Flexible content management systems like the WordPress CMS platform have effectively improved web design and web development for business owners.
This greatly benefits non-technical users that want to own a website that they can fully manage themselves.
Prior to “blogging” and the development of powerful and effective content management systems, if you needed a website, you had to wait until both the website development and web design processes were completely done. This process could mean weeks, sometimes even months of waiting for the work to be done!
WordPress themes changed all this. In this post, you will learn what themes are, how they save you and your business money on website development costs, and how themes make it easy to customize your site.
Website Design Revolution
More businesses have benefited from an evolution in web design that has been going for several years now. If you are a business owner, you may want to learn more 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 what used to happen before a CMS application like WordPress came along:
First, you would discuss your requirements with a web developer or website designer. Then, the actual “web design” would be discussed and agreed upon. This involved time and money being spent with someone with web site design skills going over elements of your web site like the, colors, formats, visual elements, content, etc.
Every page of your website then had to be hand-coded with the design elements and scripts coded around the content. The pages were then assembled together into a website using hyperlinks and custom coded navigation menus and uploaded to your server, along with every other file needed to make your website work – script libraries, images, media elements, etc.
Only after everything passed testing and was working how it was supposed to (and looking how a client had imagined it to look), was the web site considered to have been completed and ready for sign off.
The next step in the evolution of web design was the introduction of “website templating elements”. A web template allows presentation elements of the website to be created separately from the page content. The development of template elements helped make the process of site development faster and resulted in reduced costs of production. This also allowed web development firms to service smaller business clients with less money to spend on marketing …
(image source: www.dreamweaver-templates.org)
As more businesses started using “template-based” web design services, web templates started being created to offer clients with a number of customization features and options, like color palettes, the ability to specify different styles or header, footer and navigation elements, etc …
As websites and website editing software developed, web templates also started to evolve into web templating “systems” that let website owners and website designers manage their website’s design aspects.
And then, a “blogging” tool called WordPress was introduced and helped to start a new business website revolution …
(WordPress – A Content Publishing Revolution)
To learn more about content management systems and the benefits of the WordPress CMS, see the tutorial below:
WordPress themes drive the concept of a web templating system even further.
A WP theme controls every aspect of your web design. It allows you to add a “skin” over your entire site similarly to what a template system does but it also also provides users with more control over the management and customization of template options.
As WordPress states in its website …
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 states, a unique feature of WordPress is that the way your web site looks to visitors in no way affects the management of your content.
Basically, what this means is that you can change the look and feel of your website as much and as often as you want without affecting your website’s content and all the functionality you’ve built 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 site. All e-commerce features, settings and product information will remain unaffected, but your site will look completely different.
This is huge! Why?
Because when your website is powered by WordPress, you no longer have to wait until your site’s web design is completed. You can get your website built simply and get started with any WP theme you like, and then completely edit the look, feel and design of your WordPress site in seconds, whenever you want … and as often as you like!
Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site with no website design skills required. Simply pick a theme you like, upload it to your website and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your site’s design and customize elements like headers, layout, style settings and more in minutes …
As WordPress is open source software, thousands of website designers from all over the world can design themes specifically for the WP CMS platform using the WP template system.
This means that thousands of high quality WP themes are made available to WordPress users. Themes are generally distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU General Public License Definition, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.
The WordPress development team maintains a FREE theme directory which allows WordPress users to download and access, thousands of excellent themes at $0 cost …
(WordPress.org – WordPress Themes Directory)
As the popularity of WordPress increases, more designers are now starting to create themes for a wider audience of web users.
WordPress themes vary from bare-looking, to artsy designs that are quite beautiful and could easily cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to commission. Surprisingly, most premium WP themes can be bought fairly inexpensively, especially when you compare the cost to what it would have cost you if a website designer had to develop it from scratch.
You can view several theme galleries containing various examples of themes here:
(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)
Themes – Benefits & Advantages
Here are just some of the many benefits of using WordPress themes over using traditional website 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 dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the free theme repository at WordPress.org) directly inside your WordPress dashboard.
- WordPress has a large community of commercial theme developers who make thousands of professional WP Themes available to users. And many of these themes are 100% free to use!
- Themes give sites a unified and consistent look across all the blog’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, layouts, etc …
- A “theme” works independently of your digital content. This allows you replace themes as often as you like without deleting your blog’s underlying information.
- Many WordPress themes come with built-in functionality and settings that enable you to customize the site’s style and design properties and create a unique look to suit your taste.
- Many WordPress themes are built using a framework that allows users to update themes to newer theme versions without losing any customizations (e.g. styles)
- WordPress allows you to search, import, install and update WordPress Themes automatically from the dashboard.
- WP themes allow WordPress users to save thousands of dollars on website development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WordPress themes are normally very affordable.
Responsive WP Themes
Many WP theme designers are now developing “responsive” themes for the WP platform.
A responsive theme allows a website to automatically reconfigure the layout to display smoothly over different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as different platforms) …
A responsive theme is also optimized for different types of devices. Users can navigate, read and load your site on most if not all devices without having to resize anything, or requiring website owners to install additional display 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 your website displays well across all devices, but it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards, practices and techniques of web design coding.
We hope the above article has provided you with a clearer understanding of themes, what WP themes are, how WordPress themes can help you save money on web development costs, and how themes make customizing your web design easy.
To learn where to find great themes for your blog, go here:
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum