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.

A Basic Guide To WP ThemesThe introduction of flexible website management applications like WordPress has effectively improved web design and web development for anyone wanting a website.

This is a great thing for non-technical users that want to own a web presence that is relatively simple and easy to manage.

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

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

Evolution In Web Site Design

More businesses today are benefiting from a tremendous change in website design that has been going for a number of years now. If you are a business owner, you may want to learn more about this, because it can save you a lot of time and money on web development or web design costs.

In a nutshell, here’s what used to happen before application like WordPress came along:

The first step would be to discuss your project with a website developer or designer. Next, the actual “web design” itself would be decided upon. This involved time and money being spent with someone with website design skills discussing things of your web site like the layout, colors, styles, page elements, content, etc.

Every page of your site then had to be hand-coded with all the design elements and scripts coded into your page content. All the pages were then assembled together into a web site using links and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, along with all other files needed to make your website work – script libraries, images, media, etc.

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything passed testing and performed the way it was intended to (and looking the way a client had imagined it to look), was the web site considered to be finished and ready for sign off.

Then, website “templates” came along”. Web templates allow ”look and feel” elements of the web site to be created separately from content on the page. Having ready-made templates helped make the process of website creation faster and resulted in lowered production costs. This also enabled web developers to expand their services to include small business clients and clients with smaller marketing budgets …

Understanding WP Themes

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

As more website development companies started adopting “template-based” websites, templates started being developed that could offer expanding custom options, such as colour palettes, the ability to select different styles, formats, header, footer and navigation elements, layouts, and so on.

As websites and website editor tools developed, website templates also began to evolve into web templating “systems” that let users customize the visual aspects of a web site.

And then, a “blogging” software called WordPress came along and helped to start a new content management revolution …

WP 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:

WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme drives the idea of a web template system much further.

The WordPress theme system controls and unifies every aspect of your web site design. It allows you to add a “skin” to your site in a similar way that a web template system does but it provides you with more control over the management and customization aspects of your site’s template features.

As explained in 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 stated above, one of the unique and revolutionary features of the WP theme is that the way your website looks to visitors externally is kept independent of the management of your content.

Basically, what this means is that a WP theme lets you change the appearance of your website as much and as often as you like without modifying your site’s content and all the functionality you’ve built into it. For example, if WordPress site has been set up for e-commerce, changing the entire look of the site with a different theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of the website. All e-commerce features, settings and product information will remain intact, but the site will look completely different.

Why is this such great news for small businesses?

Because with WordPress, you no longer need to wait until your site’s web design is completed. You can get your website built simply and get started with any theme you want, and then completely modify the look, feel and design of your WordPress site in a few seconds, whenever you decide … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site with no web coding knowledge necessary. Just pick any WP theme you like, install it on your site and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your site’s design and customize elements like headers, page layout, styling options and more in a few seconds …

A Basic Guide To WP Themes

Because WordPress is open source software, web designers can design themes specifically for the WordPress CMS platform using the WP template system.

This means that thousands of great WordPress themes can be downloaded by WordPress users. Themes are usually distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they can be purchased as Premium (i.e. paid) WordPress themes.

The WordPress team keeps a FREE directory of WordPress themes which allows WordPress users to download, access and install thousands of great themes at $0 cost …

WP Themes - An Overview

(WordPress.org – WP Theme Directory)

As more users turn to WordPress for online publishing, more designers are now starting to create themes for a wider audience of WordPress users.

WordPress themes range from functional-looking, to jaw-dropping designs that are visually beautiful and would easily cost many hundreds of dollars to design. Surprisingly, most WordPress themes can be bought very cheaply, especially when compared to what it would have cost you if a website designer had to build it from scratch.

You can view a number of WordPress theme galleries containing various examples of great premium WordPress themes here:

Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Benefits & Advantages Of WordPress Themes

Here are just some of the benefits and advantages of using WordPress themes over using web development tools that require traditional web template design:

Ready To Start Using In Minutes

WordPress themes are really easy to install on your site. Just upload a zip file that contains the plugin files to your Plugins folder via your WP dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WP theme repository at WordPress.org) directly inside your WP dashboard.

WordPress Themes - An Introduction

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a growing community of commercial web developers who contribute thousands of high quality WP Themes available to users. Many of these themes are completely free to use!
  • Themes give sites a consistent look across all the site’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, layout, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your web site’s content. This makes it possible to change themes as often as you want without deleting the underlying content of your web site.
  • Many WordPress themes provide built-in functionality and settings that let you easily customize your theme’s style and design elements to create a unique look to suit your taste.
  • Many themes are built using a framework that lets users upgrade themes to a newer theme version without losing any unique customizations (e.g. styles)
  • WordPress allows you to search, upload and install WordPress Themes automatically directly from within the site’s administration interface.
  • WP themes helps you save thousands of dollars on website development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are normally very inexpensive.

Responsive Themes

Many WP theme developers are now creating themes that incorporate “responsive” design protocols.

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

Understanding Themes

Responsive themes are also optimized for each device type. Users can scroll, read and load a site on a range of device platforms without having to resize anything, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional themes.

Note: When purchasing WordPress themes, we recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will a responsive theme ensure that your web site will work correctly on your visitors’ devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore should comply with the latest standards of website design and coding.

We hope that this post has given you a better understanding of themes, what themes are, how WordPress themes help you and your business save money on website design costs, and how WordPress themes make customizing your web design easy.

To learn where to find the best WordPress themes for your website or blog, click here:

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