Now it’s time to look at WordPress Themes, more specifically, what they are and what they do. I’ll continue my attempts to keep things as simple as possible. This may mean it is not 100% technically accurate but it will mean you have enough information to make an informed decision.
I talked elsewhere about WordPress being an excellent blog and website building platform. I have also talked about how WordPress Plugins greatly help the functionality of the site. Now onto Themes. The Theme affects the way your WordPress site looks and also some of its functionality too.
I’ll show you what I mean
We’ll skip a couple of very basic stages and assume you have a domain name and that the Domain Name Servers are pointing at your hosting. Inside your hosting you then download WordPress and, straight out of the box, you end up looking at something like you see in the image below.
Now, depending on when you read this article, it may change and be slightly different but you’ll get the default WordPress Theme (these can also be referred to as ‘templates’ or ‘skins’). You can change the picture, words and alter some of the sizes along with some other things but that is what you get.
Now I’ll show you what happens when you change the Theme and to show you’ll I’ll use my site as an example (yes, this is a WordPress site if you were not aware). All I have done here is to go into the dashboard area of my site and then to the Themes section and asked to see a preview of my site using the default WordPress template. The default is on the left and my site, as you know it, is on the right. I have not touched, nor changed, anything else, just the Theme. If it helps you can click on the image to expand it.
So, as you can see the look has changed considerably. By the way the picture on the default Theme can be changed, of course, but the change is still dramatic. As I mentioned earlier though, it is not only the look that has changed. The Premium Theme that I use offers much more functionality and versatility too.
I am going to take a look at some different Themes elsewhere, free, paid and ones that are specifically suited to ecommerce too. If you cannot wait for that post I’ll do a little summary on the three options open to you.
Firstly Free Themes. These are available in their thousands; however, many are designed for personal use, for blogging type sites. You may find one that is suited to your business; however, it is unlikely unless you operate a small local tradesperson type business; a plasterer or a gardener, for example. I cannot think of any larger type of business that uses a free theme that looks awesome (Please correct me if I‘m wrong – drop me a note; details on the contact page).
Next, the Premium Themes. This is where businesses need to be looking. There are some which are really good and versatile and look great too. With one of these you can create a great looking site with the simplicity that WordPress offers.
Lastly onto ecommerce sites. All themes can handle a purchase button but for sites where selling products is a significant part then there are a few which are well suited and I’ll try and point you in the right direction.