download .mp4 / watch on YouTube

I recorded a little video to pose the question of whether designers should be able to use templates and themes on their own sites, or whether they must build it from the ground up. It’s a debated issue. On the one hand, why waste your time reinventing the wheel if websites aren’t your core focus. On the other hand, if you’re in the biz, you should know your own skills and showcase exactly what you can and can’t do.

As someone who has always taught himself via his own website, I’m a little torn. I’m finally at a point where I can admit that I don’t know everything about web design, and that the folks who specialise in templates and themes are really fucking good. The time required to get that last 5% of compatibility and seamlessness is far out of proportion in terms of effort in and results.

Currently on this website, I designed the theme, but it’s not perfect. There’s no IE-specific version. There’re no mobile versions. It uses HTML5 features, but isn’t exactly valid and super-compliant. If I went to a well-designed theme as template, would anyone notice? Would anyone care?