Though using website templates to kick off your site may be frowned upon by web designers and developers, if you need a website quickly and don't have the time or the skills to craft your own HTML, don't despair. A good-looking and functional website template could be the best way forward.
But sorting through the multitude out there isn't an inviting task, so we've rounded up some stellar options, which might open your eyes to the possibilities website templates have to offer. At least when they're created by people who know what they're doing.
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These website templates are designed for Bootstrap, HTML5, Adobe Muse, WordPress, Tumblr, Jekyll, Perch, SASS, Statamic and Ghost. At a range of price points (including some for free), there should be a template here that's ideal for your next website project.
Stylepoint (opens in new tab) is the perfect template to showcase your work. With smooth transitions and beautifully spaced elements, this template has a minimal feel that let's your designs sing. Spinning shapes bullet point the sections and images slide to reveal the information you want your audience to know about. You can get the basic version for free or pay for more complex features (starting from $10 a month).
02. DashCore (WordPress)
DashCore (opens in new tab) is a lightweight and customisable WordPress theme. It's super responsive and has pre-built demos to help you get started. The price of $59 gets you decent support too, with 24/7 email support and clear, step-by-step documentation. DashCore is aimed at start-ups, developers, Saas, marketing and social. There's also a HTML version available.
03. Zeen (WordPress)
Zeen (opens in new tab) is a news and magazine WordPress theme that costs $59. For that, you get dark mode options for your visitors, voice search capabilities and a mix and match approach to building the site from various demos. There are plenty of extras here, including the ability to set your own gradients and compatibility with services such as MailChimp.
Histogram (opens in new tab) is designed to show off beautiful images, making it a wonderful option for portfolios. With an uncluttered interface, this template features large image boxes and almost no text. Hovering on the image makes it bounce, and clicking brings up the full gallery of pictures on your website. Every page is spaced well, with attractive layouts and pleasing shapes. Get a basic version free, or sign up for one of UCraft's payment options for more feature (starting from $10 a month).
05. Wunderkind (Bootstrap)
Ultra smooth and sleek with a clean, modern layout that's extremely easy to customise, Wunderkind (opens in new tab) is a multipurpose template that's a great way to make your brand shine. It features fullscreen touch-friendly sliders, video backgrounds and smooth, performant parallax, as well as plenty of gallery options. It costs $19, is based on the latest Bootstrap and is designed to be developer-friendly.
06. TheNa (WordPress)
Horizontal-scrolling sites are always a good way to make people pay attention to your site, and TheNa (opens in new tab)'s a fantastic template to try if this a style you want to play with. It comes with three portfolio template styles with lots of customisation options, plus two styles of blog template and a shortcode template with 18 modules for building other types of pages. It costs $42.
07. Tersus (Muse)
For a great way to create elegant and professional portfolios, take a look at Tersus (opens in new tab) for Adobe Muse CC (get Creative Cloud here (opens in new tab)). For just $25 you get a collection of 14 ready-made high quality responsive template designs, many of them with must-have features such as parallax scrolling, full-screen video and dynamic slideshows. There are hundreds of fonts to choose from through Typekit, as well as integration with Wow.js and Animate.css for creating smooth reveal animations.
08. Rhythm (HTML5)
Rhythm (opens in new tab) is a fully responsive template form single- and multi-page sites, and at just $17 it gives you plenty of features and choice for your money. This Bootstrap-powered HTML5 template features over 50 pre-built demo sites to work with, plus over 40 portfolio pages, with easy-to-customise backgrounds, colour schemes and content as well as parallax sections and deliciously smooth animation.
09. Composer (WordPress)
Composer (opens in new tab)'s not exactly cheap at $59, but you'll get a lot of use out of it. It spoils you for choice from the off, with over 50 ready-made demo sites for you to go to work with, covering just about every web design possibility, and it makes it easy to create your own layouts from scratch.
It features ultra-responsive layouts and WooCommerce integration, comes complete with some free premium plugins, and the developers are always keen to receive suggestions for new designs and features.
10. Flaunt (Muse)
If you're keen on cool hover effects but you're using Adobe Muse and finding it a little difficult to implement them, Flaunt (opens in new tab) may be the answer to your problems. As well as being a simple and fully responsive template, it bypasses Muse's hover effect restrictions with some custom CSS.
With over 50 slick hover effects for both images and text to choose from, you'll be able to create stand-out Muse sites without difficulty, and at just $16 Flaunt is a bargain buy, too.
11. Definity (Bootstrap)
A multipurpose single and multi-page template by Ocarine Themes, Definity (opens in new tab) is built on Bootstrap 3 and comes crammed with stuff.
It's 100 per cent responsive with cool features such as video backgrounds, hover effects and parallax scrolling, and its modular design makes it easy to move sections of your pages around until you've nailed your layout. Priced at just $29, Definity features multiple website templates and shop layouts.
12. Enfold (WordPress)
Designed to be the most user-friendly WordPress theme ever made, Enfold (opens in new tab) is a versatile and fully responsive theme suitable for business sites, online stores (with WooCommerce support) and portfolios.
Its drag and drop template builder is just the thing for creating your own layout, but it also comes with a stack of ready-made demos to inspire you. The regular licence will cost you $59, which includes future updates and six months' support.
13. Porto (HTML5)
The basic HTML5 version of Porto (opens in new tab) will cost you just $16 and features a stack of homepage styles as well as unlimited header layouts and a style switcher that enables you to customise your site on the fly.
It's also available in WordPress, Drupal and Magento flavours, with an additional admin version so you can manage your site much more effectively with a swish dashboard and all the widgets and charts you can eat.
14. Maple (WordPress)
There are six reasons you'll love Maple (opens in new tab), say its developers: its bold and unique design; the fact that it's responsive and retina-ready; the way that it features light and dark styles; its parallax header backgrounds; its multi sidebar support; and how super-easy to use it is.
With 15 layout combinations plus plenty of features and widgets, at $49 it gives you your money's worth.
15. BeTheme (HTML5)
Why settle for one theme when you can have over 450? Described as the most complete, comprehensive and flexible HTML template for business or personal websites, BeTheme (opens in new tab) is simply crammed with stuff.
Fully responsive and retina-ready, with all the parallax and smooth scrolling features you'd expect, it's an absolute monster and the biggest headache it'll cause you is trying to choose from the enormous selection of pre-built sites. For $10 you can't go wrong.
16. NOHO (Muse)
Designed with creative professionals in mind, NOHO (opens in new tab) is built to be easy to edit in Adobe Muse, enabling you to get your agency site or portfolio up and running in record time.
Its templates come in desktop, tablet and mobile flavours and in multiple layouts, and you'll find ample features such as image sliders, parallax scrolling and CSS rollover effects. The results are clean and eye-catching, and it's yours for just $22.
17. Jupiter (WordPress)
Jupiter (opens in new tab) confidently describes itself as the world's fastest and lightest WordPress theme ever, and its latest version been completely reviewed and rewritten to deliver lightning-fast pages that won't thrash your CPU or drain your battery.
It uses GPU rendering to deliver smooth parallax scrolling, it features adaptive image resolution to ensure that pictures look great regardless of devices, and it comes with a huge amount of templates in case you don't have time to build your own pages with its drag and drop interface. It's not cheap at $59, but the results are worth it.
18. Bootstrap (HTML5)
We know that Bootstrap (opens in new tab)'s really a framework rather than a template. This is true, but as the examples (opens in new tab) section showcases, even the Bootstrap defaults look pretty good if you've a design idea in mind that utilises a lot of rich imagery and backgrounds.
It's just a few tweaks from a beautiful minimal creation – and that's even faster if you peruse Bootswatch's free themes (opens in new tab).
Next: more top-class website templates