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 WP ThemesThe introduction of content publishing platforms like the WordPress CMS platform has truly simplified web design and web development for users.

This greatly benefits businesses wanting a digital presence that is easy to manage.

Prior to “blogging” and the development of user-friendly CMS tools, if you needed to build a web site built for your business, you typically would have to wait until both the web development and web design processes were fully completed. This could mean waiting for many weeks, even months!

WordPress themes helped change all this. In this post, we explore what WP themes are, how they save your business money on website design costs, and how WordPress themes help you easily customize your site.

The Evolution Of Web Site Design

More website owners today have been benefiting from a tremendous revolution in web design that began shortly after websites were first introduced. If you own a business, you will want to learn about this, because it could save you 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:

The first step would be to discuss your requirements with a web developer or website designer. Then, the actual design had to be decided upon. This required spending time and money with someone with web site design skills discussing things of the site such as the, colors, formats, graphic elements, content, etc.

Each page of your web site then had to be individually created with the design elements and codes scripted into the content. All of the pages were then assembled into a web site using links and custom coded navigation menus and uploaded to your server, along with every other file needed to make your website work – script libraries, graphic images, media, etc.

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding Themes

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything had been tested and worked how it should (and looking how a client had imagined it to look), was the website considered to be finished and ready to go live.

Then, web design “templates” came along”. Website templates allow ”look and feel” elements of the website to be created separately from the page content. Having ready-made templates helped to speed up the web site development process and resulted in lowered production costs. This also enabled website development agencies to work with small business clients with less money to spend on marketing …

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

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

As more small businesses started using “template-based” web design services, templates were created that could offer different customization options, like the option to switch colours, styles, layouts

As web sites and web editor tools developed, website templates also began to evolve into web template “systems” that let users and website designers customize their website’s design aspects.

Then, WordPress came along and helped to start a new web revolution …

Themes - An Overview

(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 take the concept of a website templating system one step further.

A WP theme controls all of the design aspects of a website. It allows you to add a “skin” over your site similarly to what a website template system does but it also also gives you complete control over the management, presentation and customization aspects of your template options.

As the official WordPress site describes 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, a unique feature of WordPress is that the way your site looks to site visitors on the outside is managed separately from the management of your content.

In plain English terms, what this means is that a WP theme lets you change the appearance of your website as often as you want without touching your site’s content and all the functionality you’ve built 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 such a big deal?

Because when you use WordPress, you no longer need to spend weeks or months waiting for your web design to be completed. You can get your business website built quickly and start with any theme you want, and then customize the entire look, feel and design of your website in minutes, whenever you decide … and as many times as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site without needing any web code development skills. Simply pick a theme you want, upload it to your website and activate it. WordPress lets you change your website design and modify elements like header images, page layout, typography and more in a few seconds …

Themes - An Overview

Because WordPress is made available as open source software, web designers can design themes specifically for the WordPress CMS platform using the WordPress template system.

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

The WordPress team keeps a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which allows WordPress users to download and access, thousands of excellent website templates at no cost …

Themes - An Overview

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

As more businesses turn to WordPress for publishing and managing their content online, more designers are now starting to develop themes for a wider range of applications.

Themes vary from minimal-looking, to designs that are simply impressive and would typically cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to create. Surprisingly, most themes are very inexpensive to purchase.

You can see several theme galleries containing many examples of great premium WP 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 many benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over choosing traditional website design:

Ready To Use In Minutes

WP themes are really easy to install on your site. Simply upload the plugin file to your Plugins folder via your admin user section and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WP themes repository at WordPress.org) directly inside your WordPress admin’s “Theme” section.

WP Themes - An Overview


  • WordPress has a large online community of commercial website developers who, collectively, contribute thousands of fantastic 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 your site’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, layout, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your digital content. This means you can replace themes as often as you like without modifying the website’s underlying settings.
  • Many WordPress themes provide additional built-in features and settings that let you easily customize the site’s layout, style and design elements and create a unique look to suit your preferences.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that lets you upgrade the theme to newer theme versions without losing any unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, upload, install and update WordPress Themes automatically right inside your dashboard.
  • Themes allow users to save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on website design costs. Free WP themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WP themes are typically quite inexpensive.

Responsive Theme Design

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

A responsive theme allows a website to automatically readjust the web layout to display smoothly over different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as different devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, cell phones, etc.) …

Themes - An Overview

A responsive theme is also optimized for different types of devices. Users can scroll, read and display the site on different device platforms without having to resize anything, or requiring website owners to have installed additional browser elements.

Note: When selecting, WordPress themes, it’s a good idea to choose a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your web site works across all of your visitors’ devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore should comply with the latest standards and practices of website design coding.

Hopefully, the above article has given you a better overview of themes, what WP themes are, how WordPress themes can help your business save money, and how themes allow you to easily customize your website.

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


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