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Getting Started With Templates (VIDEO)

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This content only applies to those using GATOR Builder by HostGator.

Templates are like clothing for your web page. Well, kind of... Templates are basically a wardrobe for your website but with more options! The look, the feel, and placement of everything about your website will depend on the template you chose.

If you think about how cars are designed, it could be said they are all based on a similar "template." When you look at most cars, you might see 2 wheels in front and 2 in back. Most cars in the U.S. will have a left-hand driver's seat and engines at the front. The consoles, panels, seat belts,  accessories and even the spare tires are generally located in the same spots across all makes and models. Car makers have a few things that make their models different but overall and in-comparison, vehicle designers are "using similar templates"

Likewise, almost every single website online follows a similar structure. You'll find that all good websites have template "wire-frames" (or structures) that follow a "best practices" logic.

For example, most professionally built sites will have:

  • a header, a body and a footer for separating the content into "sections."
  • a Left-hand or Center orientation with a similar navigation bar.
  • a large "Hero" or banner image as the first thing you may see.
  • a "call to action" near the top, opposite the logo, with a phone or social media
  • a mid-center (body) with 3-4 sub-sections used for "About us, Services and Contact Us" etc
Our templates come pre-packaged with all these thoughtful points in mind. In this article, we will learn how to access the hundreds of professionally designed templates available in the builder as well as some basic theme features like accessing mobile.

Watch A Video Walkthrough Below:

Accessing Templates:

After you signup and login to your account for the first time, you’ll gain access to our Gator website builder where you’ll be automatically prompted to choose a template as your first step in building your site.

Templates are completely customizable "themes" that empower you to have the look and feel you want without having to custom-code everything from scratch. The only skills you need are drag-and-drop, copy & paste. The templates are glorious, functional foundations for how your website looks that you can personalize as much as you want to when building your website. There are literally hundreds to choose from so be sure to preview a couple to identify the flow and feel.

Pro Tip: The biggest mistake people make when trying to get started is spending too much time searching for "the perfect theme." Sometimes you may find that the flow and feel of a "Lawyer" theme works best for your tax office. Or maybe there's a "Real Estate" theme that displays houses and features images that you can change in a way that works for your carpentry business. Other times, a "Photography" theme is exactly what you need for your portraits and framing business. These examples should be the rule when it comes to picking a theme. Find one with a "flow and feel" you like and don't worry about if it has the exact details and placement of content you need.

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All Gator themes are easy to change to a different look or style whenever you want,  using basic computer skills. Whether it’s changing something small like a color scheme or something major like adding new pages, replacing sections elements etc, your Gator website builder makes quick work out of editing pages.

Pro Tip: If you do not like the template selection you've made unfortunately you will have to delete this instance and start over. Keep in mind tho, you can customize nearly every element of the templates available, so there's nothing about one theme that can not be achieved in another theme.

Mobile Themes:

Our templates are all mobile-optimized, too! Which means you can rest assured knowing you can adjust your mobile website so that it will look great on all browsers.

1. To do so, look for the little Mobile icon in the top center of the main design dashboard.

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2. The first time you access the mobile editor you will see:

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3. Select Ok, Let's Go to see the mobile editor.

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