many template clubs out there and honestly many of the templates are very similar. I would stick with one of the bigger clubs. If there templates have bugs they will likely get worked out by other people. Also the bigger clubs will have the best support forums. RocketTheme has the best, joomlart can be pretty poor at times. The other big club I would look at is joomlashack. I am not a member so I do not have any first hand experience with them.
Other Templates from the Template Club
Even though Joomlart's support is not that great, I think that they have some of the cleaner more professional designs.
When you get the template you are also getting the template club. How many other templates to they have? Do you like the look and feel? How active are the forums?