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What Is A WordPress Theme? A Beginner’s Guide In 2024

Hey, do you want to know about the WordPress theme and how the WordPress theme works? Do you want to build a website but don’t know what a WordPress theme is? Are you unfamiliar with the WordPress theme and want to learn about them? 

If you have certain queries in your mind, then you landed on the perfect page! 

A few years ago, building a website without WordPress was a pretty daunting task. You need professional coding and programming skills, even design skills to tailor your desired website. Nowadays, building a website is not limited to coders and programmers only.

Even as a beginner, you do not need to touch any coding or programming skills like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript to make an attractive website. Now everyone can make a website with the help of the WordPress theme.  

So, if you are a beginner and want to learn about the WordPress theme and relevant information, then keep reading this article till the end.  

What Is The WordPress Theme?  

A WordPress theme consists of a list of templates, code files, and stylesheets that display the front appearance of the website without interrupting the WordPress main core.   

It is a primary tool that helps to change the layout and design of the website. With the help of WordPress themes, you can make a customized theme easily.  

Most WordPress themes have an in-built tool called a page builder that makes the design of the website super easy and interesting. After installing the WordPress theme, you will get the default theme that you need to change and choose the best WordPress theme.  

More than 2 million users use WordPress, and each website design and look is different from the other, all thanks to the WordPress theme. Different website owners use different WordPress themes to represent their brands.   

With the help of a WordPress theme, you can customize the website design, layout, and many other elements. After WordPress theme installation, you can alter and modify the header elements, layout and width of the pages, and many more.    

On wordpress.com you will get many free WordPress themes, if you are not satisfied you can change to a new one that reflects your brand.    

In short, a WordPress theme is the collection of files in one folder that is responsible for defining the visuals as well as the functionality of the website.  

Why Is WordPress Theme Necessary for the Website? 

If you are wondering why WordPress themes are necessary for the website, then here are the reasons that make it important for the website. 

1. Make Your Website Attractive:

As a beginner who is not a web designer or web developer, you can make an attractive website as a professional with the help of a WordPress theme. You can make a website by simply dragging and dropping the elements that can make your website perfect for your startup.

Moreover, you can find a theme that is perfect for your business. This means that you do not need to hire some professionals to make a website that fits your requirements. 

2. Keep Itself Updated:  

In the era of cybersecurity issues, we need to secure the website. WordPress is improving and keeps bringing the latest updates. Moreover, there is fierce business competition on the internet. If you want to make your business stand out, then you need to keep your WordPress theme updated.   

So, good WordPress themes are updated regularly to protect the website from the threats of hackers. With these regular updates, not only does your website stay really good, but you also get some new and helpful features. 

3. Fast Performance:

WordPress themes are essential for your website because these website themes are beginner-friendly but also cheaper and help you build the website quickly.  

After website installation, all you need to do is drag and drop the elements to build the website according to your website requirements.  

Moreover, if you can’t hire a web developer or you need to design a website urgently, then a WordPress theme is the best option.   

Categories Of WordPress Theme:  

There are two main categories of the theme  

1. A Multipurpose Theme:  

Multipurpose theme covers different niches and sites, and it usually includes different kinds of pages, codes, extension, widgets, and tools that offer customization options for the website according to their requirement.  

2. Niche Specific Theme:  

While niche-specific themes are also customizable, they are related to one specific niche and industry, such as the traveling niche, e-commerce niche, etc.  

While specialized themes might not offer as many options for changing things around them as general themes do, they’re super specific and perfect for exactly what you want to do on your website.   

How Does WordPress Theme Work?  

A WordPress theme not only changes the look and present to please the eye of the readers but also tailors the website to behave when the reader or audience uses it.

This means you have not only control over the visual presentation of the website but also the interaction of certain elements before readers.   

The behavior is controlled with the help of the template of the theme, files, and plugins. 

Main Elements Of The WordPress Theme:

1. Parent Theme Template: 

The parent theme template is the main blueprint of the website that makes the appearance and website performance.  The appearance of the theme depends on the parent theme that actually predicts how your website will look and how your website will perform.  

Just understand it with the example, some templates tell how a single page will look to the readers, similarly other templates for a single blog post, and even one for when someone searches on your site.  

There’s also a template for when things can’t be found (like a “Oops, Page Not Found” message), and if your theme is for selling things, there’s a template for showing a single product.  

WordPress parent themes also contain the template files for the header, footer, and sidebar and content present in them like brand logos.  

2. Child Theme Templates: 

Some themes come with the bundle of the child theme. Theme developers make the child theme so even if you want to bring changes in the theme templates you will not affect the parent file of the theme.  

If you need to bring changes regularly or want to check the features of the theme or change back to the parent theme, then the child theme is helpful for you. But if you update the parent theme then there will be no change in the child theme files.  

3. Cascading Style Sheet (CSS):

CSS is the coding language that makes the website look attractive. With CSS coding, you cannot change the browser’s default colors and fonts.  

WordPress themes offer CSS stylesheets that determine the look and feel of the website. 

If you have a technical background and want to edit the CSS stylesheet, then many WordPress themes offer editing in the CSS stylesheet to make changes according to the requirement.  

Mostly, you will not need to do any CSS coding.  

4. PHP File: 

PHP file is the integral component of the WordPress theme which determines the main backend functions of the theme. If you are a beginner, then this file does not need to be messed with and the only thing you need to focus on is keeping your PHP file’s latest version updated.  

5. Page Builders: 

Unless you’re using a basic WordPress design like Twenty Twenty-Two from WordPress.org, your design will probably include a special tool called a drag-and-drop page builder.  

Page builders help to change the appearance and content of the website without interrupting the design of the website. Usually, many WordPress themes come with the page builder and you don’t need to install the page builder separately.  

Even if the theme does not have an in-built page builder, still your WordPress theme will be compatible with other page builders and you can use them effortlessly.   

6. Additional Plugins:

Some WordPress themes also come with other plugins that extend the functionality of the website.  

  • E-commerce Themes: If you pick a theme designed for online stores, it might come with plugins that help you manage products, handle payments, and track inventory. 
  • Blog Themes: Themes tailored for bloggers might include plugins for creating forms, managing comments, or even improving your site’s search. 
  • Portfolio Themes: If you’re showcasing your work, your theme might include plugins for creating beautiful galleries or portfolios. 

In short, whatever theme is installed the nature of the plugin will also be different.   

Difference Between WordPress Theme And Templates:  

As a beginner, you might be confused about WordPress themes and templates, so let’s clear up this confusion.  

1. WordPress Theme:

WordPress theme is the complete package that defines the overall design, layout, and functionality of the website comprising template files, style sheets, images, codes, etc.  

These themes determine the appearance of the website which includes the header, footer, sidebars, and layout of the page. A WordPress theme has specific templates for different content like single post templates, archive templates, and page templates. 

2. Templates: 

Templates are part of the WordPress theme. It is the individual file that is present in the WordPress theme that controls the layout and presentation of the particular content. Understand the templates as a building block of the WordPress theme. Like, there can be templates for single posts, pages, category archives, and custom post types. In other words, the template can control one part of the page.  

Difference Between Free And Premium Themes:

Free Theme:

If you want to start and manage a website on WordPress, then choose the free theme. As there are many amazing websites out there that are completely free.

These themes go through a strict review to make sure they’re good quality. So, you can choose a theme based on how it looks, what it can do, and reviews and active installation of the theme without worrying about the price. 

So, if you are a beginner and want to learn how to run a website, then the free version of the WordPress theme is a good option.  

If you want to start an actual business on a WordPress website, then the free WordPress theme comes with certain drawbacks as they offer limited features and no dedicated support in time of issue or queries. Moreover, updates also vary.  

Premium Theme:

Premium themes are the same as free themes, but they offer some additional features and dedicated support that make them worth buying. Moreover, their themes are also updated regularly to improve the features and functionality of the website.  

But all these features come with a price that is a regular subscription. If you are determined to start the website and run it seriously, then the premium theme is a good option.   

In short, whether you choose the free or premium theme, it all depends on your website and business requirements. If you have time and running a start-up, then a free theme would be ideal, but a premium theme is the best option for long-term goals due to its added features, support, and customization options. 

What WordPress Theme Is That? 

If you want to look at a certain website and be mesmerized by its appearance and want to know which WordPress theme they used, so you can also use similar to them and create an attractive layout and design of the website, then you can use WordPress theme detector tools that help you in telling which WordPress theme is that.  

These WordPress theme detectors are free online tools that allow users to detect a particular website. Moreover, it also detects the plugins that the website is currently using.  

For this,  

  • Paste a particular website URL in the search field  
  • Then press the Enter button and you will find the name of the WordPress theme and relevant information.   

How To Install WordPress Theme? 

If you are a beginner and want to create a website, then you need to install a WordPress theme. There are three main ways through which you can install a WordPress theme.  

  • Install a theme from the WordPress Theme Directory  
  • Upload a custom WordPress theme  
  • Installing a premium theme on WordPress by using FTP

If you want to install the WordPress theme from WordPress.com, then follow the underlying procedure. 

  1. Go to the WordPress dashboard.  
  2. Then click on the appearance option, then the theme under the heading of the dashboard. 
  3. Now click on the Add New button and search for the new theme.  
  4. From here, you can also upload a new theme.  

If you download the theme from a third-party website, then you need to download the zip archive of the theme on your PC. Then upload it into the WordPress theme. 

  1. Or you can search for the theme by writing the theme or developer name in the search field.  
  2. After finding or uploading a theme, install and activate it.  
  3. For this, click on the install button of the desired theme. 
  4. Then the activate button will be shown, click on it.  

How To Find The Best WordPress Theme?  

If you want to find the best WordPress theme, then you can access free as well as paid themes via  

1. The WordPress Theme Directory:  

It is the official repository of the free WordPress theme that can be easily accessible via the web and WordPress dashboard. In the WordPress theme directory, every theme has been carefully examined through a strict review process before being made available.

So, if you’re searching for an affordable theme,  experts recommend to start finding the theme in the WordPress theme directory. 

However, it is best practice to read and analyze the complete information before making a decision. Like checking how many active installations are for a particular WordPress theme, checking its last update, and reading customer reviews as well as ratings. In this way, you will get a basic idea of what is the reputation of the particular WordPress theme.  

Furthermore, you can take a sneak peek at the theme right from its listing. You can see how it looks with example content, or even with your site content if you’re using WordPress.  

Sometimes, there’s also a link to the developer’s website for a more detailed live demonstration. Trying a theme on your test site is safe and helps you see how it works for real. 

2. Directly From The WordPress Theme Developers: 

The other way of finding the WordPress theme is to directly reach the source. Many WordPress theme developers sell their themes on different website marketplaces. These websites are paid or child premium themes that cover various niches and industries.  

In the marketplace, you will find a broad range of WordPress themes from general themes to niche-specific themes.  

For example, if you want a niche-specific theme like you want to run an online store, then other marketplaces offer the niche-specific website theme.  

For creating an online e-commerce store, you can use a woo-commerce-provided theme called Storefront. This theme is made especially for online shops and works perfectly with the WooCommerce plugin.  

But if you are still not satisfied with the WordPress theme present in the marketplace for the WordPress theme directory, then if you have a budget, hire a developer who can create the custom theme for you. Keep in mind that custom themes are way more expensive than premium themes in the marketplace.  

Final Thoughts:

A WordPress theme is the type of extension that controls the design, style, and main elements of the WordPress site. There are more than 28k WordPress themes, and half of them are free.

It helps you create different types of websites, like online stores or blogs, without messing with the main WordPress system. So, if you want to run the website, then as a beginner, a free theme is the best option for now. 

I hope this article will clear up your confusion related to the WordPress theme. If yes, then let me know in the comment section below. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):  

Do I Need A Theme For My WordPress Website? 

Yes, you need to control the design and layout of the website. Moreover, it also controls the appearance of the website to the website’s audience.  

How To Choose The Right WordPress Theme For The Website? 

If you want to run the website, then choosing the right WordPress theme is necessary. Choose the WordPress theme that aligns with your website goals and provides the functionality that you need to represent your brand on the website.  

Are WordPress Themes Customizable? 

Yes, most of the WordPress themes are completely customizable and you can modify the appearance and functionality of the website according to your requirements.  

What Is The Parent Theme And Child Theme In WordPress? 

A parent theme is the main or base theme that you select for your WordPress website. It defines the overall design, layout, and basic functionality of your site. While child themes allow you to make customizations to your website’s design and functionality without directly modifying the files of the parent theme. 

Can I Use Multiple Themes On A Single WordPress Site? 

No, you cannot use more than one theme on WordPress at one time. But you can switch the theme to another theme whenever you want.  

What is the Difference Between Theme And Plugins? 

WordPress themes are designed to bring the largest change in the appearance of the website including the designs, color, layout, navigation, and many more. While plugins help to add new features and functionalities to the website.  

In short, themes change how your website looks, while plugins add new things your website can do. 

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