In the last article, we saw What is WordPress and Why Should a Beginner Start using WordPress. We also caught a short glimpse of what is a WordPress Theme and what is a WordPress Plugin. In this article, we will see the WordPress Themes in more detail and various topics surrounding them. We will also look into the best WordPress Themes available to use.
Many of the beginners still had queries on what is a theme in WordPress and what a WP Theme can do and can affect the WordPress website. Also, what are the best WordPress themes to look up for developing WordPress websites?
We have tried to cover as many topics related to WP Themes in this article for a newbie to know. Let’s quickly jump into each question on WordPress themes.
What is a WordPress Theme?
In simple words, WordPress Theme is the overall look in terms of style and feel of the website.
As said in the previous article – A WordPress Theme changes the design of your website, mostly its layout. Changing your theme changes how your WP website looks on the front-end, i.e. what a website visitor sees when they browse to your site on the web.
Some of the points covered in most of the themes are:
- Font Styling
- Page Layout (Boxed-Width or Full Width, Right, Left or No Sidebar at all)
- Ready Layouts & Styles for Home page
- Blog Page Ready Layouts
- Ready Templates for Archive pages
- Additional new Widgets depending on the theme and the industry of the website
- The placements/locations of the widget
Every WordPress theme is different. Every WP theme has its style and features and looks of layout. Some Developers create Themes that are for some specific industry. Examples – Photography Themes specifically for all Photographers. Travel Themes specifically for all Travel Agents and Travel Package providers. In these themes – their need and pain points will be solved, making it suitable and easy for them to create a website.
There are thousands of free themes in the WordPress.org Theme Directory. One can go to the Theme Directory and use the filters and sort the ready wp themes according to one’s taste and preference. Click here to see the Theme Directory.
What are the Components of a Theme?
WP Themes are a collection of various files that coordinate and work together to create a visual presentation of what the website visitors see on the browser when visiting a particular site.
There are two to three required files that form the crux of the WordPress theme. They are as follows:
- The main WordPress template files, i.e. index.php
- The main style file, i.e. style.css
- & The functions.php file for the changes to be made to the theme.
Some additional files that include in a theme’s folder are as follows.
- PHP files
- CSS files
- Localisation files
What is a Parent Theme and a Child Theme?
A Parent theme is a complete set where all the major and required Components of the Theme are present. All Themes which are directly available on Theme Directory or when you buy from online marketplaces are all Parent Themes.
Sometimes when you do coding or make some customisations on the parent theme and when there is an update of the parent theme, the customisations are lost while upgrading the theme. Thus, a child theme system came into existence to avoid a situation like that thereby taking benefit of the parent theme keeping the codes intact and also enjoying the latest updates.
A Child theme inherits its look, features and functionality from the active parent theme. The child theme controls the styling part and customisations. The developers can modify the styling of the website without touching or hindering the base code from the parent theme.
As a WordPress user, you should only add a child theme if you are continually adding some functions or codes, changing styles in your parent theme.
To know more about Child Theme, you can check the wordpress.org article here.
What is a Default Theme in WordPress?
WordPress team releases a new default theme periodically as per the release and updates of the latest version of WordPress.
Currently, when you install a fresh WordPress on your hosting. You get the Twenty Twenty theme as the latest default theme for version 5.3 by WordPress. Along with this, you get default themes of previous years like the Twenty Nineteen theme, Twenty Seventeen theme.
You can also see the demos of all the above default themes and previous years by WordPress here:
- 2020 – Twenty Twenty
- 2019 – Twenty Nineteen
- 2017 – Twenty Seventeen
- 2016 – Twenty Sixteen
- 2015 – Twenty Fifteen
- 2014 – Twenty Fourteen
- 2013 – Twenty Thirteen
- 2012 – Twenty Twelve
- 2011 – Twenty Eleven
- 2010 – Twenty Ten
Yes, by now you would have already guessed the name of the next default theme by WordPress. Yes, it is Twenty Twenty-One and it’s true.
Free vs Paid WordPress Themes
Free WordPress Themes
As mentioned above in this article, there are thousands of free themes in the WordPress.org Theme Directory. The WordPress Theme Directory is the safest place to download free themes. All the WordPress themes pass through a rigorous test from a dedicated team on various criteria and thereby ensuring the quality and safety for the theme users.
You can navigate via a popular and latest tab to check the wp themes available respectively. There is a feature filter option as well to sort via the layout, features and subject. The subject filter tab is the industry of the theme, where users can use specifically use to develop the website of the same category.
Paid WordPress Themes
Suppose you look at the above feature filter from the theme directory. In that case, there are many filters and various categories which are missing and required in today’s world.
So there are various websites and online marketplaces which fill up the gap and help users to buy paid wp themes according to the style and feature required by the end-user.
Various developers and reputed coding companies develop these premium themes, and they usually provide support for the WordPress theme. The support is even after the purchase, and they also provide updates for the bugs and improvements. Some go further and help in more customisation of their theme for the end-user at a much higher premium price.
Some of the sites where you can purchase your Premium WordPress Themes are as follows:
- Themeforest.net – Thousands of WordPress themes and website templates
- Themeisle.com – Find your perfect match in the list of flexible starter sites and responsive themes
- StudioPress.com – Premium WordPress Theme Packages
- MyThemeShop – Premium WordPress Themes Made For You
- Elegant Themes – The Most Popular WordPress Theme – Divi, And The Ultimate WordPress Page Builder
- TemplateMonster.com – Best Premium WordPress Themes from TemplateMonster
What are the Best WordPress Themes?
Below is my collection of themes that I prefer to use for website development. I have been using the following WP themes for my websites and the development of client websites.
A web developer can use the below themes for making a simple blog to a fully functional e-Commerce website because of its compatibility with other major WordPress plugins and functionalities.
Astra – By Brainstorm Force
The Fastest Growing Theme of All Time. Astra is the simple, fastest, fully flexible, customisable and free WordPress theme that is intuitive and offers more in-depth integration. Powerful plugins like Elementor, WooCommerce, LearnDash, etc. gets integrated very quickly and without any hassle for the end-user. With countless customisations and unique features, you can build a store that matches your brand. It also comes with a dozen pre-built sites. Now create a website with Astra is just one click away. It is also a lightweight website, and with the latest update, this has improved drastically increasing the load speed up to 50% better.
I will be posting a more detailed review in the coming week covering all the aspects of Astra with its features and integrations available.
Hello Elementor – By Elementor
The Hello Elementor is a lightweight and fast WordPress theme by the Elementor Team itself. It Offers consistent compatibility with the Elementor page builder. The Hello Elementor theme is almost with no scripts and styling by default, making it very light and helping the website to load faster than any WP theme in the library. It has full compatibility with popular WordPress plugins like WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, ACF, etc. It is an SEO Friendly Theme because of its simpleness.
OceanWp is a massive competition for other major themes present in the market. Because of the fully responsive theme, fastest load time, eCommerce ready, SEO friendly, and the fantastic support it has. You can extend the functionality of OceanWP with its ready extensions like Popup Login, Stick Anything feature, white labelling, etc. It provides you with unlimited colour options, custom header layouts, custom widgets, image sliders, and a featured products section.
Also, OceanWP works with all major page builders like Elementor, Brizy, WP Bakery(visual composer), Divi Builder, Beaver Builder, King Composer etc. And not to forget about the 13 Free Creative Demos it has the which can import a full site within seconds to your domain.
OceanWp is available in Free Version as well as Premium version. In Premium Version you get additional 13 Premium extensions + 60 Pro Demo Sites included, and one year of support.
One can say that it’s the perfect lightweight theme for your next project. GeneratePress is a Theme that is used by top bloggers around the globe for their blogging journey. GeneratePress is more focused on speed, security and usability. It offers layout control, hooks and filters, colours and typography features to take full control of the website.
GeneratePress is a Freemium Theme, i.e. it has a Free version and a Premium Version as well.
The GP Premium is a steal for the price and features it offers. The site library offers importable demo sites which provide the standard page building, as well as Elementor and Beaver Builder compatibility.
Storefront is the official Woocommerce Theme by the plugin developers of the famous WooCommerce plugin. Since it’s from the same core development team, it offers deep integration with WooCommerce and all extensions and addon plugins of WooCommerce. Suppose you are looking to build an eCommerce site which is lightweight and has compatibility with other extensions of WooCommerce for more functionality. In that case, Storefront Theme is the correct choice for you.
Storefront Theme has also introduced the Storefront Child Themes allowing the users to transform the look and feel of the store.
View the Catalog of Storefront theme here – Storefront Child Themes
Download Free WooCommerce Storefront Theme Here – Storefront
What WordPress Theme is that?
Many of the times when we see a site, we get curiosity in our minds and wish that if we could know the theme used to create the website.
Luckily you guys have got a solution for this problem. There are many online tools which detect the theme and also the plugins used for developing the websites.
The Sites where you can find what WordPress theme is that is?
- WHAT WORDPRESS THEME IS THAT? – What WordPress Theme Is That is a web-based tool that allows you to easily detect what WordPress theme a website site uses (including parent and child themes). It’s Free to use. Additionally, This website would also show the list of WordPress Plugins used in development. Click here to check the website.
- WPTD – WPThemeDetector.com – WordPress Theme Detector is another free tool that allows you to find the details about the WordPress theme and plugins currently being used by a site.
- Scan WP – WordPress Theme Detector (Including Plugin detection)
- CodeinWP – The CodeinWP website is the most advanced CMS and theme detection tool, currently working with WordPress, Shopify, Drupal and many others.
You can visit any of the above Theme checker websites and enter the URL and submit to check the WordPress theme and plugins used to create the website. Some websites would give much more information rather than just the Theme and Plugins.
As a newbie, when we start with web development, the first thing we come across and need is the theme for the content management system. In our case, the CMS being WordPress is the WordPress theme.
The WordPress theme is the essential thing and forms the framework of the layout and design for the website we are creating. Each WordPress Theme has its look and feel, and one should choose a Theme depending on his industry and features requires in terms of responsiveness and colours and layouts.
Also, we have seen the significant components in a Theme and what are the different sites to get Free Themes and Paid Themes. The best themes being the Astra, OceanWP, Hello Elementor, GeneratePress, Storefront which is available in the market in Free and Premium Versions with added features and functionality.
In the next article, we will be covering the different methods to install a WordPress Theme. Also, the WordPress Theme customisations you can do to change the look and feel of the website.
And if you want to know more about various WordPress tools we use, then check our page: WordPress Tools – A Useful 101 guide.
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