As a novice WordPress user, you might be wondering what WordPress Theme is and how it contributes to developing a fully functional website. In this guide, I will be discussing on what WordPress Theme is and how we can use it to customize our Website. I will show you where we can find WordPress Themes and install it in your WordPress Site.

What is a Theme?

A WordPress theme is a group of files (comprising of style sheet, JavaScript files, Graphics, and PHP files) that dictates the overall look and appearance of a website. It is responsible for rendering a unique personality to a website. It controls basic display features like color, typography, layout, etc. In addition to providing a look and feel to your website, a well-developed theme provides handy options for customizing your WordPress site at your will. You need not know any coding for developing a website using a WordPress theme. However, You will need to familiarize yourself with technical documentation or video tutorials the theme author provides on using the theme.

WordPress provides some default themes out of the box like Twenty Twenty-Two, Twenty Twenty-One, Twenty Twenty, etc. These themes are developed by the WordPress.org teams who are responsible for releasing updates. As a Web Publisher, you are not limited to choosing these default themes only. It is highly encouraged to choose the themes that best match your requirements. There are more than 4900 free themes in the WordPress directory. This is one of the most popular sources for the WordPress Themes. You may choose one that best fits your needs and requirements.

Theme-option Based vs Customizer-based Themes

WordPress Themes are mostly based on either theme options or customizer-based options or a combination of both. Theme option-based themes provide a separate options page where you can manage and configure the website contents and settings like – Typography, Color, Layouts, Header, Footer, etc. Option-based themes are a traditional approach that served as a great way to provide a straightforward direction for web publishers to publish web content.

Theme Option Page

On the other hand, WordPress themes are also built on the top of customizer-based options. customizer-based themes are visually appealing. One can preview the changes while customizing the options. Customization options like Typography, Colors, Layouts, etc are divided into different panel & section for easy navigation.

Customizer Page

Choosing any option out of these two depends on one’s comfortability in using them. Some might feel easy using Theme option-based theme while others might feel comfortable using a customizer-based. There is no right option. It truly depends upon one’s preference.

Free Themes vs Premium Themes

There is a common practice amongst web publishers when it comes to choosing the WordPress theme. They choose a theme based on the nature of their project which is free but limited. If you visit a WordPress Theme Directory you’ll find tons of free WordPress Themes. There is a great probability of these free themes having their respective pro version. So initially they use the free ones and upgrade to the premiums if only necessary.

Free themes as the name suggest are free to use. You may install it into your WordPress site and need not to pay even a penny for it. While the options to customize the website using the free themes might be limited, you may customize the theme code and add extra features to the website. These are best options for the simple web projects. WordPress.org is a great source for the free themes.

Some of the best free themes currently available via WordPress are:

Bigmart

Meta Store

Astra

OceanWP

Neve

Premium Themes on the other hand is another best option if you are trying to develop a premium quality website. Choosing premium themes will provide you wide range of options to build a unique-looking website. You’ll need to pay a certain amount for using these themes. The price may vary depending on the theme. WordPress themes are quite affordable options for web publishers. So websites built using WordPress are cheaper yet powerful. By choosing Premium themes you’ll get access to quality support and guidance from the theme providers too. This can be a great advantage for completing a web project smoothly. With quality support from the theme provider, you can gain an easy transition to the project completion goal. Template Monster & Themeforest are the great sources for the premium WordPress Themes.

Where to find WordPress Themes?

Another biggest but most important question amongst the web publishers might be where they might find the free and premium WordPress Theme for their next web project? WordPress is the most popular and preferred CMS (Content Management System) all around the world. It has a wide range of communities and people all around the world are actively contributing to WordPress. There are more than 4900 WordPress themes available via the WordPress Theme directory alone. This is a primary source for the WordPress themes. However, If you want more premium quality themes, You might want to visit Themeforest and Template Monster for the premium quality WordPress Themes. There are very hard and strict rules and guidelines for submitting themes in Template Monster & Themeforest. So there is no doubt that these themes are of the best quality with an affordable price range.

Child Themes

You might possibly have heard of the child themes and its use in WordPress. If you haven’t here is a short definition about the child theme

A Child Theme is a sub theme that inherits all the styles, functionality and features of the parent theme. Child theme is a great way to modify the functionality of the WordPress theme without making any changes to the parent theme. You might generally want to create a child theme if you want to modify, add or remove the existing features and functionality or styles from the WordPress theme.

The theme author releases the updates of the theme regularly. These updates might override the changes you might have made the theme. So creating a child theme can prevent you from accidentally overriding your changes.

Conclusion

WordPress theme is an essential aspect of web development in WordPress. Every WordPress site has one actively used WordPress theme. This theme determines the overall layout, design, look, and feel of the website. Functionality and features provided by the WordPress Themes vary from theme to theme. One should clear fully acknowledge the features and flexibility a theme provides before implementing it into the web project.