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 Business - An Introduction To ThemesAdvanced website publishing applications like the WordPress CMS have truly simplified web design and web development for business users.

This is fantastic news for individuals or businesses thinking of building a website that is simple and easy to manage.

Before “blogging” and the development of powerful content management systems, if you wanted a business website, you typically would have to wait until both the website development and web design processes were fully completed. This could take weeks, even months!

WordPress themes have changed all this. In this article, you will learn what WordPress themes are, how WP themes can help you and your business save money on web development costs, and how themes allow you to easily customize your WP site.

A Revolution In Website Design

More businesses are benefiting from an evolution in web 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 web development or website design costs.

Very briefly, here’s how things typically worked in “traditional” web design before WordPress came along:

The first step would be to meet with a web developer or web designer for a brief. Next, the actual design had to be decided upon. This required spending time and money with someone with web design skills going over design elements of your website such as the layout, colors, styles, visual elements, content, etc.

Each page of your web site then had to be individually created with all your elements and codes inserted 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, along with every other file required to make your website work – script libraries, graphic images, media elements, etc.

Understanding Themes

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything passed testing and performed the way it was supposed to (and looking the way the client had wanted it to look), was the site deemed to be completed and ready to go live.

Then, website “templates” came along”. Web templates allow design elements of the website to be worked on separately from the page content. The development of templates helped to speed up the process of developing websites and resulted in reduced costs of production. This also allowed website development firms to work with smaller businesses and clients with smaller budgets …

WP Themes - An Overview

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

As more businesses started using “template-based” websites, templates were created to provide clients with expanding custom options, such as the option to switch colors, styles, layouts

As web sites and website editor applications evolved, website templates also started transforming into web template “systems” that let users and website developers manage their website’s design aspects.

Then, a “blogging” software called WordPress was introduced and helped to kick off a new online publishing revolution …

A Newbie's Guide To 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:

WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme pushes web templating systems further.

A WP theme controls the design elements of a web site. It lets you add a “skin” to your entire site similarly to what a website template system does but also gives you complete control over the management, presentation and ability to customize all template settings.

According to 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 the above states, a unique feature of WordPress is that the way your web site looks to visitors does not affect the way your site is configured internally to handle areas like content management and functionality.

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

Why is this important?

Because when your site is powered with WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your site to be done. You can get your business website built simply and start with any WordPress theme you like, and change the entire look, feel and design of your website in mere seconds, whenever you want … and as many times as you like!

Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your site without having web code programming skills. Just choose any WordPress theme you want, upload it to your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your web design and modify elements like header images, layout, typography and more in a few seconds …

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding Themes

Because WordPress is made available as open source software, hundreds of website design companies all around the world can create themes specifically for the WordPress CMS platform using the WordPress template system.

This means that thousands of great WP themes are made available to WP users. WordPress are generally distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they can be purchased as Premium (paid) themes.

The WordPress team maintains a FREE directory of WP themes which gives WordPress users access thousands of great website templates at no cost …

WP Themes - An Introduction

(WordPress.org – WP Themes Directory)

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

WP themes vary from minimal-looking, to designs that are simply spectacular and would easily cost hundreds to many thousands of dollars to develop. Surprisingly, most themes are fairly inexpensive.

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

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

WordPress Themes – Benefits And Advantages

Here are just a few of the benefits of using WordPress themes over choosing web building tools that require traditional web template design:

Be Up And Running In Very Little Time

WordPress themes are really easy to install on your site. Just upload a zip file that contains the plugin files to your Plugin folder via your WordPress dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the theme directory at WordPress.org) directly inside your WordPress dashboard.

A Newbie's Guide To WP Themes

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a thriving online community of professional website designers and design companies who contribute thousands of high quality WordPress Themes available to WordPress users. Many of these themes are 100% free to use!
  • Themes give sites a unified and consistent look across all of your site’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your blog’s content. This makes it possible to swap themes as often as you need without modifying your content.
  • Many WP themes come with additional functionality and settings that enable you to customize the theme’s style and design properties to create a unique look to suit your business.
  • Many WordPress themes are built using a framework that enables users to update the theme to newer theme versions without losing its unique customizations (e.g. styles)
  • WordPress lets you search, upload, install and update WordPress Themes automatically directly from your admin panel.
  • WordPress themes helps you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on website development costs. Free WordPress themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WP themes are normally very inexpensive.

About Responsive Themes

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

A responsive theme enables websites to automatically resize to display smoothly across different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as different platforms) …

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

A responsive theme is also optimized for each device type. Users can scroll, read and display the site on most device browsers without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring website owners 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 the content and layout of your site works across all devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards of web design and coding.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of WordPress themes, what themes are, how themes can help you save money, and how WordPress themes make customizing sites easy.

To learn where to find the best WordPress themes for your website or blog, see this page: Where To Search For The Best Free And Premium Responsive WordPress Themes For Your Business.

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