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 Overview Of WP ThemesThe development of powerful web publishing technologies like the WordPress CMS platform has truly simplified web design and web development for website owners.

This is terrific news for individuals or businesses that want a website that is easy to manage.

Before blogging and the introduction of powerful and simple CMS technologies, if you needed to get a site built for your business, you normally had to wait until both the web development and web design processes were completely done. This process could mean waiting around for many weeks, sometimes even months!

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

Web Site Design Evolution

More businesses today will benefit from a change in web design that began shortly after websites were first introduced. If you are a small business owner, you may want to know about this, because it could save your business a lot of time and money on web development or web design costs.

In a nutshell, this is how things used to work in “traditional” website design before WordPress came along:

First, you would discuss your requirements with a web developer or designer. After this, the actual “web design” itself would be decided upon. This involved spending time and money with someone with web design skills discussing elements of the site like the layout, colors, formats, graphic elements, content, etc.

Every page of your website then had to be individually created with all your elements and scripts coded around the page content. The pages were then assembled into a web site using links and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, together with all other files required to make your site work – script libraries, graphic images, media elements, etc.

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything had been tested and performed how it should (and looking the way the client had wanted it to look), was the website considered as being finished and ready for delivery.

The next stage in the evolution of business web design was the introduction of “web templates”. Website templates allow the ”look and feel” of the web site to be created separately from the page content. The introduction of templates helped make the process of creating web sites faster and resulted in reduced costs of production. This also enabled web site developers to service businesses and clients with smaller marketing budgets …

WordPress Themes - An Overview

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

As the number of small businesses adopting “template-based” websites increased, web templates started being introduced that offered a number of customizable features, such as the option to choose different colors, styles, layouts

As websites and web editor software evolved, website templates also started to evolve into web template ”systems”, which allowed users and web designers to customize their web site’s visual components.

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

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:

The WordPress Theme

WordPress themes push the concept of a web template system much further.

The WP theme system controls the design elements of your web site. It lets you add a “skin” over your site similarly to what a template system does but it also also gives you complete control over the management and customization of the site’s template features.

As the official WordPress site explains …

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 features of WordPress is that how your web site appears to visitors on the outside is kept independent of your site’s functional aspects (e.g. content management and functionality).

In simple terms, what this means is that you can modify the appearance of your website as much and as often as you want without modifying your site’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if WP site has been set up for e-commerce, replacing the theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of your web site. All e-commerce features, settings and product information will remain intact, but your site will look completely different.

This is important. Why?

Because with WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your site to be completed. You can get your business website built quickly and get started with any WP theme you want, and then customize the entire look, feel and design of your website in mere seconds, whenever you decide … and as many times as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your WP site without needing website code editing knowledge. Just pick a WP theme you want, install it on your website and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your website design and modify elements like headers, layout, typography and more with just a couple of mouse clicks …

Themes - An Introduction

Since WordPress is open source software, commercial website design companies from all over the world can create themes specifically for the WordPress CMS platform using the WP templating system.

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

The WordPress team keeps a FREE theme directory which allows WordPress users to download and access, thousands of great themes at no cost …

Themes - An Overview

(WordPress.org – WordPress Theme Directory)

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

Themes range from corporate-looking, to stylish designs that are visually spectacular and could easily cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to develop. Surprisingly, themes are fairly inexpensive to buy.

You can view a number of theme galleries that include various examples of great WordPress themes in this article:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

WP Themes – Benefits & Advantages

Here are just a few of the benefits of using WordPress themes over using traditional web design:

Be Up And Running In Very Little Time

WP themes are really easy to install on your site. Simply upload the plugin file to your Plugin folder via your admin section and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the free theme repository at WordPress.org) directly from your WP dashboard.

WordPress Themes - An Overview

Additionally …

  • WordPress has a large online community of commercial web developers who contribute thousands of professional WP Themes available to users. Thousands of these themes are 100% free to use!
  • Themes give sites a consistent look across all your blog’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, layouts, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your web site’s content. This means you can swap the “look and feel” of your website as often as you like without affecting your blog content.
  • Many themes come with built-in features and settings that allow you to easily customize the site’s layout and design elements to create a unique look to suit your business.
  • Many WordPress themes are built using a framework that allows users to upgrade themes to newer theme versions without losing any unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, import and install WordPress Themes automatically directly from your admin panel.
  • WordPress themes lets you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on web development costs. Free WordPress themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WordPress themes are typically very affordable.

Responsive Theme Design

Many theme designers are now developing “responsive” themes.

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

Themes - An Overview

Responsive themes are also optimized for each platform. Users can scroll, read and load the site on various devices without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner 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 the content and layout of your site works on your visitors’ devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards, practices and techniques of web design and coding.

We hope the above article has provided you with a better understanding of WP themes, what themes are, how themes can help your business save money on website development costs, and how themes make customizing sites easy.

To learn where to find the best WordPress 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