WordPress Themes, Child Themes and Page Builders

If you are building your own website, then you will be familiar with the concept of using WordPress themes, child themes and page builders – but what exactly are they?

Let’s look in more detail at each type and understand how they interact with each other.

What are WordPress themes?

A WordPress theme is a set of design templates that dictate the look of your website – the layout of the pages, the location of the menu, the colours etc.

If you think of a car, then WordPress is the engine and a theme is the bodywork. Engines are the same from car to car, but the bodywork differs depending on the type of car you purchase.

Themes generally come with lots of different options and styles, that enable you to really create a website that matches your branding.

You can download free themes direct from the WordPress repository, or you can purchase a premium theme from the many theme developers that create a sell their themes.

What is a child theme then?

A child theme is a separate theme that is built using the same coding and files as the parent theme. You upload and use a child theme to ensure that any design customisation you make to your website is not lost when the parent theme is updated.

WordPress page builders

A page builder gives you added features that can be used in conjunction with the theme that you are using.

A page builder will enable you to quickly build a page, often using ‘drag and drop’ elements, which saves both time and the need to understand design code.

Popular page builders are Elementor, Divi and Beaver Builder. All of them work with most themes, though it’s always best to check before purchasing the page builder plugin.

Mike is a WordPress specialist with 10+ years experience in website design and management.