What is the difference between themes and templates?

If you have already dealt with the topic of website creation and possibly read something about it on the web or heard it elsewhere, you have probably already come across the terms “theme” and “template”. To avoid confusion and problems of understanding, we would like to explain the terms in this blog article.

A theme, such as one of the many custom or template-bought WordPress themes, is a fully-designed layout template for a website. A theme ensures that the design of all elements is consistent, that, for example, all main headings, subheadings, introductory texts, lists, toggles, etc. look the same on all pages: same font, same size, same color, same line height, same spacing around them, etc .

You can think of it like professional format templates for Word. In the case of a WordPress theme, this also includes a connection to a content management system (CMS), in this case to WordPress. However, the theme itself does not have any “page templates” in which a complete page content is already inserted and formatted.

A theme usually contains several Templates, these are the page templates.

In the case of a self-designed website (a self-designed theme), a web designer developed this individually for the individual customer order. In the case of a theme that can be purchased as a ready-made template, as there are many for WordPress, these templates were also developed by a web designer, but not for exclusive use by a single customer, but for use by any number of customers.

There are some typical types of content on websites, which are also structured differently based on different content:

Typical examples of sample pages (templates) in websites

  • Home page
  • Default content page
    A sample page with the elements main heading, reader, one-column and possibly two-column text sections, various subheadings, lists, toggles (“drop-down texts”), images in the text, etc.
  • Team Overview Page
    (e.g. portraits, names, job title, contact details for each person)
  • Team profile page (single page with individual profile)
  • Overview page for news or blog
  • References / project examples / customer testimonials
  • press releases
  • Library Pages
  • Appointment calendar / event overview
  • Download Libraries
  • Contact
  • Results page of the internal full-text search

for one One pager website (website with only one mostly very long page) does exist just a template, but this is extensive because the whole page is usually very long. One pagers can only be insufficiently optimized for Google & Co. and cannot be expanded downwards indefinitely, because at some point it will become due to the “TLDR” phenomenon (Tooh long, i.eidn’t rightead) no point in making the page longer and longer.

Templates can be created as pure layouts / design drafts in graphics and image processing software such as Photoshop and purchased as PSDs (Photoshop files). On the other hand, there are already “programmed” templates, these are made available as HTML pages and can then be integrated into any desired CMS by the programmer.

A professional advertising agency or web agency usually creates templates and themes themselves or adapts them to the needs of their customers. Depending on the budget of the respective customer, this customization work can be more or less extensive. The effort for the agency depends on the number of templates used and the content elements they contain. And also from the degree of their adaptation to the corporate design and further individualization wishes of the customer.

View examples for different templates within a theme:

Template example Entry page for servicesTemplate example Entry page for services

Template example blog overview pageTemplate example blog overview page