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.

Understanding ThemesPowerful web site management platforms like the WordPress CMS have truly simplified web design and web development for web users.

This is fantastic news for individuals or businesses that want a website that they can manage themselves.

Before “blogging” and the development of powerful CMS tools, if you wanted a professional business site, you typically would have to wait until both the website development and website design processes were completely done. This could mean weeks, even months of waiting for the work to be done!

The development of WordPress themes changed all this. In this blog post, we explain what WP themes are, how they save you and your business money on web development costs, and how WordPress themes make it easy to customize your WordPress site.

A Revolution In Web Design

More businesses are benefiting from a revolutionary change in website design that began shortly after websites were first introduced. If you own a business, you will want to learn about this, because it can save you a lot of time and money on website development and web design costs.

Let’s go over how things worked in “traditional” website design before application like WordPress was introduced:

First, you would discuss your project with a website developer or designer. After that, the “web design” would be decided upon. This required time and money being spent with someone with web site design skills discussing areas of the web site such as the layout, colors, styles, graphic elements, content, etc.

Every page of your website then had to be individually created with your elements and scripts coded around the page content. All of the pages were then assembled together into a website using hyperlinks and custom coded 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.

Themes - An Overview

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything had been tested and functioned how it was supposed to (and looking the way a client had imagined it to look), was the site considered as being completed and ready for delivery.

The next phase in the evolution of business web design was the introduction of “web templating elements”. Web site templates allow the ”look and feel” of the website to be worked on separately from the page content. The introduction of template elements helped to make the process of web site creation faster and resulted in lowered costs of production. This also enabled web site development firms to expand their services to include small business clients with less money to spend …

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding WordPress Themes

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

As more small businesses started adopting “template-based” web design services, web templates started being introduced to provide clients with expanding custom features, such as color palettes, the ability to pick different styles or header, footer and navigation elements, and so on.

As websites and website editor applications developed, website templates also started to transform into website templating ”systems”, enabling users and website designers to customize their site’s visual components.

And then, a “blogging” application called WordPress came along and helped to start a new digital publishing revolution …

A Basic Guide To Understanding Themes

(WordPress – A Content Publishing Revolution)

To learn more about content management systems and the benefits of the WordPress CMS, see the tutorial below:

About WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme pushes website templating systems even further.

A WP theme controls and integrates all of the design areas of a website. It allows you to add a “skin” to your site similarly to what a web template system does but it also also provides you with complete control over the management and customization of all template options.

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 states, a unique and revolutionary feature of WordPress is that how your web site appears to visitors is a completely different thing from how your website is configured in the backend to handle areas like content management and functionality.

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

This is huge! Why?

Because when your site is powered with WordPress, you no longer have to wait until your site’s web design is completed. You can get your website built quickly and get started with any theme you like, and then completely edit the look, feel and design of your WordPress site in mere seconds, whenever you decide … and as many times as you like!

Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your site with no website code editing skills necessary. Just pick a theme you like, upload it to your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your entire site’s web design and modify elements like header images, page layout, styling options and more in minutes …

Understanding Themes

Since WordPress is distributed as open source software, web 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. Themes are generally distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU General Public License Definition, or they can be purchased as Premium (paid) WordPress themes.

The WordPress development team maintains a FREE directory of WP themes which gives WordPress users access thousands of great web templates at $0 cost …

Themes - An Introduction

(WordPress.org – Free Theme Directory)

As the popularity of WordPress increases, more designers are now starting to create themes for a wider range of applications.

WP themes range from bare-looking, to designs that are simply breathtaking and would typically cost many hundreds of dollars to create. Surprisingly, themes can be bought quite cheaply, especially when compared to what you would have been charged if a website designer had to code it from scratch.

You can see a number of theme galleries containing various examples of WordPress themes here:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

WordPress Themes – Benefits And Advantages

Here are just some of the many benefits of choosing WordPress themes over choosing tools that require traditional website design:

Ready To Go To Work In Very Little Time

Themes are very easy to install on your site. Simply upload the plugin file to your Plugin folder via your WP admin user section and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the free theme repository at WordPress.org) directly from within your WordPress admin’s “Theme” section.

A Basic Guide To WordPress Themes

Additionally …

  • WordPress has a thriving online community of professional web developers and development companies who, collectively, make thousands of quality 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, i.e. pages, headers, footers, layouts, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your website’s content. This makes it possible to change the “look and feel” of your templates as often as you want without affecting your underlying content.
  • Many themes come with additional features and settings that let you customize the theme’s layout, style and design elements to create a unique look to suit your preferences.
  • Many WP themes are built using a framework that enables users to update themes to newer theme versions without losing any unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, upload and install WordPress Themes automatically directly from within your site’s administration interface.
  • WordPress themes lets you save thousands of dollars on web design costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WordPress themes are normally very inexpensive.

Responsive Themes

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

A responsive theme allows a website to automatically reconfigure the layout to display smoothly across different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as different platforms) …

WP Themes - An Overview

A responsive theme is also optimized for each platform. Users can navigate, read and load the site on most if not all device browsers without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional browser tools.

Note: When downloading WordPress themes, we strongly recommend choosing 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 most non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards, practices and techniques of website design and coding.

I hope the above article has given you a good overview of themes, what WordPress themes are, how they can help your business save money on website design costs, and how themes make customizing websites easy.

To learn where to find great WordPress themes for your blog, visit this page: Where To Look For Great Premium And Free WordPress Web Templates On The Net.


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