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.

A Basic Guide To Understanding WP ThemesAdvanced content management systems like the WordPress CMS have effectively improved web design and web development for business users.

This greatly benefits individuals or businesses thinking about building a website that is relatively simple, easy and inexpensive to manage.

Before blogging and the development of sophisticated content management systems, if you needed to build a web site for your business, you had to wait until both the website development and web design processes were completely done. This could mean weeks, even sometimes months of waiting around!

The introduction of WordPress themes changed all this. In this blog post, we explain what WordPress themes are, how they save your business money on web development costs, and how themes make it easy to customize your WP site.

A Revolution In Web Site Design

More businesses today are benefiting from an evolution in web design that began shortly after websites were first introduced. If you are a small business owner, you will want to know about this, because it can save your business thousands of dollars on web development or website design costs.

In a nutshell, this is what normally happened before WordPress were introduced:

First, you would discuss your project with a web developer or web designer. After that, the actual “web design” would be discussed and agreed upon. This meant spending time with a professional website designer going over elements of the website such as the, colors, formats, page elements, content, etc.

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

A Newbie's Guide To Themes

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything had been tested and functioned the way it should (and looking the way the client had wanted it to look), was the website deemed to be completed and ready for sign off.

Then, web design “templates” came along”. Website templates allow presentation elements of the website to be worked on separately from the page content. The introduction of ready-made templates helped make web site development faster and resulted in lowered production costs. This also allowed web development companies to expand their services to include smaller businesses and clients with less money to spend on marketing …

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding Themes

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

As the number of businesses adopting “template-based” web design services increased, templates were developed that could offer expanding customizable features and options, like color palettes, the ability to pick different menu styles and layouts, and so on.

As web sites and website building tools developed, website templates also began evolving into website template “systems” that let website owners control the visual aspects of their site.

And then, WordPress was introduced and helped to start a new digital publishing revolution …

A Basic Guide To Understanding WP Themes

(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

WordPress themes drive the idea of a website template system even further.

A WP theme controls every aspect of your site’s design. It lets you add a “skin” to your site much like a website template system does but it also also gives you more control over the management and customization of all template settings.

As described 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 in the quote above, one of the unique features of WordPress is that how your website displays to visitors externally in no way affects the way your content is managed.

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

Why is this important?

Because when your website is powered with WordPress, you no longer need to wait until your site’s web design is completed. You can get your business website built quickly and get started with any theme you want, and completely change the look, feel and design of your website in mere seconds, whenever you choose … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site without requiring any web design knowledge. Simply choose a WordPress theme you like, upload it to your site and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your website design and customize elements like header images, page layout, styling options and more in a few seconds …

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding Themes

Because WordPress is distributed as open source software, web design companies anywhere in the world can create themes specifically for the WP CMS platform using the WordPress template system.

This means that loads of high quality WP themes are made available to WordPress users. WP are generally distributed for FREE under the terms of the GNU General Public License Definition, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) WP themes.

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

WP Themes - An Introduction

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

As more businesses turn to WordPress for publishing and managing their content online, more designers are now focused on creating themes for a wider audience of WordPress users.

WP themes vary from professional-looking, to clever designs that are simply beautiful and could normally cost thousands of dollars to create. Surprisingly, most premium WP themes are fairly inexpensive.

You can view several WP theme galleries containing stunning examples of great premium themes in this post:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

WordPress Themes – Benefits & Advantages

Here are just some of the many benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over using traditional web template design:

Be Up And Running In No Time

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

Themes - An Introduction

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a growing community of professional web designers who, collectively, contribute thousands of fantastic WordPress Themes available to WP users. Thousands of these themes are completely free to use!
  • Themes give sites a unified and consistent “look and feel” across all the blog’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, menus, layout, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your site’s content. This means you can change WP themes as often as you need without changing your blog settings.
  • Many WordPress themes provide additional built-in functionality and options that allow you to customize the site’s style, layout and design properties to create a unique look to suit your preferences.
  • Many WP themes are built using a framework that lets users upgrade themes to newer versions without losing its unique customizations (e.g. styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, import, install and update WordPress Themes automatically within the site’s administration interface.
  • Themes lets you save hundreds of dollars on web development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WordPress themes are typically very affordable.

About Responsive Theme Design

Many WordPress theme developers are now developing WP themes that incorporate “responsive” design.

A responsive theme enables websites to automatically reconfigure the layout to display smoothly over different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as different platforms) …

Themes - An Overview

Responsive themes are also optimized for each device type. Users can scroll, read and load the site on most if not all devices without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner to install additional display elements.

Note: When searching for WordPress themes, we recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your web site will display correctly 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 website design coding.

Hopefully, this article has given you a better overview of themes, what themes are, how WordPress themes can help you and your business save money on website design costs, and how themes make customizing websites easy.

To learn where to find great WordPress themes for your website or blog, visit this page: How To Find The Best Paid And Free Responsive WordPress Web Templates On The Web.

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