So you want to modify a WordPress theme?
WordPress theme modifications are a great alternative if you don’t have the budget for a completely custom project, especially if there is a theme you come across that is right in line with what you want. Fortunately, there are a ton of themes out there as potential possibilities. Unfortunately though, there are so many that it can be overwhelming to sort through. Finding exactly what you want can be similar to finding a needle in a haystack.
If you do want to attempt to find the needle in the haystack, some of the major theme sites to browse include:
Additionally, simply searching Google for “premium WordPress themes” or a more specific search string for your situation (ex: “premium WordPress photography themes”) will net a large selection of themes to choose from.
IMPORTANT: All themes are not created equal. There are some themes out there which are not coded well and are more difficult to work with, both in terms of maintenance through the WordPress backend and their ability to be easily modified. I personally recommend reading the comments & reviews of any theme you are considering to see what kind of feedback users of the theme are responding with. Many themes also provide the option of starting with the theme demo content. This can be a great route to consider because, depending on theme complexity, it can sometimes be challenging figuring out how to get specific demo features up and running with the bare bones installation these themes often start with.
If you were able to find a theme that works for your situation, congratulations! If you found a theme that is close to what you want but maybe you want different colors or to hide a section or similar, the next steps would be to reach out to a developer who is willing to take on theme modification projects and include a link to the WordPress theme you’d like to work with and a list of the modifications that you’d like. A WordPress developer will be able to estimate pricing and turnaround for the work, in addition to answering whether all modifications you’re requesting are possible within your chosen theme.
If you found a theme that has one thing you like but you hate everything else about it, unfortunately, that’s never a good start to a theme modification project. Same kind of idea goes for if you’re trying to pick and choose features from a handful of themes that you want merged together. If you’re not retaining a large portion of any one existing theme, what you’re after is likely more in line with a custom project. Attempting to modify a theme to such an extreme degree can sometimes take longer than it would have to just build what you wanted from scratch.
If this is a path you’re considering, I’d recommend just taking a look at what is out there and see what you can find! Good luck!
This entry was originally published on February 7th, 2013 and modified in August 2015.