As a free, open-source content management system, it's hard to beat WordPress. Besides being free, it's user-friendly enabling many new website owners to self-host their sites and for visitors to navigate through them. And thanks to WordPress's unique template system, which the company refers to as themes, it gives every website that uses it a fresh, attractive look.
So what exactly is a WordPress theme?
Let's take a trip back in time for a moment and revisit your high school English class. If you spent time studying the classics, what was your favorite? The Great Gatsby? To Kill a Mockingbird? Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?
Whatever book you best remember, it's likely because the overall message or theme of the novel made a lasting impression. If it was really good, you might have even hated to put it down.
In the digital marketing world, the way you present your content is nearly as important as what is included in it. A WordPress theme enables the design and layout of your website. It lets you as the owner choose what is displayed to the public, where images and videos may be seen, spacing between lines, what font your content is written in, and other stylistic details.
All things being equal with your competitors, a well-chosen theme enables you to present content in such a manner as to make a better, more lasting impression on your visitors.
Okay, put the book down now. Let's get back to the present day.
What Options of WordPress Themes Are Available?
WordPress themes are available in free, premium, and freemium options. Because anyone can create a WordPress theme, if you're planning to go with any of the free choices, it's best to choose them from WordPress.org's official theme directory. Themes that make it into this repository (and they number in the thousands!) have been heavily vetted and reviewed by WordPress theme developers so you can have confidence in their safety and functionality. You'll also find plenty of free plugins at this same repository.
Premium themes, on the other hand, require a payment for their use, but they also offer additional features and customization options that free themes do not include. Freemium themes fall somewhere in the middle. These allow users to try them out and keep the free version but upgrade to a premium version if they like what they see and want additional features.
Why Go with Premium or Freemium Themes?
Whether you choose a free or purchased theme depends on your budget and the goals you have laid out for your website. If you simply want something functional, can manage with little customer support and don't care too much if your site looks like every other one out there on the net, a free theme may be the best choice. For example, a simple blog site can generally manage fine with a free theme option.
Premium themes are often the better choice when:
- You want your site to stand out against the competition
- You need your website to be able to handle a variety of different features
- Your website is for a business venture where you may need to add complex functions like e-commerce
- You want to count on having a dedicated support team behind the scenes
- You are anticipating millions of active users every day.
What Else Do Premium Themes Offer?
You sound like someone who wants their money's worth. Good for you!
Yes, premium themes do offer more than just added features and functionality. When you purchase a premium theme, you can expect it to stay up to date with not only the latest versions of WordPress but also with the major coding languages like HTML, PHP, and CSS. You can also count on receiving regular updates with enhanced security features.
Premium themes are also responsive, meaning your site will look good and function well whether the screen you are viewing it on is that of a desktop, a tablet, or a cellphone. They also work well with other plugins and are compatible across a variety of browsers.
How Can I Install WordPress If I Haven't Yet Chosen a Theme?
WordPress without a theme would be like a book with empty, blank pages. That can't happen because your content has to display in some way. For this reason, when you first install the platform, your site will display a preset default theme that you can try out to get a feel for how a theme works. Once comfortable, you can download a custom free, freemium, or premium theme.
Have More Questions?
Of course, you do! But that's what we're here for. Not only can we help you choose the right theme for your company, but we can also work with you to build a site that markets it in the best way possible. Just fill out the convenient form below and we'll be in touch.
Then go finish that book!
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