In our last WordPress 101 piece, we did a basic introduction to WordPress – What it is and the two different versions. Today we are you going to get a little more into it with talk of themes. Themes are a way to “dress up” your WP site or blog. It serves a set of guidelines of what style guide – colors to be used, how the pages will be laid out, fonts (or typeface) to be used, etc. As I’ve mention previously there are two categories of themes – FREE and PAID.
Of course free themes are totally free when it comes to price. There are plenty to choose from. If want to use a free theme, please get it from a reputable place. Such as the WP Directory or from a Premium Theme site that also offer free themes. When you get your theme from a reputable place you can be sure that the coding is at least up to standards and you may get support. However, this may not always be the case and that goes for premium themes as well.
Premium themes are when you have to pay for the used of the theme. Usually you can only use it on one site. Well, you may ask yourself, how would they know if I use it on multiple sites? I’m not 100% sure of the answer but since I’m not a developer I would put it past someone adding some sort of tracking or serial number in the code. The beauty of WP is to allow anyone to have a site or blog without worrying about knowing how to code.
If you want to test your luck, then go right along but remember you’ve been warned – LOL. Premium themes don’t have to be expensive, although some are. They typically start around $15-25 depending on where you get them. The best sites are those that offer membership prices. For example for a yearly fee or one-time fee you get access to all of they themes. This is great because you can try theme out until you find one that fits.
When you get to premium themes, there are different types. There is your regular theme. It stands alone; it doesn’t need anything in order for it to work. Then there are frameworks. This type of theme often referred to as a parent theme has a lot of functionality. Their goal is to make it very easy for the user to customize the look of their site/blog. When you use a regular theme, you may need to know how to work with the code. Frameworks allow you to click on items to make a quick change. They can be use by themselves but they are usually accompanied by a child theme.
A child theme takes its cues from the parent theme but allows you to make all kind of changes while leaving the partner theme in tact. A child theme can only work if its partner theme is install at all times.
Here are links to sample of what we covered:
A ‘Theme’ – Twenty Fifteen (the latest default WordPress theme)
A ‘Framework’ – Headway Themes (just a framework; you customize it the way you like)
We are far from done. So I hope you come back for more. Whether you are new to WordPress or just need a refresher, be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide.