WordPress Themes and Templates seems similar but there are two different items/projects entirely. For beginners, this can be a hell of trouble and very confusing – theme and template are two interesting items without doubt, but clear distinction between both is required. It would be more complicated if you were using Joomla earlier.
Obviously they’ve been a lot of confusion surrounding WordPress design terminology. Frequently I get asked questions like, “can you recommend a good WordPress template for a business website.” When this happens, I understand that the person asking such question is actually looking for the best WordPress theme suggestion.
With that been said, lets look at the noticeable difference between WordPress Themes and Templates
What is WordPress theme?
is responsible for complete design in your WP website
. WordPress theme includes all of the things that you basically integrate with web design. It includes colors, backgrounds for the footer, header, main and any other section. The theme is also responsible for layout elements, for example, what sidebars we have, where they are located, site width etc.
Themes are often accelerated by theme frameworks that allow users to change many options and fit website to Your requirements ( for example WordPress themes created by PixelEmu ). You can download a ZIP file with the theme and install it in your WP dashboard or install theme directly from wordpress.org repository (free themes). Each theme has files and folders inside. Some of these files can be templates.
What is WordPress template?
A template in WordPress is a layout only for certain pages. In most themes, you can find files single.php or archive.php – template for single post view and archive view. This structure makes that all views can look completely different. Just understand that a template is a page layout that’s available within a theme. The template is just single page layout. Not the whole site design.
Except for these default WP templates, there are special templates for certain pages (not every theme has these special templates). They are separate files that can be applied to every page in WordPress. You can use them by selecting the desired template in this select when you are editing page:
A template can be used for pages where you need completely different look or You just simply want to display left and right sidebar when a theme has only one sidebar.
Remember that you can’t just install template like a theme in a dashboard. A template is a part of a theme and if You need to add a new template to an existing theme You need some coding knowledge (HTML, CSS, PHP).