WordPress Themes Explained

This tutorial explains what WordPress themes are, what makes WordPress themes unique, and the benefits of using WordPress themes to improve the design of your website or blog.

WordPress For Newbies - An Introduction To ThemesPowerful web management technologies like the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) have truly improved web design and web development for non-technical users.

This greatly benefits business owners planning to build a website that is relatively simple, easy and inexpensive to manage.

Prior to “blogging” and the development of powerful and effective content management systems, if you wanted to get a web site for your business, you normally had to wait until both the web development and website design processes were fully completed. This process could mean weeks, even sometimes months of waiting around!

WordPress themes have changed all this. In this article, we will explore what WordPress themes are, how they help you save money, and how themes make it easy to customize your website.

Website Design Evolution

More businesses will benefit from a revolution in website design that has been going for several years now. If you are a business owner, you may want to learn about this, because it can save you a lot of time and money on website development and website design costs.

In a nutshell, this is what used to happen before solution like WordPress came along:

First, you would discuss your requirements with a website development agency or designer. Then, the design itself would be discussed and agreed upon. This required spending time and money with someone with web site design skills going over areas of your web site such as the layout, colors, formats, graphic elements, content, etc.

Every page of your web site then had to be individually created with the design elements and codes written into the content. The pages were then assembled into a website using hyperlinks and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, together with all other files needed to make your site work – script libraries, graphic images, media, etc.

Themes - An Overview

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything passed testing and was performing how it was intended to (and looking the way the client had imagined it to look), was the site considered to have been completed and ready for delivery.

Then, web design “templates” were introduced”. Web templates allow the presentation of the website to be worked on separately from the page content. Having template elements helped to make website development faster and resulted in lowered costs of production. This also enabled web development firms to work with smaller business clients with smaller marketing budgets …

WordPress Themes - An Overview

(image source: www.dreamweaver-templates.org)

As more small businesses began using “template-based” websites, templates were created that could provide various customizable options, like color palettes, the ability to select different layouts or menu styles, and so on.

As websites and website editing software evolved, web templates also started transforming into web templating ”systems”, which allowed users and web designers to manage their web site’s visual components.

Then, a “blogging” software called WordPress came along and helped to kick off a new web revolution …

Themes - An Introduction

(WordPress – A Content Publishing Revolution)

To learn more about content management systems and the benefits of the WordPress CMS, see the tutorial below:

About WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme expands the concept of a web templating system one step further.

The WP theme system controls all of the design areas of the website. It allows you to add a “skin” to your entire site much like a web template system does but it provides users with more control over the management and customization aspects of all template options.

As per the official WordPress site …

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).

(source: WordPress.org)

As stated above, a unique feature of WordPress is that how your site looks to visitors externally is controlled independently of your site’s functional aspects (e.g. content management and functionality).

Basically, what this means is that a WordPress theme lets you modify the look and feel of your site as often as you like without affecting your website’s content and all the functionality you’ve built into it. For example, if WordPress site has been set up for e-commerce, changing the entire look of the site with another theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of your site. All e-commerce features, site settings and product information will remain unaffected, but your site will look completely different.

Why is this so great for small business owners?

Because with WordPress, you no longer have to wait until your site’s web design is completed. You can get your website built simply and get started with any WordPress theme you like, and then completely edit the look, feel and design of your site in minutes, whenever you want … and as many times as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your WP site without having website code programming knowledge. Simply pick a theme you want, install it on your site and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your website design and modify elements like headers, page layout, style settings and more in minutes …

Themes - An Introduction

Because WordPress is made available as open source software, commercial website design companies can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WordPress templating system.

This means that thousands of high quality WordPress themes can be downloaded by WordPress users. Themes are usually distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) WordPress themes.

The WordPress team keeps a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which gives WordPress users access thousands of excellent WP themes at $0 cost …

A Newbie's Guide To WordPress Themes

(WordPress.org – Theme Directory)

As WordPress becomes more popular, more designers are now focused on creating themes for a wider audience of WordPress users.

Themes range from bare-looking, to fancy designs that are visually beautiful and would easily cost hundreds to many thousands of dollars to create. Surprisingly, most WP themes can be bought very inexpensively, especially when compared to what it would have cost you if a website designer had to develop it from scratch.

You can view several WordPress theme galleries that include stunning examples of themes in this page:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Benefits Of Using Themes

Here are just some of the many benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over using web building tools that require traditional website design:

Really Easy To Install

Themes are quite easy to install on your site. Simply upload a zip file containing the plugin to your Plugins folder via your admin login and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WP themes repository at WordPress.org) directly from your WP dashboard.

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a large online community of professional website designers and design companies who contribute thousands of fantastic WordPress Themes available to WP users. Many of these themes are 100% free to use!
  • Themes give sites a unified and consistent “look and feel” across all of the blog’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your site’s content. This makes it possible to swap WordPress themes as often as you like without affecting the content.
  • Many themes provide built-in functionality and options that allow you to easily customize your site’s style and design elements and create a unique look to suit your needs.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that allows you to upgrade themes to newer theme versions without losing its unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress lets you search, import, install and update WordPress Themes automatically directly from within your site’s administration interface.
  • Themes helps you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on web design costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WP themes are normally very affordable.

About Responsive Themes

Many theme designers are now creating WP themes that incorporate “responsive” design.

A responsive theme enables a website to automatically resize to display smoothly over different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as different devices (e.g. computers, tablets, cell phones, etc.) …

A Basic Guide To Understanding WordPress Themes

A responsive theme is also optimized for different types of devices. Users can scroll, read and load your site on a range of device platforms without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional themes.

Note: When purchasing WordPress themes, it’s a good idea to choose a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your website works across your visitors’ devices, 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 and coding.

Hopefully, the above overview has given you a clearer understanding of WordPress themes, what themes are, how WordPress themes can help your business save money, and how themes make customizing web sites easy.

To learn where to search for great WP themes for your website, go here:

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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