“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Themes are what control the presentational aspects of your website: layout, styles, behaviors, etc. And if that’s not enough, they can also add features, plugins, content editors, and more. Activate a new theme, and before you know it, you’re in a new WP world.

An important thing to keep in mind is that themes have the ability to control and override aspects of the entire platform. You may find that certain features only work with certain themes. Simpler, “cookie-cutter”, type themes can be very easy to use, but limited in scope and feature support. In many ways your WordPress site is at the mercy of the current active theme.

Finding Themes

Free themes are available from various authors and can be found on the website, the built in theme browser (not available on WordPress Playground), or by searching online. Free themes are generally less complicated than premium themes an are good for beginners, yet have fewer features and customizing options.

Premium themes can be found from various theme creators and market places around the web. Premium themes range in price from $20-$100, and have much better design, features, and support than free templates. They are also more complicated to use and may require some specialized set-up processes. These can be well worth the effort for intermediate level users.

Theme Providers:

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Themes can be modified to your liking, or built from scratch, to incorporate any design concept into WordPress. Also, if you have a theme that you want added to WordPress Playground, you can email a link to the theme to the site admin.

Installing and Activating Themes

First navigate to the Appearance > Themes section of the WP Admin Panel. Here you will find all the themes currently installed on WordPress Playground:

Click on the “Theme Details” button, that appears when you hover over the theme thumbnail, for more information. Clicking “Install” will download and add the theme to WordPress.

Click the “Activate” button to begin using the theme for your website. Once active, be sure to check the Appearance > Customize section of the Admin Panel to view the Theme Options for additional theme-specific settings:

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