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.

WP For Beginners - An Introduction To ThemesThe development of powerful content publishing tools like WordPress has truly simplified web design and web development for non-technical users.

This greatly benefits non-technical users thinking of getting a digital presence that is easy to manage.

Before “blogging” and the introduction of powerful CMS tools, if you needed a web site, you had to wait until both the website development and web design processes were completely done. This could take weeks, sometimes even months!

WordPress themes helped change all this. In this post, you will learn what WP themes are, how they save you money on web design costs, and how themes make it easy to customize your site.

Website Design Evolution

More businesses are benefiting from a tremendous revolution in website design that has been going for several years now. If you are a small business owner, you will want to know more about this, because it could save your business thousands of dollars on website development and website design costs.

In a nutshell, here’s what used to happen before CMS applications like WordPress came along:

The first step would be to discuss your requirements with a web site developer or designer. After this, the actual “web design” would be discussed and agreed upon. This required spending time and money with a professional web site designer discussing areas of the web site like the, colours, styles, graphic elements, content, etc.

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

WP Themes - An Overview

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything had been tested and performed how it was intended to (and looking the way the client had wanted it to look), was the website considered as being completed and ready to go live.

Then, web design “templates” were introduced”. Website templates allow the ”look and feel” of the website to be worked on separately from content on the page. Having template elements helped speed up the process of developing web sites and resulted in lowered costs of production. This also enabled web development firms to work with small businesses and clients with smaller budgets …

A Basic Guide To Themes

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

As the number of website development agencies adopting “template-based” websites increased, web templates were developed to offer clients with different customization features and options, like the ability to choose different colors, styles, layouts

As websites and website building tools developed, web templates also began evolving into web templating “systems” that permit users to control the visual aspects of a web site.

And then, WordPress was developed and helped to start a new web revolution …

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding WordPress Themes

(WordPress – A Content Publishing Revolution)

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

The WordPress Theme

WordPress themes expand website template systems even further.

The WP theme system controls every aspect of your site’s design. It allows you to add a “skin” to your site similarly to what a template system does but also provides users with complete control over the management, appearance and customization of template features.

As the official WordPress site puts it …

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 the above states, one of the unique and revolutionary features of the WordPress theme is that how your web site displays to site visitors externally is a completely different system from your site’s content management settings.

Basically, what this means is that themes let you modify the appearance of your site as often as you want without affecting 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 site. All e-commerce features, settings and product information will remain intact, but the site will look completely different.

Why is this great news for business owners?

Because with WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your website to be done. You can get your business website built quickly and start with any WordPress theme you like, and then edit the entire look, feel and design of your WordPress site in mere minutes, whenever you decide … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your WordPress site with no website design skills necessary. Just pick any theme you want, install it on your website and activate it. WordPress lets you change your site’s design and modify elements like headers, page layout, styling options and more in a few seconds …

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

As WordPress is made available as open source software, web designers from all over the world can design themes specifically for the WP CMS 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 they can be purchased as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

The WordPress development team keeps a FREE theme directory which allows WordPress users to access thousands of excellent website templates completely free of charge …

Understanding WP Themes

(WordPress.org – WordPress Themes Directory)

As the popularity of WordPress increases, more designers are now starting to develop themes for a wider range of users.

WP themes vary from functional-looking, to jaw-dropping designs that are visually beautiful and could typically cost hundreds to many thousands of dollars to design. Surprisingly, most WP themes can be bought fairly cheaply, especially when compared to what you would have had to pay if a website designer had to develop it from scratch.

You can see several WordPress theme galleries that include various examples of great WordPress themes in this page:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Themes – Benefits & Advantages

Here are just some of the benefits of using WordPress themes over choosing traditional website design:

Ready To Go To Work In Minutes

Themes are very easy to install on your site. Simply upload it to your Plugin folder via your dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the themes repository at WordPress.org) directly from within your WordPress site’s admin area.

WP Themes - An Overview

Additionally …

  • WordPress has a growing community of commercial theme developers and development companies who make thousands of excellent WordPress Themes available to WordPress users. And many of these themes are 100% free to use!
  • Themes give sites a consistent design across all of your site’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your site’s content. This allows you replace WP themes as often as you need without disturbing the blog settings.
  • Many themes provide additional built-in features and settings that enable you to customize the site’s layout and design properties and create a unique look to suit your preferences.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that allows users to update themes to a newer theme version without losing any customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, import and install WordPress Themes automatically inside the site’s administration interface.
  • WP themes allow WordPress users to save thousands of dollars on website development costs. Free WordPress themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are typically very inexpensive.

Responsive WordPress Theme Design

Many WordPress theme designers are now creating “responsive” themes for WordPress.

A responsive theme enables websites to automatically readjust screen size to display smoothly over different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as different devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, mobile phones, etc.) …

A Basic Guide To WP Themes

A responsive theme is also optimized for different platforms. Users can scroll, read and load a site on most if not all device platforms without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional themes.

Note: When purchasing WordPress themes, we strongly recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your web site will display correctly on all devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards and practices of web design coding.

Hopefully, this post has provided you with a clearer understanding of WP themes, what WP themes are, how they can help your business save money, and how themes make customizing your web design easy.

To learn where to find the best themes for your website or blog, click here:

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