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Alright so you’ve signed up for hosting, you chose a domain name and now you are faced with a decision of which WordPress theme to choose for your blog and business website. But wait, what the heck is a WordPress theme and why do you need one? In this article, I am breaking down what a WordPress theme is and giving you my opinion of the best free theme in WordPress as well as the best premium WordPress theme.
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A WordPress theme is a basic design and layout your website uses. You need to install a theme before you can start customizing your WordPress site.
Every theme has a unique layout. Since a WordPress theme is essentially a collection of pre-coded templates that allow you to make all kinds of customizations to your WordPress site, the one you choose will determine your design abilities.
Themes can be added, changed and managed from the WordPress dashboard under Appearance >>> Themes
When I first started using WordPress, I fell into this category and chose the wrong one!
I ended up using some free WordPress theme I thought looked pretty in the theme section.
I had big visions for how I wanted my new website to look and ended up wasting hours trying to change fonts, reconfigure the navigation bar and change up the look of the site.
No matter how many YouTube videos I watched about customizing my WordPress website, I couldn’t get anywhere.
The problem: I was limited in what I could do within my free theme’s capabilities.
There a lot of themes that you can get for free with WordPress. You can browse and install a theme with one click when you sign up for a hosting plan or once you are in the backend of your WordPress website. (Your dashboard)
You also have the option to find a free theme outside of the WordPress directory and install it as well.
As mentioned above, to install or change a theme you will need to go to your dashboard and scroll down to the “Appearance” option. Then choose “Themes.”
From here you will see WordPress themes that you have either installed yourself or that you have had installed for you. The first WordPress theme listed in the top left is the theme that is currently activated on your site. It will say ‘Active’ in the bottom left corner of the graphic.
You can choose to either activate an installed theme or click the “Add New” button at the top to browse other free WordPress themes.
From here you can sort your options by popularity, featured themes, the latest added, and also by your favorites if you have favorited any themes while browsing previously.
Honestly the answer is you get what you pay for. Below are a few pros and cons of a free WordPress theme.
It’s important to understand that not all free themes are created equal.
If you find that you really enjoy this theme, but want a little bit more customization you can always upgrade later on without disruption to your layout. Kadence Pro currently ranges from $89-199/year depending on your package.
Ready to create your website and try out Kadence? My video tutorial below will walk you step-by-step through setting up your WordPress website with the free Kadence theme.
Paid or Premium WordPress themes are available from a wide variety of marketplaces and theme shops.
You will not be able to find these by searching in the theme section of the WordPress directory.
A Google search for popular premium WordPress themes will allow you to research what people are using; however I am giving you my top pick below which consistently falls in the #1 spot on these lists for best premium WordPress theme.
Once you purchase your premium theme, you will have the ability to download a zip file. From there you go into your WordPress dashboard click ‘Appearance,’ then ‘Themes’ and click ‘Add New’ at the top.
You will then be prompted to upload a file. Upload your downloaded zip file and click install. Once it’s installed, click ‘Activate’ and you now have a premium theme installed!
A few months into my WordPress blogging journey someone recommended Divi to me. After looking into this theme, I decided to up-level my blog and growing business and purchased lifetime access to Divi in 2017.
I was able to create the strategic website that I needed to attract my ideal readers, effectively showcase my courses and products, and convert customers through this theme. There was a ton of flexibility with my blog post layouts and opt-ins which was very helpful as well.
I have used this to design all of my client’s websites and my own sites as well.
Divi is a theme and drag-and-drop page builder all rolled into one, so there is no need to add any special plugins to make it work effectively.
It has an extensive library of pre-designed website layouts and templates to get you started and 46 modules to customize your site.
While there isn’t a free trial of Divi, you can try your hand at the live builder on the Divi site.
Also if you decide to purchase Divi and decide you are not happy with it for whatever reason, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!
You now have a better understanding of what a WordPress theme is and my recommendations for the best free theme in WordPress as well as the best paid/premium theme.
Whichever route you choose, free or paid, there will be a bit of a learning curve.
Make sure to sign up for my FREE Blogging Business Bootcamp to help you along the way.