All WordPress websites are built on a theme. A theme can be one that you purchase, or one that is custom written by a developer.
A theme is a “collection’ of files make your pages look different. These files are templates and styles.
Themes can come with many options that you can select easily. For example, do you want a logo image or text as a logo? You might have a section in your theme settings that lets you just upload or choose an image easily, or type the text you want as the logo right there. The theme may have options to move the menu below the logo, or to the right of the logo, or vertical down the page. Can you have a top bar with a menu? Your theme will have that option or not.
Your theme running your website may be a custom theme, meaning a developer wrote this theme just for you, or just for their agency to use on their websites. We at Techcare do not write our own themes because if you write themes, we feel you have a duty to keep the them up to date. Changes happen in the wordpress software updates, maybe Chrome updates, and if you don’t update your theme as well, your website can break or look strange. We strongly suggest that you do not use a custom theme. We suggest that you use a good third party theme that you purchase with a lot of support.
WordPress provides many free themes for you to use, or You can purchase a theme online. If you can choose a theme with a lot of support that has been around for a while, you will have a better experience overall. Many years ago we purchased a theme for a customer and then wordpress updated and broke the theme. We notified the Theme developer about this and they said that they were no longer supporting this theme and that we should just go back to the old version! Well that is ridiculous. At that point we needed to change themes.
If you are working with a developer, they probably use a theme they are familiar with and know how to use easily. If this is the case, go with their suggestion and you will have a better website in the end.
If you are chosing a theme, find out:
- How many people work for this company writing fixing and improvements for the theme
- How often is the theme updated
- What does the theme look like on mobile
- How many options do you have out of the box?
One thing we want to mention is that a theme may determine the base styling of the website, or in other words, the way it looks, but a developer can change many of those items using a bit of code. So a developer may tell you that they will be using a certain theme but they will style it so that it looks completely different from an example you see, or another website using the same theme. We develop all of our websites on the same theme, and the websites all look very very different!