If you find yourself asking what is a WordPress theme, the answer is it’s a website template that acts as a building block for new sites. WordPress users can choose from thousands of free and premium themes. Once they’ve found one that best matches their preference, WordPress makes it easy to modify the theme with one’s own content, pages, colors and formatting preferences.
WordPress users can install new themes in just a few clicks. It’s also easy to shift between themes, so you can see which one works best for your business website content. In this guide, we’ll explain how all of this works so you won’t be asking what is a WordPress theme any longer. First, however, let’s take a look at some examples.
WordPress Themes: Top Providers
What Is a WordPress Theme?
WordPress themes are essentially dummy websites: They come fully designed but with sample text and photos that are intended to be replaced with a user’s own content. This makes themes especially useful for beginners since you get an idea where certain paragraphs, photos and buttons should go. Simply click on a photo, for example, and replace it with your own.
There are many free WordPress themes, including the Twenty Seventeen theme that is included by default on most websites, and Fit Web Themes: Business Edition, which was designed by us at FitSmallBusiness. Others can cost hundreds of dollars, mainly because they offer more intricate editing tools or more unique designs and features.
How to Choose a WordPress Theme
To choose a WordPress theme, first consider which theme looks closest to your ideal finished website. This not only saves you time but also spares you from any disappointment should a theme not work exactly how you wanted. Secondly, find a balance between the price you’re willing to spend and the unique design or editing tools you desire. Check out our article for the list of best WordPress themes.
With Divi, one of the most popular premium themes, you can edit everything on your site by dragging and dropping elements. This makes it ideal for more experienced users who want full control over their website’s formatting. However, it does take a bit longer to learn the ropes, and costs more than other plug-ins at $89/year.
Fit Web Themes takes a different approach: Simply enter your business information, photos, color preferences, and other information and the formatting all happens behind the scenes. You don’t get as much control of the little details, but your site can be sculpted much more quickly and at a lower price since Fit Web Themes are available for free.
You can also browse the official WordPress theme database, which has thousands of free and paid themes from many different developers, but if you are particularly interested in WordPress travel themes, we have an article on that as well!
For further guidance on how to select the best WordPress theme for your site, check out this article from CompeteThemes.
How to Install a WordPress Theme
First, log into your WordPress website. Once you’re on the dashboard, follow the steps below to install a new WordPress theme:
1. Hover Over ‘Appearance’ and Click ‘Themes’
You’ll find these menu options on the left side of the dashboard.
2. Click ‘Upload’ at the Top
3. Browse for a Theme (or Upload One)
Using the search function, you can browse for themes directly on the dashboard. Search by keyword or browse through featured or recent theme sections.
If you already downloaded the theme you want to use, you can upload it (as a ZIP file) by clicking “Upload Theme” at the top.
4. Activate Your Theme
Once the theme is installed, don’t forget to click “Activate.”
At this point, you’ll be able to view and edit your website with the new theme. To switch back to your original theme or to try out any others, simply head back Appearance > Themes.
How to Edit a WordPress Theme
Editing controls vary from one theme to the next. Most of the time, however, you’ll make adjustments by clicking Appearance > Customize.
You’ll see various editing on the left side of the customization menu, such as changing your header text or font and color preferences. To the right is a preview of your website as you make edits.
Again, these controls vary a lot depending on your theme, so it’s best to follow instructions from your specific theme provider. At FitSmallBusiness, we provide user guides for each of our themes. If you want to learn more about how to make a WordPress website, check out our article!
The Bottom Line
The wide availability of themes is a major reason why the WordPress platform has become so popular for business websites. However, with more 10,000 available, there’s bound to good and bad, eliminating the need to wonder what is a WordPress theme any longer. Check user reviews and, whenever possible, try out a theme before making a purchase.