Understanding WordPress Themes – A Newbies’ Guide

Understanding WordPress Themes – A Newbies’ Guide

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WordPressThe development of content publishing applications like the WordPress CMS platform has truly simplified web design and web development for users.

This is great for non-technical users planning to build a website that they can manage themselves.

Before “blogging” and the introduction of powerful CMS solutions, if you needed to build a professional website for your business, you typically had to wait until both the web development and website design processes were fully completed. This could mean weeks, even months of waiting!

WordPress themes changed all this. In this article, we explore what themes are, how WordPress themes help you and your business save money, and how themes let you easily customize your website.

Website Design Evolution

More businesses today are benefiting from a tremendous revolution in web design that has been going for several years now. If you are a business owner, you may want to know about this, because it can save your business thousands of dollars on website development and website design costs.

Let’s briefly go over what typically happened before WordPress came along:

The first step would be to meet with a website developer or website designer for a brief. After this, the “web design” itself had to be discussed and agreed upon. This meant spending time with a professional web site designer discussing things of your web site like the, colours, formats, page elements, content, etc.

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

WP Themes - An Introduction

(image source:adobe.com)

Only once everything passed testing and functioned how it should (and looking how the client had imagined it to look), was the web site deemed as being finished and ready for delivery.

Then, website “templates” came along”. A web template allows the “look and feel” of the web site to be worked on separately from content on the page. Having template elements helped to speed up the process of developing web sites and resulted in reduced production costs. This also allowed website developers to expand their services to include business clients with less money to spend …

Understanding WordPress Themes

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

As the number of website development companies adopting “template-based” websites increased, templates were designed that offered clients with a range of custom features and options, like the option to choose different colours, styles, layouts

As web sites and website editing tools evolved, web templates also began evolving into website templating “systems” that permitted users to customize their web site’s design elements.

And then, WordPress was introduced and helped to start a new website revolution …

Themes - An Introduction

About WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme expands website templating systems further.

A WordPress theme controls the design aspects of your web site. It allows you to add a “skin” to your site much like a web template system does but it gives you more control over the management and customization of your site’s template options.

As stated 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 the above quote states, a unique and revolutionary feature of a WP theme is that the way your website looks to visitors is controlled independently of how your content is managed.

In simple terms, what this means is that a WP theme lets you modify the design of your site as much and as often as you want without touching your website’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if you have configured WP website for e-commerce, replacing the theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of the 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 built with WordPress, you no longer need to wait until your website’s design is done. You can get your website built quickly and get started with any theme you like, and edit the entire look, feel and design of your website in a few minutes, whenever you want … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your WordPress site with no web coding knowledge required. Simply choose a WP theme you like, install it on your site and activate it. WordPress lets you change your site’s design and customize elements like header images, page layout, styling options and more in less than a few minutes …

WP Themes - An Introduction

As WordPress is distributed as open source software, website design companies anywhere in the world can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WordPress templating system.

This means that loads of high quality WP themes can be downloaded by WP users. WordPress are normally distributed for Free under the terms of the GNU General Public License Definition, or sold as Premium (paid) WP themes.

The WordPress development team keeps a FREE theme directory which allows WordPress users to download, access and install thousands of excellent WordPress themes completely free of charge …

Themes - An Introduction

(WordPress.org – Free WordPress Theme Directory)

As the popularity of WordPress increases, more designers are now focusing on creating themes for a wider range of applications.

Themes range from minimal-looking, to designs that are impressive and would normally cost hundreds to many thousands of dollars to design. Surprisingly, most premium WordPress themes are really inexpensive.

You can view a number of theme galleries containing many examples of WP themes here: [INSERT WPA-0004 URL HERE]

Benefits & Advantages Of WP Themes

Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing WordPress themes over using traditional website design:

Ready To Go To Work In Minutes

Themes are quite easy to install on your site. Just upload it to your Plugins folder via your WordPress dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the themes directory at WordPress.org) directly inside your WordPress dashboard.

Understanding Themes

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a large online community of professional web developers who make thousands of professional WP Themes available to users. Many of these themes are completely free to use!
  • Themes give sites a consistent look across all of the blog’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, layout, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your blog’s content. This makes it possible to replace the “look and feel” of your templates as often as you like without changing the content.
  • Many WordPress themes provide built-in features and settings that enable you to customize your theme’s layout, style and design properties and create a unique look to suit your preferences.
  • Many WordPress 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, import and install WordPress Themes automatically inside your dashboard.
  • Themes helps you save thousands of dollars on website design costs. Free WordPress themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are normally very affordable.

Responsive Theme Design

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

A responsive theme allows websites to automatically resize to display smoothly across different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as different devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, cell phones, etc.) …

Themes - An Introduction

A responsive theme is also optimized for each device type. Users can navigate, read and load the site on various devices without having to resize anything, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional browser tools.

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 website will display correctly on all of your visitors’ devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore complies with the latest standards, practices and techniques of website design and web coding.

Hopefully this overview has given you a better understanding about themes, what themes are, how they help you and your business save money on web design costs, and how themes make it easy to customize your website.

To learn where to find the best WordPress themes for your website, see this post: [INSERT WPA-0004 URL HERE].

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Disclaimer: We are not associated with WordPress or any of the WordPress products written about on this site. We may derive a financial benefit from sales of products advertised, reviewed or linked to from this site. All details on this page have been supplied from the plugin’s website and/or from websites.
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