Flexible web management technologies like the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) have truly improved web design and web development for website owners.
This is great for individuals or businesses planning to start or build an online presence that they can easily manage.
Prior to blogging and the introduction of user-friendly content management systems, if you wanted a professional business site, you had to wait until both the website development and website design processes were fully completed. This process could take many weeks, sometimes even months!
The introduction of WordPress themes have changed all this. In this blog post, we explain what themes are, how themes can help your business save money, and how themes let you easily customize your website.
A New Development In Website Design
Businesses, especially small businesses, are benefiting from a revolution in website design that has been going for many years now. If you own a business, you may want to learn more about this, because it could save your business a lot of time and money on web development or website design costs.
Let’s take a look at how things worked in “traditional” website design before applications like WordPress were introduced:
The first step would be to meet with a web development firm or web designer for a brief. Then, the actual design itself would be decided upon. This involved spending time and money with a professional web site designer going over areas of your site like the layout, colors, formats, visual elements, content, etc.
Each page of your web site then had to be hand-coded with all of the design elements and codes written into your page content. The pages were then assembled together into a web site using hyperlinks and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, along with all other files required to make your website work – script libraries, images, media elements, etc.
Only once everything had been tested and worked the way it was intended to (and looking how a client had imagined it to look), was the web site considered to have been completed and ready for delivery.
The next phase in the evolution of web design was the introduction of “website templating elements”. Web site templates allow the ”look and feel” of the website to be created separately from the page content. Having templates helped make web site creation faster and resulted in lowered production costs. This also enabled web site development agencies to expand their services to include smaller businesses and clients with less money to spend on marketing …
(image source: www.dreamweaver-templates.org)
As more small businesses began adopting “template-based” websites, web templates were developed that could provide various custom features and options, such as the option to choose different colours, styles, layouts
As web sites and web editing tools developed, website templates also began to evolve into web template “systems” that permit website owners to manage their website’s visual aspects.
And then, WordPress came along and helped to kick off a new digital publishing revolution …
(WordPress – A Content Publishing Revolution)
To learn more about content management systems and the benefits of the WordPress CMS, see the tutorial below:
WordPress themes push the concept of a website templating system one step further.
The WP theme system controls every aspect of your web site design. It lets you add a “skin” to your site much like a template system does but it gives you complete control over the management and ability to customize the site’s template settings.
As WordPress has stated in its website …
A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Themes may include customized template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as any necessary code files (*.php).
As stated in the quote above, a unique feature of the WP theme is that how your site looks to visitors externally does not affect the way your website is configured internally to handle areas like content management and functionality.
Basically, what this means is that you can modify the look and feel of your website as much and as often as you want without modifying your website’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if WordPress site has been set up for e-commerce, replacing the theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of your web site. All e-commerce features, site and plugin settings and product information will remain intact, but your site will look completely different.
Why is this such a big deal?
Because when your website is powered by WordPress, you no longer need to spend weeks or months waiting for your web design to be completed. You can get your website built quickly and get started with any WP theme you want, and modify the entire look, feel and design of your site in a few seconds, whenever you want … and as many times as you like!
Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site without requiring any web coding knowledge. Just choose any WP theme you like, upload it to your website and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your site’s design and modify elements like header images, page layout, styling options and more in a few seconds …
Since WordPress is distributed as open source software, web design companies can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WP template system.
This means that loads of great WP themes are made available to WP users. Themes are generally distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.
The WordPress team maintains a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which allows WordPress users to access thousands of excellent themes for free …
(WordPress.org – Free Theme Directory)
As more businesses turn to WordPress for publishing and managing their content online, more designers are now starting to develop themes for a wider range of uses.
Themes vary from professional-looking, to designs that are simply impressive and would typically cost thousands of dollars to create. Surprisingly, most premium WordPress themes can be bought fairly cheaply, especially when you compare the price to what you would have been charged if a web designer had to create it from scratch.
You can view a number of theme galleries that include stunning examples of great themes in this page:
(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)
Benefits Of Using Themes
Here are just some of the many benefits of using WordPress themes over using traditional website design:
Installation Is Easy & Quick
WordPress themes are very easy to install on your site. Just upload a zip folder containing the plugin to your Plugin folder via your admin user section and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WordPress theme directory at WordPress.org) directly from your WP dashboard.
- WordPress has a thriving online community of commercial web designers who, collectively, make thousands of fantastic WP Themes available to WordPress users. Many of these themes are completely free to use!
- Themes give sites a consistent “look and feel” across all the site’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
- A “theme” works independently of your digital content. This means you can change the “look and feel” of your site as often as you need without changing your blog’s underlying settings.
- Many WordPress themes provide additional built-in functionality and options that allow you to customize the site’s layout and design elements to create a unique look to suit your business.
- Many WordPress themes are built using a framework that lets users update themes to a newer theme version without losing any customizations (e.g. styles)
- WordPress lets you search, upload and install WordPress Themes automatically directly from within the dashboard.
- Themes helps you save hundreds of dollars on web design costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are typically very inexpensive.
About Responsive Themes
Many WP theme developers are now creating themes that incorporate “responsive” design protocols.
A responsive theme enables websites to automatically reconfigure the layout to display smoothly across different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as different platforms) …
A responsive theme is also optimized for different types of devices. Users can scroll, read and load the site on all devices without having to resize anything, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional display elements.
Note: When searching for WordPress themes, we recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will a responsive theme ensure that your website will display correctly across your visitors’ devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore complies with the latest standards, practices and techniques of web design.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of themes, what themes are, how WordPress themes help your business save money, and how WordPress themes make customizing your web design easy.
To learn where to search for great themes for your website or blog, go here:
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group