Just about anything can be done using WordPress and CSS these days in relation to design of a website.
Front Page concerns
A WordPress Website is made up of pages. DUH! The reason I bring this up is because with WordPress you can have a static Front Page with the blog page being inside your website. Or, you could have the dynamically created blog front page. I usually prefer the static Front Page. I like having control of what the user sees when they first go to my site, not what I happen to be writing about at the time! I also like having control of the amount of links on my front page. Using the dynamically created blog page, you have a lot of links on one page. Another benefit of the Static Front Page is the SEO benefits. I want to let the search engines know what my website is all about, and you have more control over this with a static Front Page.
Design concerns with the Dynamic Blog Front Page
Most WordPress pages are made up of certain sections. These sections are: Header, Navigation Bar, Footer, Sidebar and Content Area.
Here is an illustration showing the various sections of a WordPress Page:
The Content Area is the white area to the left of the sidebar. Fact is you could have as many columns as you would like. You could have pages with no sidebar. The illustration above is the normal out of the box installation. Every page on your website will usually have the same header, navigation bar, sidebar and footer. The Content section would change with each page. Each section of the web page is generated separately using php programming. The design, or the presentation, of all sections is controlled from the main CSS file. Basically anything goes.
Design Concerns with a Static Front Page
When you have a static Front page on your website anything goes! You are taking control of your Front Page and making a custom design. But, and that’s a big BUTT, If you use the same Header, Navigation Bar and Footer as your inside pages it is to your benefit. If you don’t use the same header, navigation bar and footer as the rest of the site, you will have to remember to make changes to the Static Front Page design when you do make new changes to the inside Header, Navigation Bar or Footer. This could also save your design Team money. Instead of a design for the Front Page and the Inside Pages, you could just design the Inside Pages, then the Content Section of the Static Front Page! If you are going to use the Static Front Page please make sure the Front Page looks like it belongs to the rest of the website. Create Unity in your website!
You can find all free WordPress Themes at the WordPress.org website. At the time of this posting there were just under 1,500 themes and they have been downloaded 36 million times. I find the easiest way to look at a bunch of themes at one time is to use their WordPress Themes Filter Interface. For the first time user, select a color like blue, then click on the “Find Themes” button up top. Under the form all kinds of themes show up. This makes it very easy and quick to find the theme that might work for you.
What you should be looking for
Check out how each of the section of the inside page are handled. Just remember, you are looking for a guide. You change the colors, you change the sizes of the sections, you change the fonts. Note: Remember fonts should be web standard fonts. Using images for fonts are pretty, but they aren’t read by the search engines. That being said, if you want something to be read by the search engines – NO IMAGES!
Why use a WordPress theme?
1 – They have been checked for malicious code (thanks spellcheck! Ha Ha!). If you download a theme from someone elses websites – BEWARE!
2 – If you let the coder know what theme you are basing your design on you can save the client money! Or better yet, If it’s already quoted, you can pocket more money! The coder just downloads the theme, and alters it to your design. Nothing could be more wasteful then having your designer use a WordPress Theme as a guide for their design, then not let the coder know the theme is already done, and they only have to alter the code!
Coders – Submit you themes!
Once your new theme is done, you could submit the theme for others to use. Remember, about 1500 people have done this for your benefit!