What is a WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme is a collection of templates and styles that determine the appearance and functionality of a WordPress website. It includes design elements such as fonts, colors, layout, and graphics, as well as custom features like menus, widgets, and page templates. Themes can be purchased or downloaded for free from the WordPress theme repository, and can be easily installed and activated on a WordPress site.
You may also try using a page builder plugin such as Elementor Pro that comes with dozens of pre-made templates and content blocks that can be quickly edited to fit your needs.
WordPress default themes
With each new year(with some exceptions), WordPress releases a new default theme. This theme will highlight the improvements and features that have been added to the core.
The Twenty Twenty-Three theme
The latest default theme for WordPress is the Twenty Twenty-Three theme. It is a very minimalistic theme that is best suited for users who like to start from a blank slate. It makes use of the Full-Site Editor to allow you to customize all your headers, content layout, and footers. Global typography and colors can be assigned to save time and maintain consistency.
While this theme may be the perfect choice for more experienced users, you may find it a bit overwhelming. Choosing a theme that these styles and layouts have already been created for you will help you quickly get your website started.
There are hundreds of available themes for free in the WordPress repository. Each theme will have its own styles and features. Some themes have additional features that showcase plugins such as WooCommerce or listing websites for realtors and auto industry.
Why so many?
Before there was full-site editing in WordPress, or page builders like Elementor, Divi, and Bricks, most users relied heavily on the theme to style the layout, colors, and typography of their website. You would browse through the themes and find the one that best matched the look and functions you needed. Coding themes was mostly left to a developer. This led to hundreds of themes being created both for free in the repository, and paid themes on sites like ThemeForest.
What theme is best?
Choosing the “best” theme is generally dependent on the needs and skills of the user. Most experienced users and people using page builders will prefer to use very barebones themes since they will be using the design functions of the builder rather than the theme. Newer users may find that they would like a theme with a lot more styling and functionality already provided for them in the Customizer. The “best” theme is the one that is right for you.
Some themes I recommend are:
If you are using the Elementor page builder, you should use the Hello theme created by their team as it provides the best compatibility.
Can I change later on?
Generally speaking, you can quickly change themes in WordPress. The content will remain, albeit may be styled with the different layout, fonts, or colors of the new theme. You may need to spend a few hours making minor changes depending on your content. You may find that it does not need any changes at all.
Unless you are just getting started and only have a few pages on your site, it would be best to make a full backup of your website before changing themes.
If you were using a theme that provided additional features or custom post types, these features will be lost if switching to a new theme.
Installing a WordPress theme
To install a WordPress theme, follow these steps:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
- Go to the “Appearance” section in the left-hand menu and click on “Themes.”
- Click on the “Add New” button at the top of the page.
- From here, you have two options: you can either search for a theme using the search bar or browse through the available themes by clicking on the “Feature Filter” button.
- Once you have found a theme that you like, click on the “Install” button.
- Wait for the theme to be installed, and then click on the “Activate” button.
- Your new theme is now active and you can begin customizing it to your liking.