WordPress themes are a large part of the WordPress structure and experience. Even new WordPress users have heard about WordPress themes and their importance. With a theme, a user can install, build, and launch their website quickly and easily. But what are WordPress Themes and how can they be used to build beautiful WordPress sites?
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What are WordPress Themes?
There are currently more than 7,000 free themes in the official WordPress repo and thousands more on the market.
A WordPress theme is a collection of stylesheets, graphics, and code that create a website template. WordPress theme templates control the aesthetic design of your website, as well as some functionality. This means the theme template colors, fonts, page layouts, widget locations, and any particular default functionality will be carried throughout your website as you build your pages.
WordPress themes save you time without your website losing beautiful design and dynamic functionality. They allow you to change and tweak your website easily — giving you the ability to focus on building and growing your online business.
Searching For and Installing a Theme
When WordPress is first installed, the default WordPress theme is usually installed as well. However, you do not have to keep it. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of free and paid themes. There are general business themes and themes made specifically for a photography website or an eCommerce website.
With many themes to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Luckily, you can search for, preview, and install WordPress themes directly from your dashboard. Learn how to search and install WordPress themes, then explore the below articles for theme suggestions.
- Which WordPress Themes Are Best for Dedicated Server Accounts?
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- Which WordPress Themes are Best for Reseller Accounts?
- Which WordPress Themes Are Best for Business Hosting Accounts?
Of note, you can use the above process to change your theme as well.
Editing a Theme
Once your site is built, launched, and used by your audience, you may find yourself wanting to make changes for a better end-user experience or website maintenance workflow. Because of the open-source, highly scalable, and customizable nature of WordPress, you can jump into your theme code files and make small changes as needed.
However, if you are going to attempt editing your theme, make a back up of your website or create a development environment for testing. There are also maintenance mode plugins that allow you to develop a WordPress site while showing a maintenance message. Some even have dedicated pages to announce when the website will be republished.
If you’re interested in advanced WordPress development, you could also create a child theme to test your changes.
Here are a few articles to help you learn how to edit your WordPress theme:
- Insert Code into your WordPress Theme
- How to Add Custom Fields to a WordPress Theme
- Editing WordPress with wp-config.php
Deleting a Theme
Though rare, you may need to delete your theme so you can fully start over. This may happen if you are editing a theme directly and cannot revert any mistakes made. However, mistakes are okay — especially in WordPress! You’ll only learn and grow as a WordPress user.
Of note, it’s also recommended that you delete themes that you are no longer using for security reasons. Old, forgotten themes can become a security risk and a gateway for hackers.
If you need to delete a theme, you can do so easily in your WordPress dashboard. Once the theme is deleted you’ll be able to start fresh and install a new theme for your website!
WordPress themes are an important element of the WordPress experience. But once you have your theme installed, explore WordPress plugins for added functionality and positivity usability!