This greatly benefits individuals or businesses thinking of running a web presence that they can manage.
Prior to “blogging” and the development of user-friendly CMS tools, if you needed a site, you typically would have to wait until both the web development and website design processes were fully completed. This process could mean waiting for many weeks, sometimes even months!
The introduction of WordPress themes helped change all this. In this article, you will learn what WP themes are, how they help you and your business save money, and how themes allow you to easily customize your site.
Evolution In Website Design
Businesses have been benefiting from an evolution in web design that started many years ago. If you are a small business owner, you may want to know more about this, because it can save you a lot of time and money on web development and web design costs.
Let’s go over how things used to work in “traditional” website development before WordPress came along:
The first step would be to discuss your requirements with a website development agency or designer. Next, the actual “web design” itself would be decided upon. This involved spending time and money with a professional web site designer discussing things of the site like the, colours, styles, visual elements, content, etc.
Every page of your web site then had to be hand-coded with all the design elements and codes written into your content. All of the pages were then assembled into a website using links and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, along with every other file needed to make your site work – script libraries, images, media, etc.
Only after everything had been tested and worked the way it was intended to (and looking how the client had wanted it to look), was the site deemed to have been completed and ready for sign off.
Then, web design “templates” were developed”. A web template allows design elements of the web site to be created separately from the page content. The introduction of ready-made templates helped to speed up the process of developing websites and resulted in lowered production costs. This also allowed web developers to work with business clients with less money to spend on marketing …
(image source: www.dreamweaver-templates.org)
As more businesses began adopting “template-based” web design services, templates started being introduced that offered clients with various customizable options, like colour palettes, the ability to pick different formats and header, footer and navigation elements, and so on.
As websites and web building applications evolved, web templates also started to evolve into website template ”systems”, letting users control their web site’s design components.
And then, a “blogging” software called WordPress came along and helped to start a new web revolution …
(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 expands the idea of a website templating system further.
The WordPress theme system controls every aspect of your web design. It lets you add a “skin” to your entire site much like a web template system does but also gives you complete control over the management, presentation and customization of all 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).
As the above quote states, a unique feature of a WordPress theme is that how your web site appears to visitors is managed separately from the way your content is managed.
Basically, what this means is that a theme lets you change the appearance of your site as often as you like without touching your site’s content and all the functionality you’ve built into it. For example, if your 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 your website. All e-commerce features, site and plugin settings and product information will remain unaffected, but your site will look completely different.
This is important. Why?
Because when your site is powered by WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your website to be completed. You can get your website built simply and start with any WordPress theme you want, and completely customize the look, feel and design of your WordPress site in minutes, whenever you want … and as many times as you like!
Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your site with no website coding skills necessary. Just choose any WP theme you want, install it on your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your website design and modify elements like headers, layout, styling options and more with just a few mouse clicks …
Because WordPress is made available as open source software, professional website designers all around the world can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WP template system.
This means that loads of great WP themes can be downloaded by WordPress users. WordPress are generally distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU License Definition, or sold as Premium (paid) WordPress themes.
The WordPress team keeps a FREE directory of WP themes which allows WordPress users to download and access, thousands of excellent WordPress themes for free …
(WordPress.org – Themes Directory)
As more users turn to WordPress for publishing and managing their content online, more designers are now starting to develop themes for a wider range of uses.
WordPress themes range from minimal-looking, to clever designs that are visually breathtaking and could easily cost thousands of dollars to commission. Surprisingly, themes are really inexpensive to purchase.
You can view several WP theme galleries that include various examples of great premium themes in this page:
(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)
WP Themes – Benefits & Advantages
Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing WordPress themes over using web building tools that require traditional web template design:
Be Up And Running In Very Little Time
Themes are quite easy to install on your site. Simply upload a zip file that contains the plugin to your Plugins folder via your WP dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the themes repository at WordPress.org) directly from within your WP dashboard.
- WordPress has a large community of professional web designers and design companies who contribute thousands of professional WordPress Themes available to users. Thousands of these themes are 100% free to use!
- Themes give sites a consistent look across all your site’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, menus, layout, etc …
- A “theme” works independently of your site’s content. This makes it possible to replace themes as often as you need without affecting the underlying content.
- Many WP themes provide additional functionality and options that allow you to easily customize the theme’s layout and design elements and create a unique look to suit your business.
- Many WP themes are built using a framework that lets you upgrade themes to newer theme versions without losing any customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
- WordPress lets you search, upload, install and update WordPress Themes automatically within the site’s administration interface.
- Themes lets you save thousands of dollars on website development costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WP themes are normally very affordable.
About Responsive WordPress Themes
Many WP theme designers are now developing WP themes that incorporate “responsive” design protocols.
A responsive theme enables websites to automatically readjust the web layout to display smoothly over different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as across different platforms) …
Responsive themes are also optimized for each platform. Users can navigate, read and display the site on all device browsers without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring website owners to have installed additional display elements.
Note: When searching for WordPress themes, it’s a good idea to choose a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your web site will work correctly on 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 web design.
Hopefully, the above overview has helped you gain a clearer understanding of WordPress themes, what themes are, how themes help your business save money, and how themes let you easily customize a web site.
To learn where to search for great WP themes for your website or blog, go here:
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum