Building Block #3:
WordPress Themes are the Virtual Framing
You’ve learned about your virtual real estate (domain and hosting), and your website’s foundation which is WordPress itself.
The next step in the building process is to frame it. This is done using a theme.
What are the most important actions you want site visitors to take when they land on your front page (or any page)? First and foremost, choose a theme that easily supports that.
Do you have two or three columns? A fancy graphic header? A blog? A footer? What colors do you use on your site?? Those are all handled by your theme.
You can find thousands of free themes, and hundreds of premium or paid themes.
Free WordPress Themes
There are thousands of them out there. Twenty Nineteen comes installed with WordPress, or you can choose from thousands of other themes. In fact, there are so many choices it can get a little overwhelming.
Go to WordPress.org/themes, and start sorting by choosing between Featured, Popular, or Latest. Or click Feature Filter to narrow your choices based on each theme’s features.
Once you see a theme you like, follow the same steps you would if you were choosing a plugin — check its rating, see what else the developer(s) have done, and check its support.
You can find free WordPress themes from within WordPress itself. But here’s a word of caution: don’t go searching on Google for free WordPress themes. Oh, you’ll find them. But a lot of them are a whole lot of trouble.
Premium WordPress Themes
“Premium” is another word for “paid.”
Why would you pay for a theme when there are so many free ones out there? Here are a few reasons:
- Technical support
- Easier to customize
- Frequent updates
- Easier to work with, meaning it will save you time — which adds up in the long run
In the overall scheme of things, a good premium theme doesn’t cost that much. Most are under $130. If you’re building a business, that’s a pretty small price to pay for something that will help you in your marketing and save you time.
There are two theme designers I work with almost exclusively. They are Studio Press and Elegant Themes. This site was originally built with a StudioPress theme (Prose), but after Christmas in 2018, I switched to Divi, from Elegant Themes. Now I’ve switched again, to Astra, and I’ve dropped Elegant Themes. Here’s why.
Why these themes in particular?
- They’re all rock solid, meaning you don’t need to worry about the code.
- They have many attractive choices of different types of themes for different types of businesses.
- They’re very secure
- They have excellent technical support.
- They’re fast — something that’s becoming more important if you want your site to be found in search
- They are consistently highly rated
There are lots of terrific theme designers out there, but these are my three favorites.
Learn how to install a WordPress theme here.
Next up — Block #4: Security!
This page was updated on July 7, 2022.