Using generic Drupal Theme Templates to get your site up and running quickly

How many great ideas do you think lost steam because they were simply too expensive, or too overwhelming to get off the ground?

More than you would ever probably know. Which is why generally, the less you have to do to move forward, the better. On top of everything else, a "proof of concept" generally doesn't need the next big whiz-bang design. No doubt, you can shoot for that once you start making some progress, but it's a little known fact that you can make tremendous progress by getting started with a Drupal template and focusing instead on functionality.

The cool thing about Drupal development is that the theme is completely separate from your site's functionality. So at a later point, you can swap out the theme with something much better with just a few clicks.

But where can you get said templates?

We've had a lot of luck with Template Monster. That link will take you directly to their Drupal templates. When viewing them, use your imagination. The site you create from them doesn't necessarily have to look anything like them. You're just looking at layout, structure and maybe font and color choice (although those can easily be changed).

Once you find a template you like, you'd consult with your developer about the technical feasibility with your vision. If they both jive, you're only out $50 (usually) to get a template that looks pretty sharp. As a quick comparison, a good developer can take between 8-40 hours to convert a designer's image file to a similar theme, so you can easily save thousands right off the bat by going with a template.

Progress, progress, progress

Full disclosure: we convert designer images to themes for a living (among other things). So it's not necessarily in our best interest to push you in that direction. And truth be told, you likely won't win design awards with a template website. But often, for the sake of momentum and progress (and cash flow), it helps to get something out there as quickly as possible and iterate to make it better.

That's something everyone can appreciate, and we at Ricochet believe that if more people just got started with something (anything!), we'd all benefit from lots more innovative ideas hitting the marketplace.

Don't be afraid to use a template if it will push your project forward. Check out the free and paid templates available out there on the web. See if one fits your style. If you find one you like, snap it up - as that's one to-do you can check off your list with almost no effort at all.