The word design can mean a lot of different things so the first step is to define design and it’s context on this page.
Design means the graphic and color elements on a WordPress website, including but not limited to: logos, headers, sidebar graphics, borders, footer graphics, text sizes, fonts and colors.
The majority of the design comes pre-set from the theme installed on a WordPress website. One of the reasons IT Arsenal recommends to select a theme you love at the outset and customize a few elements to be uniquely “your business” is because we are not all designers and it saves time and money.
Beware of “blank theme” syndrome. Themes which act more like platforms you can customize the design of like Headway, Thesis and Genesis can be VERY problematic.
It’s not because they are badly made but because you are not a designer in the artistic sense and don’t have time to be one while building your business. Unless you know what size, font and color you want for paragraphs as well as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, the indentation levels for your bullet points, the height for you header, in addition to how wide you want your sidebar, you don’t want a “blank canvas” type theme.
I heavily recommend you pick a stylized theme you love, this is much faster, much cheaper and based on experience, leaves the business builder in a better place for the future.
Themes typically dictate text sizing, spacing structure and general color scheme of a site. The opportunity to change these elements are often done in code [called CSS, HTML, and PHP] but depending on theme, there may be easy “click to update” options available.
Elements like the header, logo and sidebar accent graphics are left to be built by the owner or a hired designer. These are the design elements to “worry” about when building your site. These pieces typically come from outside sources and are “hung” or setup on the site by you or your support.
In contrast to the theme inherited elements, the header, logo and sidebar graphics are typically changed through easier “click to update” type methods in the backend of WordPress.
Caffeinated Theme turned into Brazilian Technical Training
There are many subtle ways to impact the design and components of a site. Even after selecting a theme, these pieces can be modified with enough knowledge. Over time, based on need, a pre-made theme will be customized to fit the business in many ways.
While this is only meant to be a primer on the design of a website, knowing how you want your header, logo and sidebar to look will take you a long way!