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 Newbies - An Overview Of ThemesAdvanced website management systems like the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) have truly improved web design and web development for anyone wanting a website.

This is a great thing for businesses planning to start or build an online business presence that is simple, easy and inexpensive to manage.

Before “blogging” and the introduction of powerful content management systems, if you wanted to get a professional site built for your business, you normally had to wait until both the web development and website design processes were completely done. This process could take weeks, sometimes even months!

The introduction of WordPress themes helped change all this. In this post, you will learn what themes are, how themes help you and your business save money, and how WordPress themes let you easily customize your website.

A Revolution In Website Design

More businesses today will benefit from a revolutionary change in website design that began shortly after websites were first introduced. If you are a business owner, you will want to learn more about this, because it can save your business a lot of time and money on website development and website design costs.

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

First, you would meet with a web development firm or designer for a brief. After that, the design itself would be decided upon. This meant time and money being spent with a professional web site designer going over elements of your site such as the, colors, formats, graphic elements, content, etc.

Each page of your web site then had to be hand-coded with the elements and codes written into the page content. The pages were then assembled together into a website using links and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, together with all other files required to make your site work – script libraries, images, media, etc.

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything passed testing and performed the way it was intended to (and looking the way the client had wanted it to look), was the site considered to have been finished and ready to go live.

The next stage in the evolution of business website design was the introduction of “web templates”. A web site template allows the presentation of the website to be created separately from the page content. Having templates helped speed up the process of developing websites and resulted in reduced costs of production. This also enabled website developers to service business clients and clients with smaller marketing budgets …

A Basic Guide To Understanding Themes

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

As more small businesses began adopting “template-based” websites, templates started being created that offered different custom options, like the option to choose different colors, styles, layouts

As websites and web building applications evolved, website templates also started to evolve into web template ”systems”, which permitted users to customize their website’s visual aspects.

Then, WordPress was introduced and helped to kick off a new business website revolution …

WordPress 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:

WordPress Themes

WordPress themes push web templating systems much further.

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

As stated in 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, one of the unique and revolutionary features of the WP theme is that how your website looks to visitors externally is a completely different system from the way your content is managed.

In plain English terms, what this means is that a WordPress theme lets you modify the look and feel of your website as much and as often as you want without affecting your website’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if you have configured your site 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 unaffected, but your site will look completely different.

Why is this important?

Because with WordPress, you no longer have to wait until your site’s web design is done. You can get your website built simply and start with any WP theme you want, and completely customize the look, feel and design of your website in minutes, whenever you want … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site without requiring any web code editing knowledge. Simply pick any WordPress theme you like, upload it to your website and activate it. WordPress lets you change your web design and customize elements like headers, page layout, style settings and more with just a few mouse clicks …

Themes - An Introduction

Since WordPress is open source software, web designers can create themes specifically for the WP CMS platform using the WordPress templating system.

This means that loads of great WordPress themes are made available to WP users. Themes are usually distributed freely under the terms of the GNU License Definition, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

The WordPress development team keeps a FREE directory of WP themes which allows WordPress users to download, access and install thousands of excellent website templates completely free of charge …

Themes - An Overview

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

As WordPress becomes more popular, more designers are now focusing on developing themes for a wider range of users.

Themes range from minimal-looking, to designs that are simply breathtaking and would normally cost thousands of dollars to design. Surprisingly, WP themes can be bought quite inexpensively, especially when compared to what you would have had to pay if a website designer had to create it from scratch.

You can see a number of WordPress theme galleries containing stunning examples of great themes in this post:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Themes – Benefits & Advantages

Here are just a few of the benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over choosing applications that require traditional web template design:

Installation Is Easy, Quick & Simple

Themes are very easy to install on your site. Just upload it to your Plugins folder via your WordPress administrator area and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the free WordPress theme directory at WordPress.org) directly from within your WordPress site’s admin area.

Themes - An Introduction


  • WordPress has a large community of commercial theme developers who make thousands of great-looking, high quality WP Themes available to WP users. Many of these themes are completely free to use!
  • Themes give sites a unified and consistent look across all of the blog’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your digital content. This makes it possible to replace WP themes as often as you want without disturbing your content.
  • Many WordPress themes provide additional features and options that allow you to easily customize the site’s layout and design properties to create a unique look to suit your needs.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that enables you to update themes to newer versions without losing its unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, import and install WordPress Themes automatically right inside your site’s administration interface.
  • WordPress themes allow WP users to save hundreds of dollars on web development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WordPress themes are normally quite inexpensive.

Responsive Themes

Many theme developers are now creating themes that incorporate “responsive” web design.

A responsive theme allows websites to automatically readjust screen size to display smoothly across different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as across different devices (e.g. PCs, iPads, cell phones, etc.) …

Understanding Themes

Responsive themes are also optimized for different types of devices. Users can scroll, read and load your site on different devices without having to resize anything, or requiring website owners to have installed additional themes.

Note: When downloading WordPress themes, we recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will a responsive theme ensure that the content and layout of your site works across all devices, it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore should comply with the latest standards of web design.

We hope the above overview has helped you gain a clearer understanding about themes, what themes are, how WP themes help your business save money, and how themes make it easy to customize a site.

To learn where to search for the best WP themes for your blog, visit this page: Finding Great Free And Premium Responsive WordPress Web Templates On The Web.


"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now