Your Guide to WordPress Themes
Guide to WordPress Themes
Advanced web site management tools like the WordPress CMS platform have truly simplified web design and web development for anyone wanting to start a website.
This is a great thing for businesses thinking of getting a website that they can fully manage by themselves.
Prior to “blogging” and the introduction of user-friendly content management systems, if you needed a professional business site, you had to wait until both the website development and web design processes were completely done. This could take weeks, sometimes even many months!
WordPress themes helped change all this. In this article, you will learn what themes are, how themes can help your business save money, and how WP themes allow you to easily customize your WP site.
Evolution In Web Design
Businesses, especially small businesses, have benefited from a revolutionary change in web design that started several years ago. If you own a business, you will want to know about this, because it could save you a lot of time and money on website development and website design costs.
In a nutshell, this is how things worked in “traditional” website design before WordPress were developed:
First, you would discuss your project with a web development agency or web site designer. Then, the actual “web design” itself would be discussed and agreed upon. This meant spending time and money with a professional website designer going over elements of your site such as the layout, colors, styles, graphic elements, content, etc.
Every page of your website then had to be hand-coded with all of your elements and scripts coded into your content. All pages were then assembled together into a website using links and navigation menus and uploaded to your server, together with all other files required to make your website work – script libraries, graphic images, media, etc.
Only once everything had been tested and functioned how it was intended to (and looking how a client had wanted it to look), was the website deemed to be completed and ready to go live.
Then, web design “templates” came along”. A website template allows design elements of the web site to be created separately from content on the page. Having ready-made templates helped speed up the web development process and resulted in lowered production costs. This also enabled website development companies to expand their services to include businesses with less money to spend …
(image source: www.dreamweaver-templates.org)
As more small businesses started adopting “template-based” web design services, templates were introduced that could offer various customization features, like the option to choose different colours, styles, layouts
As websites and web building software evolved, web templates also began to evolve into web template “systems”, which permitted website owners to manage the design aspects of a website.
Then, WordPress was introduced and helped to start a new website revolution …
The WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme expands the concept of a web templating system further.
A WordPress theme controls every aspect of your website design. It allows you to add a “skin” to your site similarly to what a template system does but it also also provides users with more control over the management and customization aspects of all template options.
As the official WordPress site states …
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 states, a unique feature of the WordPress theme is that how your website looks to site visitors does not affect how your content is managed.
Basically, what this means is that themes let you change the appearance of your website as often as you like without affecting your website’s content and all the functionality you’ve built into it. For example, if you have configured WordPress site for e-commerce, changing the entire look of the site with a different theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of the web site. All e-commerce features, site and plugin settings and product information will remain unaffected, but the 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 site to be done. You can get your website built quickly and start with any WordPress theme you like, and customize the entire look, feel and design of your site in a few seconds, whenever you choose … and as often as you like!
Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your site without having website coding skills. Simply pick any WordPress theme you want, upload it to your website and activate it. WordPress lets you change your site’s design and customize elements like headers, layout, style settings and more in a few seconds …
Because WordPress is distributed as open source software, web design companies all around the world can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WP template system.
This means that thousands of high quality WordPress themes can be downloaded by WordPress users. WP are normally distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, or they can be purchased as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.
The WordPress team keeps a FREE directory of WP themes which gives WordPress users access thousands of great themes at no cost …
(WordPress.org – WP Themes Directory)
As WordPress becomes more popular, more designers are now focusing on developing themes for a wider range of applications.
WordPress themes vary from corporate-looking, to quirky designs that are stunning and could typically cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to design. Surprisingly, WordPress themes are quite inexpensive to buy.
You can view a number of theme galleries containing many examples of great WordPress themes here: [INSERT WPA-0004 URL HERE]
Benefits Of WordPress Themes
Here are just some of the many benefits and advantages of using WordPress themes over using traditional web design:
Themes are very easy to install on your site. Simply upload the plugin file to your Plugin folder via your admin user account and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the WordPress themes repository at WordPress.org) directly from your WP site’s admin area.
- WordPress has a thriving online community of professional website designers who, collectively, make thousands of great WP Themes available to WordPress users. And many of these themes are 100% free to use!
- Themes give sites a consistent design across all your blog’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
- A “theme” works independently of your site’s content. This means you can replace the “look and feel” of your templates as often as you need without deleting the website’s data.
- Many WP themes come with additional built-in functionality and settings that allow you to customize the theme’s style and design elements to create a unique look to suit your preferences.
- Many WordPress themes are built using a framework that enables users to upgrade themes to newer versions without losing any unique customizations (e.g. styles)
- WordPress lets you search, upload, install and update WordPress Themes automatically within your site’s administration interface.
- WordPress themes lets you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on website design costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WP themes are normally very affordable.
About Responsive Themes
Many theme developers are now creating WordPress themes that incorporate “responsive” design.
A responsive theme allows websites to automatically resize to display smoothly over different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as different platforms) …
A responsive theme is also optimized for different platforms. Users can scroll, read and load your site on a range of devices without having to resize anything, or requiring website owners to have installed additional themes.
Note: When selecting, WordPress themes, we recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your web site will display correctly across your visitors’ devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards, practices and techniques of website design and coding.
I hope this overview has given you a clearer understanding about themes, what WP themes are, how themes can help you save money on website design costs, and how WordPress themes make it easy to customize your site.
To learn where to search for great WordPress themes for your website or blog, visit this post: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best WordPress Themes.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please add your thoughts below and take a moment to share this post with your friends.