WordPress has turned into the de facto source for blogging and website content. The editor is so easy to use and publish content that many website owners feel foolish to go elsewhere. It simplifies just about everything in the web development process aside from the actual design itself.
It is where WP themes come into the equation. The best WordPress themes on the internet can significantly reduce the time spent designing the “look” of the website and get you publishing content faster.
The collection of templates and style-sheets help define the appearance and certain aspects of the design are customized. The user may change, manage, or add to the theme. The color scheme and font can get altered, icons and images adjusted, and the overall organization of the content rearranged.
Why do you need a WP theme for your website?
Unless you are a seasoned developer the coding for the actual design of the website is a challenge. WordPress is so popular because it creates authentic, very pleasing looking websites with minimal effort. However, if you want something more than the default WP presentation, the next step is to invest in a WP theme.
Themes for WordPress all have their own unique design, layout, and features. However, they remain consistent in that they substantially limit the time and expertise you will need designing the layouts yet still provide some form of customization.
Therefore, unless you have coding knowledge and can work in HTML, PHP, or CSS, investing in a new them for WordPress is pretty much mandatory.
Benefits of a WordPress Theme
A theme can help with numerous design aspects of your website. These include:
- The overall design
- Font styling
- Color scheme
- Images and icons
- Widget locations
- Layouts of your page
- Styles for blog posts and blog archives
Types of WP Themes Available
The vast majority of bloggers or new domain owners will simply want a default theme that they can apply to their personal site. However, it is not the only type of theme available.
Seasoned web developers also turn to themes for quick turnarounds when they manage multiple sites and need a stylish presentation ASAP. Some of the themes they may consider include:
- Default Themes
- Child Themes
- Responsive Themes
- Parent Themes
- Theme Frameworks
There are many of platforms that we reviewed that also include a Theme Editor and plugins with a purchase or yearly membership. Furthermore, any good subscription should include lifetime updates as well as online technical support.
WP Theme Subscriptions
Some websites cater to hobbyists that simply need one theme then may never look for another one again. Individual themes can range from free to budget-friendly ($5 to $30) to professional ($40 to $120).
A better solution for web professionals is to invest in a yearly subscription. The yearly subscription can provide you access to every single theme in a given database, which is ideal with those with many different websites under their arsenal.
The yearly rates are usually affordable and start between $80 and $150 per year. When you consider that you might pay that much, or half that much for a single theme, it is clearly the best value.
Plus the membership includes a lot of other features and incentives you would not get with a single purchase of a theme.
What to Consider When Buying Custom WordPress Templates
In recent years, a number of theme designers and WordPress template developers have emerged. The companies aim to integrate their products and services with the revolutionary content management system to make it even more user friendly.
Many market themselves as WordPress ‘frameworks’ or ‘templates,’ and some just call what they’re selling ‘themes.’
At the end of the day, all of these products are basically drag n’ drop applications designed to remove as much of the coding from the WordPress development/management processes as they can.
Selection of Themes
There are two ways you can look at the selection of themes:
a) The number of themes available for purchase in the marketplace.
b) If the platform provides an all access pass to its themes with a single, yearly subscription fee.
WordPress theme developers are wise when they offer a wide variety themes and sell them in packages.
If you’re just starting out with WordPress development, chances are that your gut instinct will be to buy just one template and to play around with it for a while to get a hang of things.
It is all and well, but if you’re running a business you’ll eventually realize that WordPress customization can very literally be endless. You are going to eventually want to purchase a WordPress template package that allows you to choose from multiple designs. It allows you to make changes quickly as your business grows.
Plugins for WordPress
Plugins make your life a lot easier. The pieces of software simply “plug-in” to your WordPress site and help with some kind of functionality.
You will discover that many WP theme providers have their own plugins that they build and offer for free (or for a small charge). Often the plugins are included with the purchase of a theme or subscription.
Plugins are written in PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WP. You do not need to have an advanced knowledge of coding to use them which makes them so desirable.
When WP themes first pop up having mobile responsive functionality was not all that important. Smartphones were still relatively new and tablets were just beginning to surface. Things have obviously changed. Many people consume digital information through mobile devices now.
Consequently, you should also rely on a theme that is responsive to mobile devices. One clear indicator of a poor theme is it works fairly well when access through a PC, yet is not functional at all for mobile devices. Obviously, this is not a good place to get stuck in if you are looking to sell products or grow your blog.
If it’s cheap, it’s good. If it’s expensive, it’s not. But if it’s too cheap, it really won’t be good. And, if you’re willing to pay a premium, you’d better make sure you’re not buying too much.
Make any sense? Probably not.
What’s important to realize is that different WordPress websites call for different WordPress measures. Some small businesses just need a simple, one-use package that can help them get online and spread the word.
On the other end of the spectrum, some small businesses exist solely to develop WordPress sites. Therefore, finding a good price means discovering a WordPress theme designer that offers a package reflective of your needs AND your budget.
When you get down to it, every WordPress theme designer is fundamentally offering the same exact product – a simplified template that can cut web development time in half.
It means that choosing the right designer is largely a process of finding the one that offers the right level of support.
WordPress templates exist to make WordPress easier, but the truth is that most people who use them are still going to have a hard time. Even the most simplified application is still going to require some amount of technical know-how, and good WordPress theme designers are those that recognize and address this reality.
When choosing a WordPress Theme, don’t just choose one that looks attractive; instead, choose one from a company with a reputation for quality educational resources and effective customer support.