What Are WordPress Themes and Templates? - dummies

What Are WordPress Themes and Templates?

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

WordPress themes are simply a group of files, called templates, which determine the look and basic function of your site. Literally thousands upon thousands of free WordPress themes are available for you to choose from. WordPress has an official Themes Directory on its website you can browse.


Additionally, you can browse, download, and install free WordPress themes from the comfort of your own WordPress Dashboard. All the themes that you find in the official Free Themes Directory are also accessible within your Dashboard by choosing Appearance→Themes and then clicking the Install Themes tab.


WordPress themes that appear in the official directory are fully checked out, vetted, and approved for listing by WordPress. With this theme review, you can feel comfortable knowing that the theme you’re using meets the guidelines that WordPress has put in place for quality control.

It’s possible that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in a theme using one from the Free Themes Directory. You want to learn how to tweak, customize, and create your own WordPress theme by learning and applying the skills necessary to do that. Free WordPress themes are a great place to start, especially themes from the official WordPress Free Theme Directory.

The free themes from the directory contain all the standard features that users expect from themes, so they make an excellent starting point in your learning process. Open up one of those themes from the free directory and start reading, learning, and applying the code you find there to themes that you create for yourself, your friends, or your clients.

Typically, it would be a big no-no to tell you to copy work from another person; however, that is exactly the spirit of the WordPress community, and the spirit of open source and the GPL (General Public License) that WordPress (and its themes and plugins) is released under.