What’s the Difference Between a WordPress Theme and WordPress?

Wordpress Developer

At Misfit, we specialize in WordPress development and customization.  We love WordPress, we relish and bathe in it.  Because we also budget to provide small businesses with affordable web solutions, we also look for ways to assist small businesses in achieving their goals.  Occasionally it’s difficult to explain to clients what their options are in terms of a website that is built the best possible way for their budget and brand.

What is WordPress Development?

WordPress is a content management system or “CMS” that was initially built as a blogging platform, but has since exploded into a massively popular system for even informational and e-commerce websites.  The platform itself is standard across the board, but can be customized to match virtually any business industry.

Have a restaurant and want to display a dynamic menu online?  Wordpress can do this.

Have a store where you want to sell products securely online?  Wordpress can do this.

Have a law firm that you need to provide basic law tips and information?  Wordpress can do this.

It’s extremely versatile, which is why we always recommend it as a go-to platform for our clients.  Granted it’s not the only CMS we can provide for you.

What is a WordPress Template or Theme?

A WordPress Theme and Template are exactly the same thing.  The theme is the design built around the WordPress CMS platform.  For example, that e-commerce store that sells products would have it’s own specific layout of information to show products, its own brand colors, even custom functionality if a business wants to include custom sign-up forms, membership payments, or rotating upsell banners to display marketing initiatives.

WordPress also provides thousands of free templates and themes across the board that a user can install on their WordPress installation to make it look a certain way.  You can find some pre-built templates that look damn good for your business and save you a load of money on time spent customizing your website.  The downside to using pre-built templates is they simply aren’t built to be custom for your needs, so it may not have everything you’d initially want on your website.

Alternatively you can build a template custom to your brand with all the lovely elements, sections, colors, and display that you desire for your website.  These take longer to put together, but are well worth it to stand out from your competition.  The majority of developers of custom themes will start out with a base theme that has most of the styles stripped out and then customized depending on the websites needs and the design approved for customization.

What Themes and Templates Do NOT do

Themes and templates do not provide you with functionality for your website.  They are strictly for the design and visual acuity of the site.  Some will come with plugins that add functionality to the site, but themes themselves are not your WordPress website, and those plugins are generally 3rd party plugins you can use separately.  Everything from menus to rotating banners to e-commerce integration to sell products online are all outside of theme development.  The functionality is built into the WordPress system itself, the themes and templates just make them pretty.

One of the better things about WordPress is that you can change out themes and designs without touching or breaking any of the functionality.  If you decide you want to purchase a pre-made theme, and later on decide you want a custom theme built to replace it, none of your site functionality has to change for this, as it’s just reskinning the website with a new design.

So consider your options when it comes to a WordPress site to match your business.  We can help guide you to which method of a custom WordPress site is best for you and your budget, and we have many samples of sites we have done in both methods.

Misfit Example Templated Website:

Misfit Custom WordPress Website:

Both look professional, and both will help each business achieve its goals.  The custom wordpress template, however, was more customized to meet the needs of the clients portfolio.  Make sure you know what you are getting for your website. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you within your budget.

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