Should I Consider Purchasing a Custom WordPress Theme for my Website?
WordPress is one of the internet’s most popular content management systems for a variety of reasons. It’s famously easy to learn, constantly expanding and can be customised extensively via a range of Plug-ins, ‘Widgets’ and add-ons. It’s also incredibly stable and is equipped with just enough tools that ‘newbies’ can use it without feeling daunted and old pros can use it without feeling stupid. Simply put WordPress just works, everything about it works and by a country mile the USP of the system has always been its ‘themes’.
In a very basic sense, a theme is essentially a ‘skin’ for your website. The glossy veneer that wraps everything up into a neat, attractive package. In practice though, WordPress themes are far more useable and are nowhere near as potentially troublesome as the traditional website skin. Applying a ‘skin’ to a site suggests that the only thing that’s changed is the basic design, but with a WordPress theme, the functionality of the site also changes in kind, without affecting the information within the site or how it’s accessed. It’s an incredibly flexible and dynamic tool that means it’s possible for users to try out a variety of ‘styles’ for their website and see them in action before they make a decision.
Of course a classy theme does not automatically make a great website, but something needs to be said for the immediate, positive impressions gleamed from a pretty website. There are obviously more technically proficient platforms than WordPress to use if you really want to make your website ‘pop’ but in our view, WordPress offers the best and most logical compromise between a useable, intuitive feature set, customisation, ease-of-use and price. In fact, as it works from a ‘freemium’ model, WordPress might not even need to cost you a penny. Though if you plan on running an even half way reputable website, the premium packages come highly recommended.
Ultimately, whichever package you choose of course, the base software remains unchanged and all themes should be compatible with your site.
So How Does it Work?
In a technical (though not too technical) sense, Wordpress themes are collections of files and ‘php’ codes that work off one another to form a graphical ‘interface’ that makes up the overlay of your website. These ‘template files’ can be created by anyone with the right know how and users can then install these template files on their own WordPress dashboards and alter the look of their own sites without in any way changing the underlying software or content. As well as customised template files, a theme will include a variety of image files, codes and custom pages, all of which will be bundled together in one package. It’s up to a template files creator to include installation instructions with their packages.
Why use an Outside Theme?
Simply because it’ll be that much more unique. Whilst there are hundreds of potential pre-set WordPress themes, there are millions of WordPress operated websites, which means that somebody else will almost certainly be using whichever theme you select. By purchasing a bespoke theme from a specialist website such as i3dthemes.com however you will not only be getting a more ‘flashy’ and impressive website, no doubt coded by people who really know what they’re doing, but you’ll be one of the few people using it and you’ll still be able to use the ingenious, award winning WordPress dashboard to manage your site’s content. There is also the issue of ‘standing out’ from the herd, something that will be of particular importance if you’re representing a business that is operating in a crowded marketplace. Although the default WordPress themes are attractive and bold in their own rights, they are unmistakably ‘plain’ in comparison to the templates achieved by third party programmers.
Building Your Own Template
Of course if you’re schooled in coding or have even a vague understanding of how a website ‘fits together’ there is always the option of creating your very own template from scratch. This is not recommended if you don’t know what you’re doing as even one missing line of code could result in a complete mess. There are numerous websites that specialise in teaching fledgling programmers how to create workable templates, but a semblance of prior coding knowledge is always preferred.
Installing Your Themes
To add new themes manually you’re going to have to either use the administration panels through the WordPress dashboard (by far the easiest route) or add them manually using an FTP (file transfer program). If you’re using the dashboard, the process is simple enough and in the majority of cases, if you have purchased your template from a reputable source, you will be able to install the theme using the ‘theme’ tab in the basic WordPress system.