TemplateToaster was established in 2008 and has been constantly developing since then. In a generation when hundreds of website builders are available, choosing the correct one for your business can be hard.
With TemplateToaster's simple drag and drop design and multiple CMS theme builders to choose from, creating the perfect website shouldn't be a problem. But the provider has some cards up the sleeve that could make it even more interesting.
TemplateToaster aims to be 'the best offline website builder'.
What does it mean? And what could do with it? In my TemplateToaster review, I'll put this company to the test.
TemplateToaster - First Glance
The first thing to note about TemplateToaster is that it's not your run of the mill site builder.
It's an offline tool designed to help you build templates and themes for CMS programs of all sorts.
Through TemplateToaster you can design templates for any of the following platforms:
If you're an experienced programmer, you can even export the templates you build as raw HTML code!
Installing and using TemplateToaster is fairly straightforward. The TemplateToaster website interface is nicely laid out, and it's easy to figure out how to download and install TemplateToaster.
Your experience, once you start TemplateToaster, will vary depending on which version you go for. There are some differences between the Standard TemplateToaster and the Professional edition but one key differentiator is that the Professional edition allows you to start building your template from scratch.
When I downloaded and tested the Professional edition, I was immediately impressed with the flexibility it offered. There are many widget areas and module positions/regions for you to place content in.
Another thing that immediately jumped out at me was the fact that TemplateToaster is only compatible with Windows computers.
>Apple and Linux fans have left the room.
TemplateToaster comes in two flavors: a Standard and a Professional edition. You only have to pay once for each - with the cheaper variant coming in at a one-off $49, and the Professional edition priced at $149.
TemplateToaster also offers an unlimited free trial, which works exactly like the paid editions. The only difference is that it will put watermarks all over the templates you export, and it won't allow you to save projects tor future modifications.
While these prices may seem expensive compared to other website builders, you should remember that TemplateToaster is really designed for a completely different use case.
Traditional website builders will allow you to create a one-off great looking site, but TemplateToaster will let you create a reusable theme that you can install on multiple websites or monetize.
The key difference between the two editions is the 'start from scratch' functionality that's included in the Professional edition.
With the Standard version, you'll have to base everything you do off of one of TemplateToaster's sample themes. That means it's not suitable if you're a designer who wants to sell on the templates you build because you won't be able to maintain complete creative control.
There are still a good few perks to the standard plan, and it's likely to be perfectly suitable for use in a small business setting.
The product support offered with it is a nice touch, for example. You'll be able to contact someone on the TemplateToaster team if you need design assistance, no matter which CMS system you're building a template for.
TemplateToaster Plans in More Detail
|Standard ($49)||Professional ($149)|
|Number of Templates||100+||100+|
|Support||Product support and live chat||Dedicated product support and live chat|
|HTML Heading tags||No||Yes|
The table above shows several other key features that are omitted from the standard plan: it doesn't include support for widget areas/regions, additional image editing, or eCommerce. Think carefully about whether those are things you can do without. If you chose the standard plan, you won't be able to change certain elements of your template and will be restricted to exporting a final product that has a similar layout to the sample template you based your design on.
However, if you're not going to make use of those features, there is no point forking out an extra $100 for the professional package.
Is TemplateToaster Easy to Use?
When it came time to actually use the TemplateToaster, I have to sincerely say that I was very impressed. The editor layout is designed to resemble Microsoft Office, so working out how to use it was quick and felt intuitive.
Thanks to its drag and drop design, there's no need to learn any coding language to use TemplateToaster, even if you want to add complicated template elements.
I certainly appreciated that! Changing other important settings about how your site looks and feels is easy too. For example, to change the color scheme you merely have to enter the Color Scheme Gallery and click on your desired shade.
TemplateToaster Review - Final Thoughts
While I found designing a template with TemplateToaster extremely straightforward, I was disappointed by its lack of Linux or Mac compatibility. Still, it offers an impressive list of compatible CMS platforms and definitely fills an important niche in the web design space.
If you're interested, I highly advise you take advantage of its unlimited free trial to work out if its the right option for you.
It is a shame that the Professional TemplateToaster edition is so expensive when the features of the Trail and Standard versions are both heavily restricted.
If you do try TemplateToaster, please feel free to leave your own TemplateToaster reviews and experiences below.
- CMS themes
- Unlimited trial
- Zero coding
- Overpriced plans
- Not Mac compatible
- Unresponsive live chat