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 ThemesAdvanced web management platforms like the WordPress CMS platform have effectively simplified web design and web development for web users.

This is a great thing for businesses planning to start a website that is easy to manage.

Prior to “blogging” and the development of powerful content management systems, if you needed a business website, you typically would have to wait until both the web development and web design processes were completely done. This could take many weeks, sometimes even months!

WordPress themes have changed all this. In this blog post, we explain what themes are, how WordPress themes can help you and your business save money, and how WP themes help you easily customize your site.

Revolutionary Web Design

More website owners have benefited from a revolutionary change in website design that has been going for several years now. If you own a small business, you may want to learn about this, because it could save your business a lot of time and money on web development or web design costs.

Let’s briefly go over how things typically worked in “traditional” website design before system like WordPress came along:

The first step would be to meet with a web developer or designer for a brief. Then, the “web design” itself had to be decided upon. This involved time and money being spent with a professional website designer discussing design elements of your web site like the, colors, styles, page elements, content, etc.

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

Understanding Themes

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything had been tested and functioned how it should (and looking the way the client had wanted it to look), was the web site deemed as being completed and ready to go live.

Then, website “templates” came along”. A web template allows the presentation of the website to be created separately from content on the page. The development of template elements helped speed up the process of developing web sites and resulted in lowered production costs. This also allowed website developers and designers to expand their services to include small businesses and clients with smaller budgets …

A Basic Guide To Understanding Themes

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

As more web site development companies began adopting “template-based” websites, templates were created that offered clients with a range of customization settings, such as the ability to switch colors, styles, layouts

As websites and website editing tools evolved, website templates also began evolving into website template “systems” that let users manage the design aspects of their web site.

Then, WordPress came along and helped to start a new content management 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

A WordPress theme drives the concept of a website template system further.

A WP theme controls and unifies every aspect of your website design. It allows you to add a “skin” over your site in a similar way that a web template system does but it provides users with complete control over the management and customization aspects of all template settings.

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).

(source: WordPress.org)

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

In simple terms, what this means is that themes let you modify the design of your website as much and as often as you want without touching your website’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if you have configured WordPress website for e-commerce, changing the entire look of the site with another theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of your website. All e-commerce features, site settings and product information will remain intact, but the site will look completely different.

This is important. Why?

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

Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your WP site with no website code programming skills required. Simply choose a WordPress theme you like, install it on your website and activate it. WordPress lets you change your web design and customize elements like headers, page layout, styling options and more in a few seconds …

Themes - An Overview

As WordPress is made available as open source software, web designers all around the world can design themes specifically for the WordPress CMS platform using the WP templating system.

This means that thousands of great WP themes can be downloaded by WordPress users. WP are normally distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU License Definition, or sold as Premium (paid) WordPress themes.

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

Understanding Themes

(WordPress.org – Theme Directory)

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

WordPress themes range from corporate-looking, to designs that are simply impressive and would easily cost many hundreds of dollars to design. Surprisingly, most premium themes are quite inexpensive to buy.

You can see several theme galleries that include many examples of themes in this post:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Themes – Benefits

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

Be Up And Running In Minutes

WP themes are very easy to install on your site. Just upload the plugin file to your Plugins folder via your dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WP themes directory at WordPress.org) directly inside your WordPress dashboard.

Themes - An Introduction

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a large online community of commercial theme designers who contribute thousands of fantastic WordPress Themes available to WP users. Thousands of these themes are 100% free to use!
  • Themes give sites a consistent “look and feel” across all of the blog’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, layouts, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your site’s content. This allows you swap WordPress themes as often as you want without modifying your content.
  • Many WP themes provide built-in functionality and settings that let you customize the site’s layout and design properties to create a unique look to suit your needs.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that allows users to upgrade themes to newer versions without losing any unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, import and install WordPress Themes automatically inside your dashboard.
  • WordPress themes lets you save thousands of dollars on web development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are typically very affordable.

About Responsive WP Theme Design

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

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

Understanding Themes

Responsive themes are also optimized for different platforms. Users can navigate, read and load your site on various devices without having to resize anything, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional browser elements.

Note: When purchasing WordPress themes, it’s a good idea to choose a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will a responsive theme ensure that the content and layout of your site will work correctly across your visitors’ devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards and practices of website design and coding.

Hopefully, the above article has provided you with a good understanding of themes, what themes are, how they can help you and your business save money, and how WP themes make customizing web sites easy.

To learn where to find the best themes for your website, visit this post: How To Find The Best Paid And Free WordPress Templates On The Net.

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