Themes and Templates

Themes

Themes are what control the way your website or blog looks.

chicstyle-magazine-wordpress-themes

Theme Frameworks

Themes Frameworks are the same thing as Themes but allow a webmaster to customize not only the look of your site but also turn features on and off globally and on a per page basis right from within WordPress and often without having to know or use any HTML or CSS code.

Page Templates

Page Template in WordPress allows you to change the look, layout or content of a single page. For example, you might want to have a squeeze page on your site that doesn’t look anything like the rest of your website. You might want to have an automated sitemap to help visitors quickly find what they are looking for. You might have a directory of contacts or businesses in a database that you want to display in a consistent way. These are all reasons to use a Page Template.

Within the context of WordPress, some people who are used to using the term Template might just be unknowingly using the wrong terminology for the particular technology.

What to Look For in a Theme

Some people go pretty far using regular themes that were not frameworks. Because they have less options, they are often simpler to use and therefore easier for beginners. For someone who is creating a simple site, that could be fine. However at some point, many people wish they could do something that can’t be done in their theme and end up either replacing the theme or hiring a developer to extend the theme with a custom page template.

With the world moving quickly to HTML5 and other newer technologies like support for mobile devices, these are definitely things you have to consider. Sales of Smart Phones and other mobile devices have skyrocketed compared to computers, which tell us that more people will be surfing the web on these devices. Look for templates that are responsive, which means that they will make your site look good no matter what the device. Why implement something that is obsolete or that won’t meet your needs in a couple of years? Building a website may sound easy but if you want something professional looking that meets your customers’ needs, it takes any two of the three – time, effort and money. You may as well build something sustainable unless you don’t mind re-doing it in a year or so.

No matter which theme you end up choosing, create a child theme right away. What it does is separate the customizations you make to your site from the original theme so that, when you upgrade your theme to get the latest security fixes or new features, it doesn’t end up overriding and undoing all your work.

One last piece of advice; always have a good backup of your site. If you are playing around with the Weaver II theme settings for example, use the built-in feature to quickly and easily backup your theme settings so that they can be instantly restored in case you really mess up. This alone can save you hours of work.

 

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