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Ethics and Templates

These days too many “designers” out there are taking templates, often free ones, ripping them off and charging you a lot of money for work they didn’t even do. This is often illegal (depending on the license of the design) and regardless of legality it is clearly immoral. Our clients deserve much better than that. More so, the generous people that make free templates and ask only for credit deserve a lot better. However, I would like to point out that templates themselves are not evil or bad. In fact, design templates can be very handy. We love to keep costs down for clients so if the project budget necessitates a templated design or a template can simply do what you want for less cost, we have no problem recommending that to you.

Of course in most cases you don’t want your site to look exactly like another site. No problem. That is where Creative Logic comes to your aid. We’ll work to customize a template so that you can maximize your value while still getting a unique look for your site.

But if you need or want a 100% unique design, then rest assured that we will not ever take a template, and hack it up and spit it back out as a unique design that brings with it unique design costs. Never.

So how can you defend yourself against this? Well it isn’t easy. For one, dig hard to make sure you are working with a reputable web designer. Second, one thing you can do is look in a source file for the website. In Firefox this done with “Ctrl+U”. Alternatively, just look for “View Source” option somewhere in your browser’s menus. If you don’t know HTML the resulting information might be a bit overwhelming for you, but I will try to show you a few things to look for.

  • WordPress -> www.example.com/wp-content/themes/THEME NAME HERE/….
  • Joomla -> www.example.com/templates/THEME NAME/…

So then if you see you have a CMS system, and you’ve located the Theme Name, then simply search in you favourite search engine for the theme name combined with the platform name (example search: “yoo-evolution joomla”).

If the site is a plain HTML/CSS site, in other words not built in a Content Management System (CMS), it will be harder to find out if it is a template. However, the fastest way for an unscrupulous web designer to build you a templated site is with a CMS so you have a decent chance to find them out. It would be simple for them to change the theme name, but as they are lazy and looking for the fastest way to make money, there is hope they didn’t even bother to hide their tracks.