I'm Chris Perryman

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Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

What exactly is WordPress, and why should you be using it? What’s a theme and how do I choose one?

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, open source website creation tool.


What is Open Source?

The original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.


What parts are free?

The core of WordPress, the meat of everything it does is free to use!



WordPress.com – a free hosted solution. You cannot do custom development, your domain will be .wordpress.com and you are limited to certain themes and plugins.

WordPress.org – a free self-hosted solution. The options for this setup are limitless!

What does WordPress give you?

Control of your content

With WordPress, you can login and change page content, write blog posts, add menu items etc.



With more plugins and add-ons than you can count, WordPress can do ANYTHING you or your clients can dream up.



WordPress has an amazing community behind it with help, resources and new best friends just waiting for you!

I'm Sold! So, what is a theme??

A theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.

source: wordpress.org




A theme is the “design” and often includes some enhancements to functionality.

The theme will build on top of the “core” — you never touch the core!

Theme Options


A theme that is free to install and use.


A theme that has cost up front, or on a recurring basis.


A theme with an established codebase and advanced functionality. (free or paid)


A theme that you build from scratch, or with some “base code” to start.

Free Themes: pros & cons


It’s FREE!
Large selection (wordpress.org)
Easy to install – no coding required



No support
Designs are usually “boring”
Not very feature rich
BEWARE THE FREE THEME (malicious codes and spam links)

Commercial Themes: pros & cons


HUGE selection
Very feature rich
Quality designs
Ongoing support (sometimes)



Cost ($30 – $100 ish)
Support – some of it sucks!
Learning curve


Buyer beware! Do your due diligence, vet the theme and its author. *Theme Forest

Theme Frameworks: pros & cons


Time efficient
Great support
Increased functionality
“Develop” without code
Budget friendly



Cost ($100 – $200)
Learning curve
Framework limitations
Feature bloat


Popular frameworks: Genesis, Thesis, Headway

Starter/Custom Themes: pros & cons


Zero bloat



Takes time
No support
All code work (PHP, HTML, CSS)


Popular starter themes: Bones, Roots, Underscores

Which option is best for you?


What is the budget?

What is the needed turnaround?

How much “effort” do you want to put in?

Do we need support?

What does the site need to “do”? Which option will best fit THOSE needs?



What are your current projects?

What are you working on now? Let’s see what the best option would be for you!


Case Studies?

How have you used WordPress in the past to create a solution for yourself or a client?


WordPress Wins

This platform can literally do anything you need it to…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!


It is worth the time and effort to learn it…it’s taking over the world.


Sites using WordPress: Best BuyTime, Fortune, Beyonce, Mavricks (view the showcase)