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WordPress Themes Explained

Powerful website publishing tools like the WordPress CMS have effectively simplified web design and web development for business owners.

This greatly benefits individuals or businesses planning on getting a website that is relatively easy to manage.

Before “blogging” and the introduction of powerful and simple content management systems, if you needed to build a professional site built for your business, you would have to wait until both the web development and web design processes were fully completed. This process could mean waiting around for weeks, sometimes even many months!

WordPress themes changed all this. In this article, you will learn what WP themes are, how they save you and your business money on web design costs, and how WP themes make it easy to customize your WP site.

Website Design Revolution

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

In a nutshell, this is how things used to work in “traditional” web development before WordPress came along:

First, you would discuss your project with a website developer or web site designer. Then, the design of your site itself would be decided upon. This involved spending time and money with a professional web designer going over elements of the web site like the layout, colors, styles, page elements, content, etc.

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

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything passed testing and performed how it should (and looking the way a client had imagined it to look), was the web site deemed to have been finished and ready for sign off.

The next stage in the evolution of business website design was the introduction of “website templating elements”. A website template allows ”look and feel” elements of the website to be worked on separately from the page content. Having templates helped make creating web sites faster and resulted in lowered costs of production. This also allowed web site development companies to work with businesses with smaller budgets …

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

As the number of web development companies adopting “template-based” websites increased, templates started being designed that offered clients with different custom settings, such as color palettes, the ability to pick different styles, formats, header, footer and navigation elements, page layouts, and so on.

As websites and website building software evolved, website templates also began evolving into website template “systems” that let users manage the design elements of a website.

Then, a “blogging” application called WordPress came along and helped to start a new content management 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

WordPress themes drive the idea of a web templating system much further.

The WP theme system controls and unifies the design aspects of your web site. It allows you to add a “skin” over your entire site similarly to what a template system does but it also also provides you with more control over the management and customization of template options.

As described 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 how your website looks to site visitors does not affect the management of your content.

In plain English terms, what this means is that WordPress themes let you modify the look and feel of your site as much and as often as you like without affecting your site’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if WordPress site has been configured for e-commerce, changing the entire look of your site with a different theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of the web 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 you use WordPress, you no longer have to spend weeks or months waiting for your web design to be completed. You can get your website built quickly and get started with any theme you want, and customize the entire look, feel and design of your site in mere minutes, whenever you choose … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your WP site without having web code development skills. Just pick any theme you want, upload it to your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your web design and customize elements like header images, layout, style settings and more in minutes …

As WordPress is made available as open source software, website design companies can design themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WP templating system.

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

The WordPress development team keeps a FREE directory of WP themes which gives WordPress users access thousands of great website templates at no cost …

(WordPress.org – WordPress Theme Directory)

As more businesses turn to WordPress for publishing and managing their content online, more designers are now starting to develop themes for a wider audience of web users.

Themes range from professional-looking, to designs that are beautiful and would typically cost thousands of dollars to design. Surprisingly, most WP themes can be purchased quite cheaply, especially when you compare the price to what it would have cost you if a website designer had to create it from scratch.

You can see several theme galleries that include many examples of great premium themes here:

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Benefits Of Themes

Here are just a few of the benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over choosing traditional web design:

Fast & Easy Installation

WordPress themes are very easy to install on your site. Just upload it to your Plugins folder via your admin area and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the themes repository at WordPress.org) directly from within your WordPress dashboard.

Additionally …

Responsive WP Theme Design

Many WordPress theme developers are now developing WP themes that incorporate “responsive” design.

A responsive theme allows websites to automatically reconfigure the layout to display smoothly over different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as different devices (e.g. computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.) …

Responsive themes are also optimized for different types of devices. Users can scroll, read and display a site on all device browsers without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring the website owner 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 the content and layout of your site displays well on all devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore complies with the latest standards of web design.

I hope the above article has provided you with a good understanding of WP themes, what WP themes are, how WordPress themes can help you and your business save money on web development costs, and how WordPress themes make it easy to customize your website.

To learn where to search for the best themes for your blog, visit this page: How To Find The Best Paid And Free WordPress Templates On The Web.


"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now