The introduction of advanced content publishing technologies like the WordPress CMS has truly simplified web design and web development for users.
This greatly benefits business owners planning to run a digital presence that is relatively simple and easy to manage.
Prior to “blogging” and the introduction of powerful and effective content management systems, if you wanted to build a web site for your business, you typically would have to wait until both the web development and website design processes were fully completed. This could mean weeks, sometimes even months of waiting around!
The development of WordPress themes changed all this. In this post, we look at what WP themes are, how themes help you and your business save money, and how themes let you easily customize your website.
A Revolution In Website Design
Businesses, especially small businesses, will benefit from a revolutionary change in website design that has been going for several years now. If you own a small business, you may want to learn about this, because it can save you a lot of time and money on web development and web design costs.
Let’s go over what normally took place before CMS applications like WordPress came along:
The first step would be to discuss your requirements with a website developer or designer. After this, the actual “web design” would be discussed and agreed upon. This required time being spent with a professional web designer discussing design elements of your site like the, colours, formats, visual elements, content, etc.
Every page of your web site then had to be hand-coded with all the elements and scripts coded around the page content. All of the pages were then assembled into a web site using links and custom coded navigation menus and uploaded to your server, along with every other file needed to make your site work – script libraries, graphic images, media elements, etc.
Only once everything had been tested and was performing how it should (and looking the way the client had imagined it to look), was the site deemed to have been completed and ready for delivery.
Then, website “templates” were developed”. A web site template allows presentation elements of the web site to be created separately from content on the page. The development of templates helped speed up the process of developing web sites and resulted in lowered costs of production. This also allowed web development firms to expand their services to include businesses and clients with less money to spend …
(image source: http://ift.tt/1V7t8mf)
As the number of small businesses using “template-based” web design services increased, web templates were created that offered various customizable settings, such as color palettes, the ability to specify different styles, formats, elements, page layouts, and so on.
As websites and website editing tools developed, website templates also began to transform into website template “systems”, letting users and website developers customize the design aspects of their site.
And then, a “blogging” tool called WordPress came along and helped to start a new website revolution …
The WordPress Theme
WordPress themes drive the concept of a website templating system one step further.
A WP theme controls and integrates all of the design elements of the web site. It lets you add a “skin” over your entire site much like a web template system does but it gives you complete control over the management, presentation and ability to customize the template features.
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).
As stated above, a unique and revolutionary feature of a WordPress theme is that how your site looks to site visitors externally is kept independent of your site’s functional aspects (e.g. content management and functionality).
Basically, what this means is that themes let you change the look and feel of your site as much and as often as you want without touching your site’s content and all the work you’ve put into it. For example, if WP site has been set up for e-commerce, changing the entire look of your site with another 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 the 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 done. You can get your business website built quickly and get started with any WordPress theme you like, and modify the entire look, feel and design of your site in a few seconds, whenever you decide … and as often as you like!
Even better, you can easily replace any theme on your WordPress site with no website code editing skills required. Just pick a theme you want, install it on your website and activate it. WordPress lets you change your site’s design and customize elements like headers, page layout, style settings and more in a few seconds …
Because WordPress is open source software, thousands of web design companies can create themes specifically for the WordPress platform using the WordPress templating system.
This means that thousands of great WordPress themes can be downloaded by WP users. WordPress are usually distributed freely under the terms of the GNU License Definition, or sold as Premium (i.e. paid) themes.
The WordPress development team maintains a FREE WordPress Theme Directory which gives WordPress users access thousands of excellent themes at no cost â€¦
(WordPress.org – WP Theme Directory)
As WordPress becomes more popular, more designers are now starting to create themes for a wider audience of web users.
WordPress themes vary from bare-looking, to designs that are impressive and would normally cost many hundreds of dollars to develop. Surprisingly, most WordPress themes can be purchased quite inexpensively, especially when compared to what you would have been charged if a web designer had to code it from scratch.
WordPress Themes – Benefits & Advantages
Here are just some of the benefits of choosing WordPress themes over using traditional web template design:
WordPress Theme Installation Is Easy And Quick
WordPress themes are quite easy to install on your site. Just upload a zip folder containing the plugin to your Plugins folder via your dashboard and activate. Even easier still, you can install any of the themes listed in the themes repository at WordPress.org) directly inside your WP site’s admin area.
- WordPress has a growing online community of professional web designers who, collectively, make thousands of professional WordPress Themes available to WordPress users. Many of these themes are completely free to use!
- Themes give sites a unified and consistent design across all the blog’s elements, like pages, headers, footers, menus, layout, etc …
- A “theme” works independently of your web site’s content. This allows you swap themes as often as you like without affecting your underlying content of your blog.
- Many WordPress themes come with additional built-in features and options that enable you to easily customize your site’s layout and design elements and create a unique look to suit your business.
- Many themes are built using a framework that enables you to update the theme to newer theme versions without losing its unique customizations (e.g. CSS styles)
- WordPress lets you search, upload, install and update WordPress Themes automatically right within the admin panel.
- Themes helps you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on website design costs. Free themes cost nothing and most “Premium”themes are typically quite inexpensive.
Responsive WordPress Theme Design
Many WP theme designers are now developing “responsive” themes for WordPress.
A responsive theme allows a website to automatically readjust screen size to display smoothly over different screen sizes and resolutions, as well as across different platforms) …
Responsive themes are also optimized for each device type. Users can navigate, read and load your site on different device browsers without having to resize anything, or requiring the website owner to have installed additional browser elements.
Note: When downloading 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 will work correctly on your visitors’ devices, it also means that the theme is newer than most non-responsive themes and therefore should comply with the latest standards, practices and techniques of web design.
I hope the above overview has given you a clearer understanding about themes, what WordPress themes are, how WordPress themes can help you save money on web development costs, and how WP themes make customizing your web design easy.