If you are planning to have a WordPress-powered website, you might have an idea in your head of how your website would look like. However, if you don’t have coding experience, turning your vision into reality can be a difficult task. WordPress themes allows you create a website without having to engage in hectic coding and get it closer to the precise design you want.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about WordPress themes, including how to pick one that works for your website or blog, how to install it, and how to personalize your website using an appropriate theme.
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is a collection of files (templates, style sheets, and code) that allows you to modify the appearance of your website or blog without touching a single line of HTML or CSS codes. The ultimate look of your website is determined by the WordPress theme. You can modify the layout, color, typography, and overall design of your website with this extremely powerful feature.
WordPress provides a complete content management platform that allows you to add, edit, or remove pages, media, menu items, posts, and many other elements to a website or blog. WordPress lets you control every square inch of your website. A default theme will be installed when you initially establish a website with WordPress; you can delete this default theme and build a website from scratch, but doing so would need extensive knowledge of complex coding.
Many experienced developers prefer to use a WordPress theme over building a website from scratch because majority of the design work has already been done with a theme, and they can also easily make changes to the theme with simple coding. Theme also allows you to incorporate additional functionality to your website such as subscription, registration, or ecommerce platform.
What’s inside the WordPress Theme file?
When you download a WordPress theme, you may see multiple files inside the theme folder. The main types of files inside the theme folder are described below.
- PHP files – every WordPress theme contains PHP files, which contain all the code needed for the major back-end functionalities of the theme. PHP files interact with CSS and media files and determine the overall structure of the theme. You don’t have to make changes to PHP files unless you are an experienced PHP developer and want to make a few changes. Few common WordPress PHP files are index.PHP, header.php, footer.php, and sidebar.php
- CSS files – Every WordPress theme needs CSS files, also known as stylesheet files, which govern how the website is presented. A website’s style and feel are directly influenced by CSS, which also makes it appealing to the eye. It can change anything on a website, including font size, color, buttons, column arrangement, and backdrop, and it affects how data is shown on the page. If you don’t care about the CSS stylesheet in a WordPress theme, your data on the website will be displayed in the browser’s standard font and color scheme.
- JPG or PNG files – These are simply picture files, just like the typical jpg or png files on your PC. The primary difference is that these files are allocated to show up at a certain location on your website and are stored in your website’s folder. On your website, you are able to utilize photos in PNG, jpg, and any other type thanks to WordPress. Developers prefer to use jpg photos for websites since they take up less space than png files on your website.
How does WordPress theme work?
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You can think of your WordPress theme as the “skin” of your website; altering it won’t affect the content, pages, or any other data that is saved in the website’s database. The theme just alters how all data stored is shown to visitors. Even if you don’t plan to modify any of the WordPress theme’s components, you still need to comprehend them all. Themes contain separate template files for posts, pages, search result pages, and 404 pages. Also we recommend having the correct Schema.
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Difference between a Parent and a Child WordPress Theme
You may come across the terms parent and child themes when you buy or develop a WordPress theme. A theme that you download and install using only one theme file is neither a parent theme nor a child theme. There are several premium WordPress themes that are designed in such a way that they have a parent theme with several child themes.
Parent Theme – A parent theme doesn’t depend on any other theme, it contains all the template files and data needed for a theme to work. The term parent theme originated with the idea of creating a child theme for the convenience of developers to make some changes in the theme. A parent theme can have one or more child themes that are packed together to create a unique WordPress design.
Child Theme – In contrast to a parent theme, a child theme is a duplicate of the parent theme and does not contain all of the parent theme’s files. The two files style.css and functions.php that make up a child theme allow developers to alter the theme by making modifications to these two files. The parent theme remains unchanged when a developer makes modifications to the child theme.
Difference between WordPress themes and Plugins
The two primary benefits of using WordPress are flexibility and extensibility. Developers have flexibility of using extensions in the form of plugins and themes while using WordPress. Themes and plugins are both extensions and third-party components that you can add to your WordPress site, but they serve different functions.
WordPress themes change the visual appearance of the website and also add some new functions on the website, plugins are normally used to add a new feature to a website. WordPress themes typically come pre-packaged with additional plugins to increase the functionality of your website. For example, an ecommerce plugin will be included in an ecommerce theme.
Multipurpose or Niche-based Themes
Many newbies who want to start blogging wonder if they should choose a multipurpose theme or a specific niche-based theme, because there are primarily two options to consider while searching for a WordPress theme: a multipurpose theme and a niche-based theme. Different types of sites are covered by multipurpose themes. They typically offer additional customization choices for your site, regardless of its topic, by including a variety of page types, extensions, scripts, widgets, wordpress language translations and tools.
Niche-based themes are designed for a specific type. Niche-based themes specified for one type can’t be used for the other type of site. Although niche-specific themes can be customized, they won’t offer the same level of flexibility as multipurpose themes. . However, niche-based themes provide sophisticated functionality that is beneficial for niche-based websites. Jobscout Pro is a great example of niche-based theme.
A multipurpose niche will be a great choice for you if you want to develop a blog that covers a variety of topics, but if you want to build a niche-based website, you’ll need a specific theme that identifies your needs. For instance, if you want to create an ecommerce website, your WordPress theme should be designed with all the components necessary for an online store.
Free or Premium WordPress Themes
When you download a WordPress theme, you have a lot of options. There are plenty of free and paid themes available to download. Many people who are just starting out with WordPress might wonder if they should choose a free or a premium WordPress theme. The majority of free themes are created by individual developers, while well-established developers offer paid themes. They also offer free WordPress themes as a trail for their premium products.
The fact that a free WordPress theme is cost-free is its greatest advantage. It lowers the entry-level requirements for launching a blog. But because they are free, their quality and customizability choices can be very inconsistent, and they rarely meet the standards set by paid themes. Premium WordPress themes provide a wide range of features and customization choices. With a premium theme, you may also have access to other features like drag-and-drop builder, infinite color selection, and multiple layouts.
Qualities of a best WordPress theme
When you download or develop a WordPress theme for your website, it should have a number of features and traits that are necessary for a WordPress theme to be successful. Regardless of the type of theme you choose for your blog or website, the theme should have following features:
- Responsive Theme – Responsive design is one of the most crucial factors to take into account when selecting a WordPress theme. Mobile users won’t be able to have a nice experience on your website if it is not responsive because the majority of visitors browse websites from their mobile devices. Rara eCommerce Pro is a great example of a responsive theme.
- Social Media Friendly – Social media is a very effective instrument for reaching the largest audience and communicating with them more effectively. It is a good idea to pick a theme with sharing options and compatibility with social networking. The sharing icons for some of the most well-known social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest, should be included in your WordPress theme.
- Customization Options – A WordPress theme should offer the user the ability to customize it. Everyone wants their website to be distinct from other websites that have used the same theme template while still being stylish and original. The WordPress theme ought to be fully editable. Many WordPress themes provide drag-and-drop page builders, allowing users to design landing pages according to their requirement.
- SEO Friendly: No matter how high-quality the content you post to your blog or website, you will not be able to attract visitors if it is not rated well in Google search. It is crucial that the theme you select adhere to the finest SEO Expert principles in order for your website to rank higher in search results. Learn more about what SEO is in our free guide.
- Speed and performance – The theme of your website has a significant impact on the speed and functionality of your website. A theme with lots of components and dynamic features will make your site load slowly. By choosing a simple and light WordPress theme, you can maintain your website’s speed and aesthetic appeal the best. For example, Education Pro is a simple and light theme which doesn’t take time to load. We recommend using a third party plugin like WP Rocket to speed up your WordPress site even more. Please see below resources for more information.
- User Friendly – A user-friendly website design is always appreciated by visitors and gets positive feedback. WordPress Themes that are responsive allow users to visit without encountering any problems. When selecting a WordPress theme, be sure that it is simple to navigate and that users are at ease when using the website.
- Browser Compatibility – The compatibility of the theme with all popular web browsers is a crucial consideration. When viewed in specific browsers, some WordPress themes appear bigger, smaller, or with their components rearranged. Make sure your WordPress theme is compatible with all popular browsers before using it.
Some of the Themes listed above can be purchased directly from Rara Themes below.
Where to Find quality WordPress Themes
Whether you want to use a premium theme or get started with a free WordPress theme, there are plenty of options available on the internet. The right theme can make your website more user-friendly and appealing to the audience. We looked through the WordPress themes that are readily available online and selected some of the top resources for you to use in your hunt for high-quality WordPress themes.
To Find Free WordPress Themes – The best place to find free WordPress themes is the WordPress Theme Directory. You can search for free themes from your WordPress dashboard, and install them with a single click. You can look at user ratings and reviews of WordPress themes as well as the number of active installations of themes. You can also visit premium theme vendors, they frequently offer free downloads of limited editions of their premium themes.
To Find Premium WordPress Themes – There are many premium vendors who offer thousands of themes for you to browse and purchase when you decide to go with a premium theme, so your options are literally unlimited. Before making a purchase, you can use the filters options they provide to find the appropriate theme for you. You can also read customer reviews and ratings about themes. The following are the top marketplaces for premium themes; WordPress.org Theme Directory,Rarathemes, Astra, StudioPress, ThemeForest, Template Monster.
How to Install a WordPress Theme
Once you select a WordPress theme, you need to install it. Installing a WordPress theme on your website can be done in a number different methods, including through the theme directory, via file upload, and via file transfer protocol (FTP). WordPress offers a user-friendly dashboard where you can effortlessly install themes as well as locate the ideal one for you. The complete instructions for installing a WordPress theme are provided here.
Install a Theme using WordPress Dashboard Theme Search – First login to your WordPress account and open your WordPress dashboard. If you already have content on your website and wish to change the theme, it is a good idea to properly back up all of your posts, pages, plugins, media, and databases before making the change. Using a WordPress backup plugin to make a backup of your complete site is the simplest way to accomplish this.
Now go to Appearance > Themes in the WordPress dashboard. There will be a search option on the top right corner of the screen. If you know the keywords or name of a particular theme, you can type in the search bar. You can also filter out free or premium themes.
If you select a free theme, you can go to Options > Activate Theme. You can simply replace your default theme with the selected theme with just one click. However, if you select a premium theme, you will first need to complete the purchase procedure before activating the theme.
Install a Theme by using the Upload Method – First login to your WordPress account and open your WordPress dashboard. Now go to Appearance > Themes in the WordPress dashboard. Installing a theme from your WordPress dashboard is simple if you already have the theme file on your computer. The “Install theme” option is located in the top right corner of the screen, you can select it by clicking the “install theme” button.
A drag-and-drop file box will popup when you click the “Install theme” button, allowing you to drop the zip folder of the downloaded theme from your computer. It will simply be uploaded and replace your existing theme on your WordPress website.
Choosing a theme for your WordPress site is always crucial. All you need to do is do a thorough search for the finest WordPress themes, develop a list of the features you want in a theme, and always select a theme that will make your website stand out and be visually appealing to visitors.
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