WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

WordPress Themes Explained

The development of content publishing applications like the WordPress CMS platform has truly simplified web design and web development for anyone wanting a website.

This is a great thing for business owners that want to own a website that is simple and easy to manage.

Prior to “blogging” and the development of powerful and simple CMS software, if you needed a business web 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, even months!

WordPress themes changed all this. In this article, you will learn what WP themes are, how WordPress themes help you and your business save money, and how themes let you easily customize your WordPress site.

A Revolution In Website Design

More businesses today will benefit from a great change in website design that began shortly after websites were first introduced. If you are a small business owner, you may want to know about this, because it could save your business a lot of time and money on website development and web design costs.

Very briefly, this is how things used to work in “traditional” website development before a CMS application like WordPress came along:

First, you would discuss your requirements with a website development company or designer. After this, the ”look and feel” of the web site itself had to be decided upon. This required time and money being spent with someone with web design skills going over design elements of your website like the, colors, styles, visual elements, content, etc.

Every page of your website then had to be individually created with all the elements and codes inserted into your content. All of the pages were then assembled into a web site using links and custom coded navigation menus and uploaded to your server, together with all other files required to make your site work – script libraries, images, media, etc.

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything passed testing and performed how it was intended to (and looking how the client had imagined it to look), was the site considered to have been completed and ready for delivery.

The next step in the evolution of business website design was the introduction of “website templating elements”. Web site templates allow the design of the website to be worked on separately from content on the page. The development of template elements helped speed up the process of developing web sites and resulted in lowered production costs. This also allowed web site designers to service businesses and clients with smaller budgets …

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

As more web site development firms started choosing “template-based” web design services, templates started being developed that provided clients with a number of customizable features, such as color palettes, the ability to pick different styles and styles, and so on.

As websites and web building software evolved, website templates also began transforming into website templating ”systems”, enabling users to manage their website’s design aspects.

Then, WordPress was developed and helped to kick off 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:

The WordPress Theme

WordPress themes drive web templating systems further.

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

As the official WordPress site explains …

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 in the quote above, a unique feature of WordPress is that how your web site displays to visitors is controlled independently of how your website is configured internally to handle areas like content management and functionality.

In simple terms, what this means is that a theme lets you modify the appearance of your site as often as you want without affecting your website’s content and all the functionality you’ve built into it. For example, if you have set up your site for e-commerce, replacing the theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of the web site. All e-commerce features, site settings and product information will remain intact, but your site will look completely different.

Why is this important?

Because when your site is powered with WordPress, you no longer need to spend weeks or months waiting for your web design to be completed. You can get your business website built quickly and start with any WordPress theme you like, and completely modify the look, feel and design of your website in a few seconds, whenever you choose … and as many times as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site with no website code editing skills required. Simply pick any WP theme you like, install it on your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your entire site’s web design and customize elements like headers, page layout, style settings and more in a few seconds …

Since WordPress is open source software, thousands of website designers can design themes specifically for the WordPress CMS platform using the WordPress template system.

This means that thousands of high quality WP themes are made available to WordPress users. Themes are generally distributed freely under the terms of the GNU License Definition, or sold as Premium (paid) WP themes.

The WordPress team keeps a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which gives WordPress users access thousands of excellent themes completely free of charge …

(WordPress.org – Free Theme Directory)

As WordPress becomes more popular, more designers are now focusing on creating themes for a wider range of applications.

WordPress themes range from simple-looking, to designs that are visually spectacular and could normally cost thousands of dollars to create. Surprisingly, most premium themes can be purchased quite cheaply, especially when compared to what you would have been charged if a website designer had to create it from scratch.

You can view a number of theme galleries that include many examples of WP themes here:

(Browse Thousands Of FREE WordPress Themes!)

Benefits And Advantages Of Using WP Themes

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

Fast Installation

Themes are quite easy to install on your site. Just upload it 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 your WP dashboard.

Additionally,

Responsive Themes

Many WordPress theme designers are now creating “responsive” themes for WordPress.

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

A responsive theme is also optimized for different platforms. Users can navigate, read and display a site on all devices without having to readjust their browser settings, or requiring website owners to install additional themes.

Note: When downloading WordPress themes, we recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your website displays well on all devices, it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore complies with the latest standards of website design and web coding.

Hopefully, this basic overview has given you a clearer understanding of themes, what themes are, how they can help you save money on web design costs, and how themes make customizing web sites easy.

In our next article in the article WP beginners on basic WP features, we show you where to search for great themes for your blog.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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