Advanced content publishing systems like the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) have effectively improved web design and web development for business owners.
This greatly benefits entrepreneurial-minded people planning to start a website that they can easily manage by themselves.
Prior to blogging and the introduction of easy-to-use CMS tools, if you wanted to get a professional site built for your business, you had to wait until both the web development and web design processes were fully completed. This could mean weeks, sometimes even months of waiting for the work to be done!
The development of WordPress themes have changed all this. In this blog post, we take a look at what themes are, how WordPress themes save you money on website development costs, and how WP themes help you easily customize your site.
A Revolution In Website Design
More businesses today are benefiting from a tremendous revolution in web design that has been going for many years now. If you own a business, you will want to learn more about this, because it can save your business thousands of dollars on website development or website design costs.
In a nutshell, here’s what typically took place before solution like WordPress came along:
First, you would meet with a website development agency or web designer for a brief. After this, the actual “web design” itself would be discussed and agreed upon. This meant time being spent with a professional web designer discussing elements of the website such as the, colours, formats, visual elements, content, etc.
Every page of your web site then had to be hand-coded with all the elements and codes inserted into your content. The pages were then assembled into a website using hyperlinks and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, together with all other files needed to make your site work – script libraries, graphic images, media elements, etc.
Only after everything passed testing and functioned how it was intended to (and looking how a client had wanted it to look), was the web site deemed to be finished and ready for delivery.
The next step in the evolution of website design was the introduction of “website templates”. A web template allows the presentation of the website to be created separately from the page content. The introduction of ready-made templates helped speed up the web site creation process and resulted in reduced production costs. This also enabled web developers and designers to expand their services to include businesses with smaller marketing budgets …
(image source: www.dreamweaver-templates.org)
As the number of businesses adopting “template-based” websites increased, web templates were developed to provide clients with expanding customization options, such as the option to choose different colours, styles, layouts
As websites and web editor tools evolved, website templates also began to transform into web template “systems” that enable website owners to control their site’s visual components.
Then, a “blogging” tool called WordPress came along and helped to kick off a new web revolution …
(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 the idea of a web template system further.
A WordPress theme controls all of the design aspects of your website. It lets you add a “skin” over your site much like a web template system does but also provides you with more control over the management and customization aspects of template options.
As the official WordPress site states …
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).
As the above quote states, a unique feature of the WordPress theme is that the way your site displays to site visitors externally does not affect your site’s functionality and content management.
Basically, what this means is that themes let you change the design of your site as much and as often as you want without touching your site’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if your website 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, site settings and product information will remain intact, but the site will look completely different.
This is huge! Why?
Because when your website is powered with WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your web design to be done. You can get your business website built quickly and start with any theme you like, and then modify the entire look, feel and design of your WordPress site in mere minutes, whenever you choose … and as many times as you like!
Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site without requiring any web code development knowledge. Just choose a WordPress theme you want, install it on your website and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your web design and modify elements like header images, layout, style settings and more in a few seconds …
Since WordPress is made available as open source software, website design companies can design themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WP templating system.
This means that loads of high quality WP themes can be downloaded by WP users. WordPress are generally distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or sold as Premium (paid) themes.
The WordPress development team maintains a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which gives WordPress users access thousands of great web templates at no cost …
(WordPress.org – WordPress Theme Directory)
As WordPress becomes more popular, more designers are now focused on creating themes for a wider audience of WordPress users.
WordPress themes range from bare-looking, to exciting designs that are visually spectacular and would typically cost many hundreds of dollars to commission. Surprisingly, most themes are fairly inexpensive to buy.
You can see several WP theme galleries containing many examples of great premium WordPress themes here:
(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)
WP Themes – Benefits
Here are just some of the many benefits of choosing WordPress themes over choosing traditional web template design:
Be Up And Running In No Time
Themes are quite easy to install on your site. Just upload the plugin file to your Plugins folder via your admin section and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the free theme directory at WordPress.org) directly from within your WP site’s admin area.
- WordPress has a growing community of professional theme developers who, collectively, contribute thousands of professional WordPress Themes available to WP users. And many of these themes are 100% free to use!
- Themes give sites a unified and consistent design across all the site’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
- A “theme” works independently of your digital content. This means you can swap themes as often as you like without modifying the underlying content.
- Many WP themes come with additional built-in features and settings that let you customize your site’s style, layout and design elements to create a unique look to suit your needs.
- Many themes are built using a framework that lets you upgrade the theme to a newer theme version without losing any unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
- WordPress allows you to search, upload, install and update WordPress Themes automatically from your dashboard.
- WP themes helps you save hundreds of dollars on website design costs. Free WP themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WordPress themes are typically very affordable.
Responsive WordPress Themes
Many theme developers are now developing themes that incorporate “responsive” design protocols.
A responsive theme enables websites to automatically reconfigure the layout to display smoothly across different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as across different devices (e.g. computers, tablets, cell phones, etc.) …
Responsive themes are also optimized for different platforms. Users can scroll, read and load the site on various device browsers without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional browser tools.
Note: When searching for WordPress themes, we strongly recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that the content and layout of your site will work correctly across all of your visitors’ devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore should comply with the latest standards and practices of web design and web coding.
We hope that this post has given you a good overview of themes, what themes are, how WP themes can help you save money on web development costs, and how WP themes make customizing your web design easy.
To learn where to find great themes for your website or blog, click here:
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com