WordPress themes are a bit different than the themes that we usually discuss — most of our theme categories fall under the ‘skins’ umbrella, dressing up individual apps or operating system. WordPress themes are intended to provide a website or blog with a unique look (as unique as something shared by thousands of other users can be) and sometimes with unique options as well.
Unlike many of the other ‘skinnable’ apps out there, WordPress includes a lot of design and functionality options that you may or may not see, depending on the theme that is in use. While several simply give you a pretty border and define the font properties for the page elements, many do much more.
For instance: if you were creating a website for cubic zirconia jewelry, you would need pages for such subjects as the specific product types, styles, materials, etc. Besides the content for the site, you would most likely want to add a form so people could purchase or contact you for more information, as well as have numerous images for the various products. As an example site, check out sterlingforever.com. Note the work that has gone into this presentation. If you had no or few HTML/CSS skills would you be able to create a website for cz rings in WordPress?
One of the best things about WP themes is that pretty much anyone can construct one using only basic HTML/CSS skills (or even without — total beginners have a number of ‘how-to’ pages to help them get started). On the other hand, there are plenty of breathtaking themes already out there, ready to go and often already perfectly suited to the website that you’re trying to build and promote. For example, a website selling custom silk drapes could simply use the Empress theme since it already has a gorgeous window in the primary background image. But if you want to actually enable the purchasing of your curtains and drapes, you will need a commerce engine. Woo Commerce is one such engine that’s very reasonable and has lots of bells and whistles to spruce up your site’s marketing side. Another way to go is to have a developer code a unique solution into the existing Empress theme.
Unusually, there are also plenty of professional themes (i.e., designers actually want money for them). I hate to take food out of people’s mouths, but most of the time you can find something just as good (or better) for free. The only time that you should invest money into a WordPress theme is if you’ll be paying to have a designer work with you to create a unique website that will help you achieve your individual goals.
This can all be very complicated. In fact a friend of mine was explaining how he gets a lot of things, but this is one thing that is pretty confusing. And I know if he is having trouble getting a good handle on it, it must be a challenge.
** Update **
There are 11 free themes for word press:
StrapVert – those of you who like to showcase your content will find this clean, elegant theme perfect. Great for designer, magazine & business websites.
Corpo – This is a business & portfolio theme that can be used for personal or corporate websites.
Attitude – This theme is simple & easy to use. It adats automatically to your tablets & mobile devices.
Annotum Base – An open-process, open-source, open access platform built on the Carrington Theme Framework.
Twenty Twelve – Fully responsive & looks great on any device.
Iconic One – Premium theme with pixel perfect typography & responsiveness.
Spun – All about Content!
Responsive – A flexible foundation with a fluid grid system that adapts your website to any viewing platform.
twenty Thirteen – Back to the blog, featuring a full range of post formats.
Expound – An awesome magazine theme.