WordPress themes are simply a package of reusable elements, that can be used to customize your website. A WordPress theme is basically a reusable tool to quickly change the overall design and layout of your site. A theme can be a zip folder containing a collection of page templates already written in the PHP language along with any other CSS stylesheets needed. The theme will then be installed and applied to the root directory of your server, usually under the name “wp”. The benefit of using a theme instead of just modifying the styles of your own site is that the theme can be changed to fit any user experience desired without having to go through the hassle of building and installing another application.
There are two types of WordPress themes – one which you install on your own website and one which comes with pre-installed template files. These template files however, cannot be edited, so they are essentially there for your use only. However, even with these pre-installed, cookie cutter themes there are many ways to create your own unique style. For example, if you wanted a blog or website that was purely informational, you could download free WordPress templates and just change a few elements here and there, creating something completely all your own.
If however, you were looking to start selling handmade jewelry online, a great way to do that is to download some pre-made WordPress jewelry template files and change them to suit your needs. For example, instead of a heart you could instead choose a bracelet or a pendant, or use a different colored gemstone altogether. With so many different options available, it is easy to come up with a really unique look for each individual piece. Just by changing a few template files, the possibilities are endless. This is why it is best to always have a theme that you can modify and use in conjunction with existing pre-made pieces for a very customized look.
However, if you are not comfortable changing the template files for your WordPress theme, you may want to consider using a premium WordPress theme directory. A premium theme directory allows users to download hundreds of high quality theme designs for their WordPress blog. Although, like a WordPress theme, these are not generally supported by any technical person, they are well worth the price. When using a premium WordPress theme directory, you will also get access to support, which is usually pretty good. Many people find it enough to justify paying for premium services.
Some people prefer to work directly with WordPress code. There are plenty of free themes out there that are pretty decent, but there is nothing quite like coding your own WordPress theme to add functionality. This is actually the easiest way to customize a WordPress site, but many people are intimidated by this because they do not know how to make changes. This is actually very simple. If you are comfortable working within the WordPress code then by all means go for it, however if you are more comfortable having a designer do it for you then by all means use one of the free themes as long as it provides you basic functionality.
No matter what you choose, it is important to take the time to research and understand the WordPress documentation. By understanding the documentation it can help you choose the right theme options for your site. It is also recommended that you create a backup of your theme before making any changes so that you can easily restore any changes when needed. In the end, even though you may want to use a free theme until you understand the WordPress coding, it never hurts to have a developer create a free theme for you just to try it out.