WordPress is an open-source product. If you understand the basics of how a company might secure a product it designed from being stolen by a rival company, you’ll understand the idea of open source. Open source products stem from the opposite philosophy that corporate developers adhere to. An open-source product is free for anyone to use, share, develop and develop for. WordPress happens to be a very successful open-source product, so there is a lot of development out there for it. You can get plenty of free themes, widgets, plug-ins and so for that can help you to take WordPress to the next level.
Free Themes: Some Considerations
Free themes galore do exist for WordPress. In fact, you can usually find free themes that are more or less identical to some of the paid themes. Professional designers sometimes use free themes as starting points for their own side development. If you need a three-column design that’s based on CSS rather than tables, for instance, there’s really no sense rewriting it since there’s only one way to write it correctly. Thus, free themes are oftentimes altered unrecognizably by designers and made into new sites.
Professional designers have a much broader set of skills to utilize for web development, obviously, than do average people. Because of this, opening up XHTML and CSS files and manually making changes is a feasible option for them. They’re also likely to spot any errors in the code that the theme comes with, which most users will certainly not be able to do. For most people, paid themes do have some real advantages.
Professionally designed themes are oftentimes built on framework that makes managing WordPress sites much easier. Using these frameworks, the capacity and versatility of WordPress as a development tool and as a content management system (CMS) are greatly expanded upon. Users who don’t know how to write CSS o HTML can make changes to their own sites without running anything, to put it another way.
This makes some of the paid themes worth it, particularly if the website owner needs a CMS for a complex site. The themes are often developed with specific purposes in mind. For example, there are eCommerce themes that are designed to work with eCommerce plug-ins such as shopping carts. There are also portfolio sites that are designed to work with images hosted at popular photo sharing sites. The level of development required for such features could be very expensive if it was contracted as part of a custom site build.
Free themes are sometimes perfect for personal sites. If the themes don’t have complex administration features, it really doesn’t matter if you’re happy with the existing looks and features of your WordPress install. If you do need a great deal of WordPress development done, however, checking to see if you can buy it in the form of a pre-made theme is an easy and inexpensive way to go. Most of the time, the cost of buying the theme will be very low relative to the features you can get.