One of the best features of WordPress – especially for those just starting out with websites and blogs is the template system. Themes allow you to completely change the design, layout and content display of your site.
There are loads of places to get themes on the Internet for WordPress – some are much better than others! You should be aware that the quality of the theme very much depends on the person who put it together – be it an experienced web developer sharing some of their hard work, or a hobbiest sharing their very first theme.
Also, if you are not comfortable working with themes and PHP code yet, you should only download themes from reliable sources such as the WordPress Theme Gallery. If you download themes from random websites always have a good look over the code – some themes contain malicious code.
You should also ensure that your theme is compatible with your version of WordPress – you are using the latest version right?! Although compatibility is generally very good, themes that have more advanced functions may not work – resulting in broken sidebars or content, errors or the worst-case scenario which is a blank screen!
When selecting a theme, always remember that they are very easy to change. Images and colours in particular are quick to meet your particular tastes. You should be looking for a theme that is the right basic layout rather than concentrating on styleways.
A-lot can be learned from looking at other peoples templates, but remember – there is a big difference between getting inspiration and learning from someones work and stealing it to call your own. Give credit where credit is due!
I have listed below some great quality WordPress template sites. These are all reliable, good quality sites where you an get all-sorts of different themes from your WordPress site. Some in particular have templates that are more geared up to CMS style websites rather than blogs. The ones listed below all allow you to preview the design live on a test website so you try try the theme out before you download it.
Official WordPress Theme Viewer – A huge collection of themes, quite a mixed bag quality-wise.
Recommended Free Collections
Demus Design – Some nice CSS work, some have been converted to WordPress themes.
Fahlstad Design – Quite a few decent WordPress themes, nice clean design.