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How to Adapt a Theme Using Page Templates

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It might come as a surprise to know just how many websites benefit from the professional design of website themes, just like those found on WordPress.com. Many themes offers custom page templates — such as full width, boxed, panel, or grid — and you can adapt a theme to suit your business needs. But doing this is a bit like altering pants to flatter your body type — in each case, fit is as important as style.

Simply put, themes are stylish website “homes” awaiting your site’s “decor.” Page templates are ready-shaped web pages where you can plug in your content. Page templates allow you a certain amount of freedom in deciding how each page will appear — whether it’s a blog post, a static page, an image gallery, and so on. Knowing how to adapt a theme using custom page templates is a useful way to take control of how you market your business online.

Take your pick

While the page template options offered by each theme might seem overwhelming, they do fall into different categories, which you can use to help inform your choice.

Keep the following page template suggestions in mind when deciding on a website theme:

Take a test drive

Like taking a test drive while vehicle-shopping, you’ll want to plug your content and images into a few different themes to test-drive their page templates. This will help you determine the best look for your website. Select a theme that fits your business’s purpose and offers suitable page templates. You might find inspiration, for instance, in the page templates available with the Baskerville 2 theme.

After choosing a theme, you can then edit the page options and page templates to achieve a fitting layout. And if you already have a website, you can play with the page templates assigned to it by selecting Page Options while editing or publishing a page. Either way, explore how your posts, pages, and images look on different page templates.

Keep the following “soft” rules in mind when playing with your layout:

Learning how to adapt a theme using page templates will be valuable for your business website, but remember to have fun as you customize — because if you’re happy with the layout, chances are your visitors will be as well.