Theming It Up

In the last couple of years, blogging software platforms have changed the way websites are being built. Instead of using expensive HTML editors, like Frontpage or DreamWeaver, people are turning to free programs, also known as open source, such as WordPress.

In addition to the cost savings, WordPress features several other benefits, some of which are that it is easy to use and customize. The look of a WordPress theme is written in Cascading Style Sheets, also known as CSS.

Each distinct look is known as a theme. Switching to a different theme is a two-step process that involves downloading the files from the internet and uploading them to your own server through an ftp program.

Switching to a new theme will give the blog or website a completely different look and feel without changing any of the data. Because of this, it can be easy to get “addicted” to themes. Some people switch to a new theme on a very regular basis.

Altering a WordPress theme too often can have negative consequences for a business. If a site looks different every time someone visits it, the visitor might not realize it is the same site – and end up clicking away.

Theming is the art of designing Wordpress themes, the visitor interface presented.

Keeping a site or blog’s theme consistent will set the tone for branding, increase customer loyalty, and bring increased business.

The American Marketing Association offers a very long definition of branding by saying that a brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Big corporations, such as McDonald’s, Nike, and Apple are wonderful examples of how branding plays a role in success. When people think about fast food, McDonald’s pops into their minds; when people think of running shoes, they think of Nike and when they think about Mp3 players, they think about iPods.

Each of these companies also keeps their look and design consistent. McDonald’s will always have the golden arches, Nike will also have the swoosh and Apple will always have the apple with a bite taken out of it.

These companies will definitely update their sites many times in the years to come, as they want to stay fresh and relevant. But there will always be something that is the same and that is what’s important.

Their customers will know right away by the site’s look that they are in the right place. Their loyal customers will be back to buy something – and they won’t click away by mistake because they thought they were in the wrong place.