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Answers to all your questions about WordPress and themes

What’s the big deal with WordPress themes? How do they work, and why should you care?

If you are new to WordPress, here’s a crash course on why you should love WordPress themes as much as we do.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is open-source website software, created by lots of smart nerdy people who love taking pictures of food and bad computer jokes.

Over 25 million people, including the New York Times, eBay, and People Magazine use it. It is constantly being developed and improved, and it is quickly becoming the most popular software on the web.

Translation: it’s really cool and you get it FREE

How it Works

WordPress is like the skeleton of your site

Without boring you with too much detail, WordPress allows you to create an infinite number of pages, blog posts, images, videos, and lots more from a cool admin area in your browser.

It’s very user friendly too. For example, to create a new page, you login, go to Pages, then click “Add New.” It’s a no brainer!

No special program needed, it’s all controlled in your internet browser

You can think of WordPress as the skeleton of your site (maybe the entrails too). It handles all of the internal processes that you don’t really see, and it holds everything together.

WordPress Themes

If WordPress is the skeleton, then themes are the skin and clothing.

Themes vary just as much as clothing does: some themes look like your mom still dresses you, and others will get you phone numbers!

Along with the look of your site, themes change what your site can do. They add functionality to WordPress by extending it. For example, the default WordPress theme, Twenty Ten, adds the ability to easily change your header background image.

One of our themes, FitPro, adds a membership area that is not normally available. This is just an example, there is really no limit to what themes can do.

Themes are like little custom websites that make WordPress even more powerful

Many WordPress themes make setting up and customizing your own website incredibly easy. The designer will take pains to make everything n00b proof, like adding the option to change the colors of the site in a single click.

Plugins

Plugin

Plugins plug-in cool new features to your site

Plugins are cool little software add-ons for your site that plug-in to WordPress.

For example, need a contact form? Just download the Contact Form 7 plugin (free) and voila, you have a professional contact form!

Plugins are developed by smarty pants developers (like this one) that know a lot more than you and I do about the interweb. The cool part is that most plugins are free, although there are some fancy premium plugins you can get at very affordable prices.

Plugins are usually free, and there are over 13,000 of them and counting!

Some Statistics

WordPress Versus Joomla Drupal Statistics Graph

WordPress is king amongst popular open-source CMS website software

Here’s a snapshot of WordPress and competing software on the web:

WordPress sites: Over 25 million (not counting the 18+ million on wordpress.com)
Joomla sites: ~ 14 million
Drupal sites: ~ 8 million

*Disclaimer: These numbers are rough estimates, meant to give a relative view of competition, not exact numbers.

Try Before You Buy

You can give WordPress a test drive before committing to anything by going over to wordpress.com and creating a free site. Just play around with it, you won’t break anything (TWSS).

If you like the way it drives as much as we do, pick a great theme and start blogging!

Scott Bolinger

Scott Bolinger

Scott is a WordPress theme designer at Press Coders. This means that he takes perfect code created by David Gwyer and messes it up to make a pretty design.

5 Responses to Answers to all your questions about WordPress and themes

  1. Chad says:

    Ok I am verry new to making a blog. I have made a website before http://nextlevelplayer.com but I am very new to making a blog. I have a word press account already, (not really any idea how to use it)

    Here is where I am getting into trouble, I see all these nice themes and such out there and they even let you download them for free… How in the heck do you get that theme merged into your word press account and then start to work with it?

    I can only afford right now the $99 package but if you can help me out I will be good to go with you guys.
    Chad

    • David says:

      Hi Chad, I think you are talking about a WordPress.com account? In this case this is the ‘hosted’ WordPress solution and the themes you can install are restricted. If you go for the ‘self-hosted’ version, available to download at WordPress.org then you can install WordPress (and FitPro) on your own website. If you are not confident about installing WordPress and FitPro then we will install everything for FREE if you get your hosting with DreamHost (http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?1070191/hosting.html).

      As far as customising everything we have dedicated forums to help you out every step of the way, plus a comprehensive install and set-up guide to get you off and running (http://www.presscoders.com/fitpro-setup/). Also, we have a public pre-sales forum available if you want to ask any other FitPro questions. These will get answered quicker than post comments. :)

  2. Dale Strouse says:

    I am working with a client that is migrating their website to a WP format. The sell Wood Stoves, Pools and Spas and they have a brick and mortar store. They would like to have a site that showcases their big products but does not offer them for sale online. They do want to be able to sell the accessories to these big products online. What kind of theme might I look at that meets this clients needs.

    Dale

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