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I am planning to build my first (news and opinion) site ever, with Joomla. After searching for a suitable template for more than a year (yes I am picky), I still haven't been able to make a choice.
I am now considering a very fast loading but rather plain design by alledia (Bolt template), but I am afraid it doesn't look professional enough. The other choice is a template from joomlart: the design is pretty (rutile) but it might not be fast enough.
Should I put such an emphasis on speed and the size of the template, or is it a bit exaggerated.
Not sure what you mean by 'looking professional' nore even what that gets you. Actually, I do know what you mean. But on the web, pretty doesn't mean much of anything.
Fast and lean is and advantage - and I think it may even help in the SE's. And in terms of general tendancies, a clean, lean site tends to have more focus on the information than the look - and that's what your users want.
Proof of this concept, as always, can be seen at most high traffic sites like google, yahoo, many news sites, and so on.
If you have a template you like it may be well worth your while having a developer convert the file for you. That way you have full control over the end result.
I know speed is a very important issue, but nowadays especially in my country most of the people use a high speed cable or adsl connection. Anyway, I will have to think it over again.
Mack, thanks for the suggestion, I haven't thought about that at all.