WordPressPowerful web site publishing platforms like the WordPress CMS platform have effectively simplified web design and web development for anyone wanting to start a website.

This greatly benefits entrepreneurial-minded people that want a web presence that they can manage by themselves.

Prior to blogging and the development of advanced content management systems, if you wanted a web site, you typically had to wait until both the web development and website design processes were completely done. This could mean waiting for weeks, even months!

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

The Evolution Of Web Site Design

More businesses today have been benefiting from a revolutionary change in website 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 your business thousands of dollars on website development and website design costs.

Let’s briefly review what happened before a CMS software like WordPress came along:

First, you would discuss your requirements with a web development firm or web designer. Then, the “web design” itself would be decided upon. This meant spending time and money with someone with web design skills discussing areas of the website like the, colours, styles, graphic elements, content, etc.

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

A Basic Guide To Understanding Themes

(image source:adobe.com)

Only after everything had been tested and functioned how it should (and looking how the client had wanted it to look), was the web site deemed to have been completed and ready for sign off.

The next phase in the evolution of business website design was the introduction of “website templating elements”. A web template allows the design of the web site to be created separately from the page content. Having templates helped to speed up the web development process and resulted in reduced production costs. This also allowed web site development firms to work with small business clients and clients with less money to spend …

Understanding WP Themes

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

As more businesses started adopting “template-based” web design services, web templates were created to provide expanding custom settings, such as color palettes, the ability to select different styles or menu styles, and so on.

As web sites and web editor tools evolved, website templates also started evolving into web template “systems”, allowing website owners to customize their website’s design aspects.

Then, WordPress was developed and helped to kick off a new business website revolution …

WP Themes - An Overview

The WordPress Theme

WordPress themes drive the concept of a website templating system further.

A WP theme controls and integrates all of the design elements of your website. It allows you to add a “skin” to your site similarly to what a website template system does but also gives you complete control over the management, presentation and customization aspects of all template options.

As WordPress has explained in its official 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, one of the unique and revolutionary features of WordPress is that the way your web site looks to site visitors in no way affects the management of your content.

Basically, what this means is that a WP theme lets you modify the appearance of your site as much and as often as you like without modifying your website’s content and all the functionality you’ve built into it. For example, if WordPress website has been configured for e-commerce, changing the entire look of the site with another theme won’t affect the content or the functionality of your web site. All e-commerce features, site and plugin settings and product information will remain intact, but your site will look completely different.

This is huge! Why?

Because when you use WordPress, you no longer need to wait until your site’s web design is completed. You can get your business website built simply and start with any theme you like, and then customize the entire look, feel and design of your website in a few seconds, whenever you decide … and as often as you like!

Even better, you can easily install a theme on your site without requiring any website code programming skills. Just choose a theme you like, install it on your website and activate it. WordPress allows you to change your site’s design and modify elements like header images, page layout, typography and more in minutes …

Themes - An Overview

As WordPress is made available as open source software, thousands of web designers can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WordPress template system.

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

The WordPress team maintains a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which gives WordPress users access thousands of great themes at no cost …

Themes - An Overview

(WordPress.org – Free Theme Directory)

As more users turn to WordPress for publishing and managing their content online, more designers are now starting to create themes for a wider range of applications.

Themes range from corporate-looking, to quirky designs that are visually beautiful and would normally cost many hundreds of dollars to design. Surprisingly, WP themes can be purchased very inexpensively, especially when compared to what you would have been charged if a web designer had to code it from scratch.

Themes – Benefits

Here are just some of the benefits of choosing WordPress themes over using traditional web design:

Ready To Use In Very Little Time

WP themes are very easy to install on your site. Simply upload it to your Plugin folder via your admin user login and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the theme directory at WordPress.org) directly from your WordPress site’s admin area.

Themes - An Overview

Additionally,

  • WordPress has a thriving online community of commercial web designers and design companies who, collectively, make thousands of great WordPress Themes available to WP users. And many of these themes are completely free to use!
  • Themes give sites a unified and consistent design across all the blog’s elements, i.e. pages, headers, footers, menus, etc …
  • A “theme” works independently of your website’s content. This means you can replace themes as often as you want without changing the site’s content.
  • Many themes come with additional built-in functionality and options that allow you to customize your site’s layout, style and design properties and create a unique look to suit your needs.
  • Many WP themes are built using a framework that allows users to update the theme to newer versions without losing any customizations (e.g. styles)
  • WordPress lets you search, import and install WordPress Themes automatically from your site’s administration interface.
  • WordPress themes helps you save hundreds of dollars on web design costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”WP themes are typically quite inexpensive.

About Responsive WP Themes

Many theme designers are now developing themes that incorporate “responsive” functionality.

A responsive theme allows a website to automatically resize to display smoothly across different monitor sizes and screen resolutions, as well as different platforms) …

A Basic Guide To WP Themes

Responsive themes are also optimized for each device type. Users can navigate, read and display your site on all device platforms without having to resize anything, or requiring website owners to have installed additional display elements.

Note: When purchasing WordPress themes, we strongly recommend choosing a responsive WordPress theme. Not only will the theme ensure that your web site will display correctly on all devices, it also means that the theme is newer than non-responsive themes and therefore probably complies with the latest standards and practices of web design and web coding.

We hope this basic overview has helped you gain a better understanding of WP themes, what WordPress themes are, how they can help your business save money, and how themes make customizing websites easy.

By the way, I am using FlexSqueeze theme for this blog.

Have we helped you become a more productive website owner? Please add your thoughts below and share this article with your friends.

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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 images and information on this page have been sourced from the plugin’s own website and/or from sites that provide Premium WP Services