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  1. #1
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    Am I missing something here?

    Hi,
    I lurk alot around here, often looking for some good hosting deals. One thing that has bugged me for some time is website templates.

    Is it me or do 1 in 5 web hosts seem to have the same template?

    A few eamples:

    http://www.lnc-hosting.com/
    http://www.wwm.net/
    http://www.riotspace.net/
    http://billing.hotlinkhosting.com/or...pe3_package=11
    http://www.onthespothosting.net/
    Generally, it's a picture of a server at the top then a few pictures of smiling people, or some kind of flash animation as the header.

    Personally, I try to avoid purchasing hosting from anyone with this design, it looks far too standard and could be easily copied to a scam site. I'm not in any way saying these sites are scam sites, they were all posted on this forum and seem legit.
    I was just wondering what the default layout / design thing was about? Does anyone else avoid buying from such hosts? I'm not entirely sure why I avoid them, I just seem to..
    Last edited by _rse; 05-23-2005 at 07:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    haha, after re-reading this thread I see the banner for http://www.selftemplates.biz where all of these templates seem to be for sale

  3. #3
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    A lot can be said for NOT using a template .....
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  4. #4
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    I know varhosting.net has posted in another forum that they deliberately use a Content Management System (CMS) and have customized a template for their use.

    I honestly don't care if a company uses a template provided it works for them. If the company's site is navigable, easy to use, intuitive, and not obnoxious looking then I really don't care about original design.

    I know there are some that disagree.
    Rich
    WebsiteMaven - Web Hosting Reviews, Guides, and Advice to Build and Promote your Web Site

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I would have to play the devils advocate devildog. I think templates show a lack on initiative to create a branding web site. Anyone can buy a template... change the logo and add some content ...total of 1 hour work to get your site up.

    If you only put in 1-2 hours in getting your "face to the public" created... it makes one wonder, was the support system designed in the same time maner? along with another series of questions.

  6. #6
    Redcoat: interesting comment, if you think our site in any way has a reflection on our support youre in fact wrong. Its interesting, should I shell out a thousand dollars or so to have something that will most likely look just as good? Or should I buy a template for $50 then make it work the way that I want it to work?

    Perhaps thats the problem with some of these hosting companies that simply one day go out of business. I would rather make the"smart" business decision and keep costs low. And in regards to your comment to our support, go ahead and try us, I am an ex administrator for a large dedicated provider so if you assume that we have no technical knowledge your very mistaken. And again, I think it goes back to the old saying "dont judge a book by its cover ".
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  7. #7
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    I don't think the decision is always one between paying for an original design for a few grand and only spending "...an hour of work..." modifying a template. A bit of a strawman argument there but the point is taken that if a site doesn't spend any time at all on the quality of its site then it might be a reflection on its overall professionalism. It might be is the key term here.

    Of course a serious company, as Jonathan mentioned, might decide it is a better use of resources to spend a number of hours customizing a template to make it fit their business model. They might also settle on a Content Management System (CMS) to save the man-hours involved in constantly adding content to a site.

    I have seen some good discussion in the Web Design and Content forum where a pro designer made a good argument that customizing a template is still custom work and has hidden costs to it. A good designer will demonstrate his value to a company and not merely stand from afar, acting like the "high art nazi" and say "You are scum because you use a template!" He needs to show that if you use his services that it will save money or make money in the end vice using a template.

    Frankly, a company that just gets a whiz bang looking site and pays for it blindly without thoughtfulness is no less unprofessional at running a business than the company who slaps a template together. They just let somebody else slap together something for them that looks nicer but if no thought went into it, it can just be a nice looking face on a crummy company.
    Rich
    WebsiteMaven - Web Hosting Reviews, Guides, and Advice to Build and Promote your Web Site

  8. #8
    DEVIL: I agree
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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by DevilDog
    I know varhosting.net has posted in another forum that they deliberately use a Content Management System (CMS) and have customized a template for their use.

    I honestly don't care if a company uses a template provided it works for them. If the company's site is navigable, easy to use, intuitive, and not obnoxious looking then I really don't care about original design.

    I know there are some that disagree.
    If a company cares this much about their website, when the whole industry they are in revolves around websites, i'd question how much commitment they have to their service.
    Andrew Thomas

  10. #10
    The thing I care about most is providing a stable service as well as quickly resolving my clients issues, NOT what our website looks like. We offer products, I think the site displays them well and gives adequate information. I myself am NOT a web designer, and again, I dont feel like dishing out $1,000 to pay for something that is going to look just as good. Perhaps down the road this would be something to look into but judging by our current client base and retention, this is obviously NOT an issue.
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  11. #11
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    Think about.
    Online business is the same as offline business.
    You go into the town center. You see a nicely presented building. What products do they sell inside? Normally good products.

    Then you see a run down shop with a banner hanging above the door, what are you going to find inside?
    Andrew Thomas

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by thomas7
    If a company cares this much about their website, when the whole industry they are in revolves around websites, i'd question how much commitment they have to their service.
    The web hosting industry also revolves around server technology, operating systems, HVAC, power, UPS, customer support, advertising, balance sheets, and other things that go into making a company successful. I don't disagree that a company's "image" is unimportant but a nice site does not a nice company make. A bad site is a poor reflection but a custom template does not, a priori, mean that the website is crummy.
    Rich
    WebsiteMaven - Web Hosting Reviews, Guides, and Advice to Build and Promote your Web Site

  13. #13
    haha very interesting analogy but id beg to differ that our site looks like a run down shop, if thats the case perhaps you should have a look at your own shop.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by DevilDog
    The web hosting industry also revolves around server technology, operating systems, HVAC, power, UPS, customer support, advertising, balance sheets, and other things that go into making a company successful. I don't disagree that a company's "image" is unimportant but a nice site does not a nice company make. A bad site is a poor reflection but a custom template does not, a priori, mean that the website is crummy.
    I agree, but the whole point of webhosts is websites.

    Maybe I should have made clearer, custom templates I have no problem with- you've effectivly employed someone else to make it for you- no problem.

    What I don't think is a good idea is simply either stealing or buying a template that 100's of other people have just so you can be up and running in 10 minutes.
    Andrew Thomas

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by onthespot
    haha very interesting analogy but id beg to differ that our site looks like a run down shop, if thats the case perhaps you should have a look at your own shop.
    That's not what i meant.
    I was pointing out that if you don't take care in your website (your shop), what does it say about your company.

    Maybe a different analogy then.
    Coca-Cola had a mineral water brand in the UK about 2 years ago.
    They took tap water and added bits. They were found out and they stopped selling.
    They couldn't be bothered to find a decent supply, so they basically stole someone elses. They wanted to get in on the mineral water 'pie' and that's exactly what stealing a template is.

    Read here if you like:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3809539.stm
    Andrew Thomas

  16. #16
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    Which would you prefer?
    Paying $40 for a site that looks the exact same as everyone elses or a site that is unique? Obviously the over night hosts, or hosts in it just for the money are usually the ones whom will buy templates.

    Name 1 reputable provider that uses templates.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by jmweb
    Which would you prefer?
    Paying $40 for a site that looks the exact same as everyone elses or a site that is unique? Obviously the over night hosts, or hosts in it just for the money are usually the ones whom will buy templates.

    Name 1 reputable provider that uses templates.
    Here here.
    Andrew Thomas

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by jmweb
    Which would you prefer?
    Paying $40 for a site that looks the exact same as everyone elses or a site that is unique? Obviously the over night hosts, or hosts in it just for the money are usually the ones whom will buy templates.

    Name 1 reputable provider that uses templates.

    We use a template. We've been in business over 2 years.

    Are you suggesting we are not reputable?

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by blue27
    We use a template. We've been in business over 2 years.

    Are you suggesting we are not reputable?

    Is there anyone else using your template?

    I think we've all got slightly confused about this template business

    I use a template, it's on every page of my website- it's a template, but i made it myself.

    I best make my position clear. I'm refering to templates which have been taken, or can be bought for $10 (which is not unique) or even free ones.
    Andrew Thomas

  20. #20
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    Lets see, June 6th marks the day we enter our 5th year of business in the hosting industry. We paid a designer almost 2 years ago to come up with something for our site and what you see now is several revisions out of the template he made for us. Since then I have hired someone here from WHT that makes all of our revisions and has actually taken our site and modified it even more for our site template. I don't see how that could possibly make us not reputable since I pay the original designers to make something we can work with easily. I can promise you over 90% of the "hosts" here don't go to that length to have something branded for their company.

    To be honest I see no similarities of our site with any of the other sites you listed.
    Last edited by kris1351; 05-23-2005 at 11:15 AM.

  21. #21
    Personally, this is a prime example of how the adverstising agencies have co-opted peoples thinking.

    It's a classic example of buying the book based soley on it's cover...doesn't matter if the book is full of blank pages or the next classic.

    Shame.

    As been pointed out here, many hosting companies operate on a think margin where providing support and reliable hosting takes precident over making a custom website.

    There is nothing different about using a template and customizing it to your needs then their is from buying DirectAdmin or CPanel to do the backend stuff..."Gee, they must be unprofessional because they didn't write their billing and hosting control panel from scratch...and omg..they didn't write the OS either or physically design and build the components of their servers...what noobs..." ROTFLMAO.

    As long as the template is easy to navigate, so what? I've seen some hosts here who's front page was a forum and they did quite well for themselves. (not mentioning names.. ).

  22. #22
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    I assume others are using our template because we did not buy exclusive rights.
    These days with so many rip offs and warez sites it's impossible to guarantee a unique site anymore.

    The average consumer does not see the volume of sites that we in the industry do. Even if someone else were using it the chances of a potential client coming across it twice would be slim.

    I have seen some made from scratch sites that look far worse than some templates on the market.

  23. #23
    Originally posted by jmweb
    Which would you prefer?
    Paying $40 for a site that looks the exact same as everyone elses or a site that is unique? Obviously the over night hosts, or hosts in it just for the money are usually the ones whom will buy templates.

    Name 1 reputable provider that uses templates.
    EVERY webhost is in it for the money..that's what being in business is all about.

    As for the OP's original comments, I think he's more referring to the common stock photos a lot of sites have....not sure why that matters to him....would he rather see a webhost who's photos and graphics were of fruit and veggies or maybe childrens toys and monkeys?

    LOL.

  24. #24
    If you think that a site is fraud then I would perhaps suggest calling them up? Our support line is toll free and is included on our site for any individual who assumes so.
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  25. #25
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    We did buy ours as an exclusive make from a designer himself and not some template agency. Some parts of it are still original two years later, but most has been modified to keep it looking clean, sharp and up to date. The new one does take it a little further away from the original site and that is what we try to do. About every 6-9 months we update our site to make it not stale like lots you see here. I find it funny with some of the horrible sites out there people would question ours.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by kris1351
    Lets see, June 6th marks the day we enter our 5th year of business in the hosting industry. We paid a designer almost 2 years ago to come up with something for our site and what you see now is several revisions out of the template he made for us. Since then I have hired someone here from WHT that makes all of our revisions and has actually taken our site and modified it even more for our site template. I don't see how that could possibly make us not reputable since I pay the original designers to make something we can work with easily. I can promise you over 90% of the "hosts" here don't go to that length to have something branded for their company.

    To be honest I see no similarities of our site with any of the other sites you listed.
    We (well me at least), have no problems with paying someone to make your site.
    It's unique to you, and you've taken the time and effort to put something together.

    Your quote "I can promise you over 90% of the "hosts" here don't go to that length to have something branded for their company." is what we are talking about.
    Andrew Thomas

  27. #27
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    this debates not worth my time
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  28. #28
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    Originally posted by ArtieFishill

    There is nothing different about using a template and customizing it to your needs then their is from buying DirectAdmin or CPanel to do the backend stuff..."Gee, they must be unprofessional because they didn't write their billing and hosting control panel from scratch...and omg..they didn't write the OS either or physically design and build the components of their servers...what noobs..." ROTFLMAO.
    But don't you think a company that has done all of that is in better standing?
    They will certainly have a better reputation.

    1&1 use thier own control panels, their own design, own network, own staff. Everything is better when it's in house as far as reputation is concerned.
    Even though you can flame 1&1, they are still one of the most succesful (if not the most) web hosts in the world.
    Andrew Thomas

  29. #29
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    I have seen some made from scratch sites that look far worse than some templates on the market.
    Agreed.

    Anyway, there are good hosts around who have started by using a cheap template, yet the hosting service has been good from the start.

    Careful wording and functionality, will always weigh far more than the actual price you pay for web design, or sheer originality.

  30. #30
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    Originally posted by ldcdc
    Agreed.

    Anyway, there are good hosts around who have started by using a cheap template, yet the hosting service has been good from the start.

    Careful wording and functionality, will always weigh far more than the actual price you pay for web design, or sheer originality.
    I'd agree, but you must have actually put time into your design and website.
    Andrew Thomas

  31. #31
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    Originally posted by thomas7
    But don't you think a company that has done all of that is in better standing?
    They will certainly have a better reputation.

    1&1 use thier own control panels, their own design, own network, own staff. Everything is better when it's in house as far as reputation is concerned.
    Even though you can flame 1&1, they are still one of the most succesful (if not the most) web hosts in the world.
    The 1&1 control panel is the absolute worst I have ever seen, and they might be huge but I'd say around here they have a pretty horrible reputation. When your target market is people who don't know about hosting and aren't going to research their host you don't need a good reputation I guess...
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  32. #32
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    Originally posted by keliix06
    The 1&1 control panel is the absolute worst I have ever seen, and they might be huge but I'd say around here they have a pretty horrible reputation. When your target market is people who don't know about hosting and aren't going to research their host you don't need a good reputation I guess...
    Indeed. For all the reasons i've stated, they've set themselves apart, and they must surely (in the UK anyway) have the biggest brand name with hosting.
    Andrew Thomas

  33. #33
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    Re: Am I missing something here?

    Originally posted by _rse
    Hi,
    I lurk alot around here, often looking for some good hosting deals. One thing that has bugged me for some time is website templates.

    Is it me or do 1 in 5 web hosts seem to have the same template?

    A few eamples:

    http://www.lnc-hosting.com/
    http://www.wwm.net/
    http://www.riotspace.net/
    http://billing.hotlinkhosting.com/or...pe3_package=11
    http://www.onthespothosting.net/
    Generally, it's a picture of a server at the top then a few pictures of smiling people, or some kind of flash animation as the header.

    Personally, I try to avoid purchasing hosting from anyone with this design, it looks far too standard and could be easily copied to a scam site. I'm not in any way saying these sites are scam sites, they were all posted on this forum and seem legit.
    I was just wondering what the default layout / design thing was about? Does anyone else avoid buying from such hosts? I'm not entirely sure why I avoid them, I just seem to..
    I'm probably going to hate myself in the morning for digging up a thread almost 2 months old, however, I felt the need to correct the OP on the fact that Riotspace.net is not, nor was ever a template.


    As a matter of fact, if anyone else is using the same layout, I'd be quite PO'ed considering what was paid to have it done. The website was acutally built, and purchased from ePlanet Design, represented by a memeber of this very forum. Who by the way provides excellent work, and I plan to use again in the future.

    And if anyone happens to see it for sale somewhere, I'd appreciate a PM or email so it can be taken care of accordingly.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Rman2003; 07-18-2005 at 12:08 AM.

  34. #34
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    Nah, don't hate yourself for digging it up. I would be pretty irritated to see our site ripped somewhere else also or the new one we have paid to be designed.

  35. #35
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    We were often criticized for having a template as our website. Though we've finally gotten away from tempates, people have copied our site no matter if we were using a template we bought the sole rights to, or a website we had done for us.

    This communicty (WHT) is particularly good at spotting copied sites, and if you search for IdologicDH you'll find a number of battles he had to fight to keep our site looking unique.

    *shrugs*

    Cheers
    Jeff
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  36. #36
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    Originally posted by jmweb
    . . . Name 1 reputable provider that uses templates.
    HTTPme uses a VB forum.
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  37. #37
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    Originally posted by idologicJeff
    We were often criticized for having a template as our website. Though we've finally gotten away from tempates, people have copied our site no matter if we were using a template we bought the sole rights to, or a website we had done for us.

    This communicty (WHT) is particularly good at spotting copied sites, and if you search for IdologicDH you'll find a number of battles he had to fight to keep our site looking unique.

    *shrugs*

    Cheers
    Jeff
    I was doing hunting for copies of our site the other day, and discovered one of our clients had taken a copy of our site's text... the really funny part is they'd left all the order links pointing to us

    I have no problem with those kind of copies LOL
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  38. #38
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    Re: Am I missing something here?

    Originally posted by _rse
    Hi,
    I lurk alot around here, often looking for some good hosting deals. One thing that has bugged me for some time is website templates.

    Is it me or do 1 in 5 web hosts seem to have the same template?

    A few eamples:

    http://www.lnc-hosting.com/
    http://www.wwm.net/
    http://www.riotspace.net/
    http://billing.hotlinkhosting.com/or...pe3_package=11
    http://www.onthespothosting.net/

    I agree with all except, riotspace. I personally hand built that one. My intentions were definately not to look like a template, this bothers me deeply.

    J
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  39. #39
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    Well, still ours doesn't look like a template nor is it.

  40. #40
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    Originally posted by WebOnce
    I was doing hunting for copies of our site the other day, and discovered one of our clients had taken a copy of our site's text... the really funny part is they'd left all the order links pointing to us

    I have no problem with those kind of copies LOL
    *laughs*

    We had this happen also. Leave in those links all site copiers

    We also a hosting company link to our demologic demos, and that was pretty funny when we redirected the links to humourous images.

    Cheers
    Jeff
    www.idologic.com
    www.demologic.com
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