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.

WP For Beginners - An Introduction To WP ThemesAdvanced website publishing applications like the WordPress CMS platform have truly improved web design and web development for anyone wanting a website.

This is a great thing for business owners thinking of getting a website that is relatively simple and easy to manage.

Before blogging and the development of powerful CMS technologies, if you needed a professional business web site, you typically had to wait until both the web development and website design processes were completely done. This could mean waiting for weeks, even many months!

WordPress themes have changed all this. In this blog post, we take a look at what WP themes are, how themes save you money on website design costs, and how themes make it easy to customize your WP site.

A Revolution In Web Site Design

More businesses today have benefited from a revolutionary change in website design that has been going for many years now. If you own a business, you will want to learn about this, because it could save your business thousands of dollars on web development or website design costs.

Let’s review what used to happen before WordPress was developed:

The first step would be to discuss your project with a website development agency or web designer. Next, the actual “web design” would be discussed and agreed upon. This required time and money being spent with someone with website design skills discussing things of the site such as the, colors, styles, graphic elements, content, etc.

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

Themes - An Introduction

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything had been tested and functioned how it was supposed to (and looking the way the client had imagined it to look), was the website deemed to be completed and ready for delivery.

The next step in the evolution of business web design was the introduction of “web templating elements”. Web templates allow the presentation of the web site to be worked on separately from content on the page. The introduction of templates helped speed up the web site development process and resulted in lowered costs of production. This also enabled web site designers to work with smaller businesses with smaller budgets …

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

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

As more small businesses began choosing “template-based” websites, templates were designed to offer clients with a range of custom settings, like color palettes, the ability to specify different styles and content styles, etc …

As websites and website editor applications evolved, website templates also started evolving into website templating ”systems”, letting users control their web site’s visual elements.

And then, WordPress was developed and helped to kick off a new content management revolution …

WordPress 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

A WordPress theme takes website template systems one step further.

A WordPress theme controls and integrates every aspect of your web design. It lets you add a “skin” to your entire site much like a template system does but also gives you complete control over the management, appearance and customization of template settings.

As per 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 quote states, a unique and revolutionary feature of WordPress is that how your web site looks to visitors on the outside is managed independently of the management of your content.

Basically, what this means is that a WordPress theme lets you modify the appearance of your website as much and as often as you like without touching your site’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if your site has been configured for e-commerce, replacing the theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of your site. All e-commerce features, plugin settings and product information will remain unaffected, but your site will look completely different.

This is huge! Why?

Because when you use WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your web design to be done. You can get your website built quickly and start with any WP theme you want, and then customize the entire look, feel and design of your WordPress site in seconds, whenever you want … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your WP site without requiring website coding knowledge. Simply choose a theme you like, install it on your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your web design and modify elements like header images, page layout, styling options and more with just a few mouse clicks …

Themes - An Overview

Because WordPress is distributed as open source software, website designers anywhere in the world can design themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WP templating system.

This means that thousands of high quality WP themes can be downloaded by WP users. Themes are normally distributed for FREE under the terms of the GNU License Definition, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.

The WordPress team maintains a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which gives WordPress users access thousands of excellent WordPress themes completely free of charge …

Understanding Themes

(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)

As the popularity of WordPress increases, more designers are now focusing on creating themes for a wider range of applications.

WordPress themes vary from corporate-looking, to clever designs that are visually spectacular and would easily cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to design. Surprisingly, most themes are fairly inexpensive.

You can view several theme galleries containing stunning examples of great premium WP themes here:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Benefits Of Using WP Themes

Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing WordPress themes over choosing applications that require traditional website design:

Very Easy To Install

Themes are quite easy to install on your site. Just upload the plugin file to your Plugin folder via your WP administrator account and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WP themes repository at WordPress.org) directly from within your WordPress site’s admin area.

A Newbie's Guide To Themes


  • WordPress has a growing online community of professional theme developers and development companies who, collectively, contribute thousands of great WordPress Themes available to users. And many of these themes are completely free to use!
  • Themes give sites a unified and consistent look across all of your site’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your digital content. This makes it possible to replace WP themes as often as you need without deleting the site’s data.
  • Many themes come with additional built-in functionality and options that enable you to easily customize your theme’s style, layout and design elements to create a unique look to suit your taste.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that allows users to upgrade the theme to a newer theme version without losing any customizations (e.g. styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, import, install and update WordPress Themes automatically directly from the site’s administration interface.
  • Themes helps you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on web development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are normally very affordable.

About Responsive WP Theme Design

Many WP theme developers are now developing “responsive” WP themes.

A responsive theme allows websites to automatically readjust screen size to display smoothly across different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as across different devices (e.g. computers, iPads, cell phones, etc.) …

WordPress Themes - An Overview

Responsive themes are also optimized for each device type. Users can navigate, read and load the site on most if not all device platforms without having to resize anything, or requiring the website owner to install additional browser tools.

Note: When purchasing WordPress themes, it’s a good idea to choose a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your website will display correctly on all devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore should comply with the latest standards and practices of website design coding.

Hopefully, this overview has helped you gain a better understanding of themes, what themes are, how WordPress themes can help you save money, and how WP themes make it easy to customize your website.

To learn where to search for great WordPress themes for your blog, click here:


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