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What is a WordPress theme? Points to note when changing and how to select

WordPress theme
WordPress theme

Software “WordPress” is often used to create websites and blogs.
Among them, the “theme” has a great influence on the website you create.
The theme reflects not only the design of the website, but also the overall structure, skeleton, and display functions of the site.
If you simply select the design based on its appearance, it may be difficult to operate, maintenance may be difficult, and in some cases, it may be dangerous in terms of security.
This time, we will introduce the basic knowledge, points for selecting a theme, points to note when changing, etc. about WordPress themes.

table of contents

  • 1. What is a WordPress “theme”?
  • 2. What you need to know before changing the theme
  • 3. Key points for choosing a theme
  • 4. Precautions when changing the theme of WordPress
  • 5. Create an effective site with a theme that suits your purpose!


What is a WordPress “theme”?

A WordPress theme is a template for your entire website. The theme is a collection of multiple files, and the contents such as design are a set. Therefore, if you change the theme, you can change the design, structure, functions, etc. of the website without complicated processing.

Multiple files contained in a theme are called “template files”. The file is divided for each page, and you can decide what to display. The basic main contents of WordPress are “index.php (top page)”, “single.php (individual article)”, “page.php (fixed page)”, “search.php (search result)”, “archive”. It is composed by combining template files such as “.php (list of past articles)”.

If you want to change the theme, you can customize this template file in combination, as well as replace the entire set of files.

Some themes can be downloaded for free on the Internet, while others are sold for a fee. If you want to be more particular about the structure of your website, you can upload and apply your themes.


What you need to know before changing the theme

It’s a theme that makes it easy to change the design of your website, but let’s take a look at some things to keep in mind before actually changing it.

● The theme needs to be updated

There are updates not only to WordPress itself and plugins but also to themes. In addition to adding/changing functions, updating the theme also includes security improvements and bug fixes, so it is recommended that you always update to the latest version.

● Customization is initialized when updated

If you update the theme, the customization will be initialized. It is convenient to create a “child theme” because it takes time to re-customize each time you update.
A child theme is like an alter ego that belongs to a WordPress theme (parent theme) and inherits the functions and styles of the parent theme. If you customize the child theme instead of the entire theme, you can keep the customized state even after updating the theme.

● Recommended is the official theme

There are many themes distributed on the Internet, but basically, we recommend the official WordPress theme. The official theme does not have to worry about security vulnerabilities, and because many people use it, it is rich in information and easy to understand. If you don’t want your site to look like anyone else, you can add some customization to your site for originality.


Key points for choosing a theme

When choosing a theme, it is easy to focus on design, but if you simply choose by design, there may be problems with usability and security in running the website. In addition to the appearance and price, here are some points to check when choosing a theme.

● Responsive design

Designs that are compatible with both PCs and smartphones are called “responsive design.” Responsive design themes allow you to optimize and display your page design for easy viewing on both your PC and smartphone. Recently, the number of people accessing mobile terminals is increasing, and whether or not it is compatible with smartphones is also an important point in gaining the number of views.
For non-responsive design themes, you can make it compatible with smartphones by installing a mobile-friendly plugin such as “WP Touch Mobile Plugin”, but the image of the site will be different from when displayed on a PC.

● Whether it is easy to customize

If you want to customize your theme, make sure it’s easy to understand how to customize it. Popular themes with many users may include official websites, commentary websites, and information such as customization methods. If you are a beginner, choose a popular theme that is rich in information and you will be able to work smoothly.

● Whether it supports Japanese

Most of the themes are based on English, but whether or not they support Japanese is an important point. If you use tools in a language you are not familiar with when creating a website, it will take extra man-hours. In addition, some overseas themes have little information in Japanese and the setting method is complicated. Many official themes support Japanese, so let’s consider them.

● The number of columns can be adjusted

The number of columns is the number of columns installed on the website. You should be able to adjust the number of columns according to the purpose of the website and your favorite design. For example, in the case of “2-column layout (two columns)”, menus such as article categories and popular article rankings are displayed on either the left or right side of the website. There are also “single column layout (without side menu)” and “3 column layout (3 columns)”.


Precautions when changing the theme of WordPress

Even if the theme is decided, it is not recommended to change it immediately. Find out what you need to be aware of when making changes and what you need to do before making changes.

● Backup before change

If you change the theme in the middle, the layout may be misaligned or you may need to reconfigure it. It’s a good idea to make a backup before changing the theme, just in case. The backed-up files are saved on your local PC, but it is safer to save them on external media such as an external HDD or online storage, considering the risk of data loss on your PC.
If you want to restore (restore), you can restore it by uploading the entire folder using the saved backup file.

● Check the safety of the theme

Some of the free overseas themes have safety issues. We cannot deny the risk that the code required for security is missing or that dangerous sources such as malware are intentionally included. In the worst case, data may be destroyed or tampered with, information may be leaked, or the website may be lost. Before installing, make sure you have a case study of the theme and a trusted source.
If you can’t confirm the safety, it is a good idea to choose from the official WordPress themes. The official themes are only those that have passed the review by the WordPress distributor, so you can use it with confidence.


Create an effective site with a theme that suits your purpose!


WordPress is set to be simple for easy customization.
You can choose from a huge number of themes, and you can create a completely different website just by using different themes.
In addition, the number of inflows and the number of PVs of websites will be affected just by changing the theme.
Once you get used to changing the theme, it is a good idea to change the theme in consideration of functionality and design, and try to increase the number of inflows and PV.


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