What Is a Website Theme? Building a Website With No Coding Experience

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Many of you have been trying to start your very own website but maybe you don’t know where to begin.

A huge barrier to entry for many is that the common belief surrounding a website is that you have to be some code guru who fully understands html, css, javascript, or some other back end language.

That’s actually 100 percent not true.

You can actually start your very own website (and monetize it) utilizing what we call a website theme.

You may be wondering “what is a website theme?” Well, this article explains just that. It also explains exactly how to go about building a website with no coding experience whatsoever (and make it look awesome).

Find a Domain Hosting Service and a Base Platform

First, you will need your own domain (what establishes your URL for your site and gives you a unique space carved out of the internet to develop content), you’ll likely want to start there first.

If you need to catch up and you don’t yet have your own domain name and hosting platform I suggest checking out my favorite web hosting platform that gives you access to your own free domain as well as the proper avenues to buy your own custom domain and make sure it stays renewed and up to date.

Now that you have a domain and have somewhere to host that domain, let’s talk about how to set it up as a real quality website.

There are all sorts of sites out there that have a platform pre-built that generates code for you on the back end and produces a final product that your visitors then see.

That is precisely the type of platform we want to target for simplicity and cost savings.

When first starting your online business, the last thing you want to do is dump loads of money into web development and site building. This cuts into your profits in the long run and your startup costs can get very out of control when employing a developer.

Personally WordPress has proven the easiest to navigate for me. You can setup a free WordPress site within the hosting platform I alluded to above with just the click of a button.

However, if you are looking for something more retail based and you are interested in selling a product you can also use Shopify. Shopify has been an awesome tool for me when I want to drop-ship products.

If you’re interested in the retail side of things and you’d like to build that style of site rather than maybe an affiliate site like this one then read this.

The article above will walk you through exactly how to setup a Shopify store and use their built in e-commerce platform, themes, and plugins to customize your site and make it functional.

For the purpose of this article I will focus on the style of site that you are reading right now.

One that develops articles and links to products and services that pay affiliate commissions as well as provides help to those looking to build their own website, online business, and ultimately generational wealth.

I’ve given you the simplest resource to find a domain and ultimately set up your website with WordPress in this section. However, we now need to discuss installing a theme on your website.

What Is A Website Theme?

In lieu of coding the backend of your website, a platform like WordPress generally has pre-developed “themes” that can be installed on your website.

A theme is what gives your website a particular look and feel. The one you are looking at right now was targeted due to simplicity and ease of content development and consumption for readers.

Since I utilize Wealthy Affiliate for all of my hosting, sitesupport, and content development and since they are partnered with WordPress, I utilize WordPress themes instead of developing my own custom look and feel (I do have html experience but it consumes too much of my time).

You are probably thinking to yourself that all sites must be the same then if there are standard preloaded themes in WordPress. However, that’s not the case at all.

In addition to simple, free, pre-loaded themes you can search the WordPress platform for paid themes that will be much more custom to your website.

When you purchase a theme you usually can get ahold of the developer of that theme and often times they will offer instructions or support regarding adjusting the themes overall look.

Now that you understand the basis of a theme and what it provides to your site, you need to understand exactly how to install one on your site.

Installing A Theme On Your New WordPress Site

There are a few simple steps to choosing a WordPress theme and getting it installed.

First, you will want to head over to your WordPress backend.

You should have a screen that looks pretty similar to this. Once in the backend. You will want to click on the “Appearance” menu for more options. Once you see the additional options available to you, navigate to the “Themes” menu under “Appearance.

You will now be provided with a list of different free themes from WordPress.

As you can see, this shows my Active Theme and that new versions are available. These are my current installed themes that I can switch to very quickly at any time. However, you are looking for a new theme for your site, not what you already have installed.

If you continue to scroll down on this same page you will see the option to “Add New Theme”.

Click on this widget and you will be shown a few different immediate options to choose from. However, you will want to dive a bit deeper in as some of these are the most frequently used themes and can take away from the uniqueness of your site (if that’s what you’re looking for).

Usually I would not use “Search Themes” unless I knew exactly what I was looking for. This can be quite overwhelming for your first theme choice. I would suggest either using one of the “Featured”, “Popular”, or “Favorite” this early on.

These themes often have regular updates and adapt very well to your writing style. You can also get a feel for how different pages or posts will look and how images will appear within this theme.

You can also get a feel for the customizeabliity of a theme before you decide what you want to stick with.

This will allow you to understand more fully where you can place menus, how they look when displayed, what images you can utilize on your home page, and how to implement your logo, header, and color scheme.

Before picking a theme, you will be shown quite a few options. How do you know which is best for your site?

That’s simple, you actually have the option to “preview” a theme and it’s functionality prior to installing it.

Quick tip: Just because this theme’s name is Travel Agency doesn’t mean you have to have a travel agency site to use it.

The theme preview tool shows you exactly what the site will look like before you develop any content or customize it. It shows you the location of all the different widgets, menus, and what the structure of your site will look like once you start adding your own design to it.

This window also offers you a description of the functionality of the theme and the best uses (per the developer).

If you decide that’s the theme that you want to go with, you next just click Install and it’s all yours.

Customizing Your Theme

You might still not understand how you take the basic installed theme to a fully customized website.

Well, thanks to WordPress this part is also easy!

I promised no code knowledge required, but if you want to learn a bit more about html or java and their respective front end languages I would suggest these books.

The set I linked to taught me a great deal and the Wiley books are without a doubt my favorite for learning any new subject.

It just so happened they have developed a great set for web design and building as well.

You don’t actually need to understand these languages to edit your theme, but sometimes it can be helpful and allow you to put a little bit of your own flavor on a theme (just don’t break it if you don’t have the knowledge).

Now that you have your new theme chosen and installed, you’ll want to customize it to fit your unique website.

Start at home again on the WordPress Dashboard. You will see the same menu on the left. This time under “Appearance” you will want to click “Customize” instead of “Theme”.

Once you get over to the “Customize” screen you will have countless options for editing.

As you can see, you’ll have the ability to edit the colors of your site. If you want to keep it simple you can stick with black and white like I did, or you can get a bit more attention grabbing and choose red, blue, any other color you want.

You can also select a header image. As you’ll see above and on my home page my header image is a aesthetically pleasing (in my opinion) photo of some nice blue Carribbean water. I believe that this represents a bit of the freedom I am constantly trying to achieve and hopefully my readers are as well.

You can also add widgets. This is a great place to copy banner code from a platform or site that you would receive affilaite commissions from.

As you can see on the right of this post even I have a widget for Wealthy Affiliate as it is my favorite platform to promote. Largely in part due to the tremendous amount of help that community has offered me, but I digress.

The part where you can get really creative is if you find interesting unique widgets or CSS code that you want to implement into your theme.

You can choose the additional CSS option and add in whatever you would like. The WordPress editor will naturally adapt it to your theme.

The best part of this editor is that nothing is final until you hit the “Publish” button at the top left.

Essentially, you have your own blank canvas to get your site looking just right before you present it to the public.

So jump in there, give it a shot, and share your results with me once you do. I love to see when others are able to successfully get their first (or second or third) sites up and running and customized to their liking. If you’ve done that, shoot me a comment below.

If you have any experience with creating your own site, or you have questions about the process I outlined above feel free to comment as well or connect with me over at my Wealthy Affiliate profile!

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6 thoughts on “What Is a Website Theme? Building a Website With No Coding Experience”

  1. This all looks so complicated!  I would imagine that getting a theme and using word press would make the process a lot easier than building a website from scratch.  I would imagine that you still have to know a bit about WordPress and how to use it?  You mention Wealthy Affiliate.  I have investigated them in the past and I am wondering, can they basically help you with the process of building a Word press site?  If I have a lot of questions, will I be able to find answers?

    1. Hi there!

      Thanks for reading. I hope it doesn’t look too complicated because what I’ve included in this article is perhaps the simplest way to setup your WordPress site with a theme. I can assure you if you follow the steps above it’s not too hard to get everything up and running. This is precisely why I included the exact screen you will see when you work your way through the different steps in the process.

      Hopefully that helps to make it a bit easier. Let me know if you still have problems.

      With regards to Wealthy Affiliate, it can actually teach you all you need to know about WordPress itself and there is a community of over 1.4M people that will chime in if you get stuck. I’ve written article here about building a WordPress site from scratch. It really is much simpler than you think.

      However, if you are looking for more information I’d say check out my My Wealthy Affiliate University Review For 2019. It really will provide you with all the info on the training WA offers. If you have questions I can answer them in more detail there. Visit my profile once you sign up and we can talk more. 

      Thanks for reading and good luck to you! 


  2. This was a super helpful post on WP themes!

    I recently purchased a theme, and wasn’t quite sure how to install it. (Turns out it is a lot easier than I thought)

    As far as themes go, if I decide to move to a different theme down the road, is there a lot of risk in that?  Meaning, do things break (plugins not work, etc)…or do things normally just work.  I would think they just work…but maybe not.  I would assume you’d have to do some review of the new theme and then customize some stuff.  And it’s pretty easy to go back to your old theme if the new doesn’t work out right?

    On a side note, what do you recommend for free images (like the Caribbean image used on your site)?  

    Anyway, great overview of WP themes and customization.



    1. Hey Kim,

      Thanks for reading! Glad I could help out with your newly purchased theme. It is pretty simple when you know and understand the basic steps. I personally love the customizable side of the different themes. Often times purchased themes will come from a developer with some great tips or backend built into the editor where you can make some pretty big changes to the site pretty simply. 

      There can be some risk, but just make certain you backup your site (export to a file on your computer) before changing themes. Once you change the theme if you did lose everything you can them import that same file and you will pickup right where you left off. 

      I personally have Wealthy Affiliate’s SiteSupport at my disposal so if I have trouble or need help figuring out what/why something went wrong I can easily reach out to them and they will help me with the export import process or reverting back to my older, trusted theme. 

      I actually just wrote a pretty detailed article on Where To Find Royalty Free Photos For Your Website. My favorite resource is the SiteContent editor in WA. However, there are a few great options such as Google’s advanced search options. In addition, there are quite a few third party sites out there to source from. 

      The reason I prefer the SiteContent platform is because it essentially compiles all the different third party sites into one platform with over a million different images dependent upon what you search.

      Hope that info helps!


  3. Hello Dalton,Searching on the internet I found your site where you explain how to build a website, it is not necessary to have technical knowledge. 

    For what you explain, you work with WordPress

    I have made some websites working also with them, without problems. 

    I would like to deepen my knowledge, interesting everything related to affiliate marketing. 

    I’m looking to generate extra income by promoting good products. 

    What can you say about Wealthy Affiliate, how is your training and above all your support? 

    Thanks for all the help you can give me.Greetings!

    1. Hi there!

      Thanks for stopping in and reading. I do indeed work with WordPress. Primarily through the Wealthy Affiliate platform as that is what they support. It really makes things easy having everything integrated for auto-publishing of content and word/article tracking, etc. 

      If you are interested in learning more about Affiliate Marketing in general then I would highly suggest you check out a few different Affiliate Marketing platforms. If you click on the Wealthy Affiliate tab at the top of the page it will take you to my review on the platform I primarily use and promote for affiliate commissions. It has honestly become my bread and butter and I absolutely love it. 

      The extra income will come with time. If you work to find a niche, find some solid products related to that niche, and continue to learn and understand how to promote those products and convince folks to click through your links, you’ll see serious commission in no time flat. 

      The training at WA as I mentioned above is probably the absolute best I’ve seen on the internet. I’ve taken a few different affiliate training courses and the constant updating of WA coursework to match the current online business landscape is tremendous. 

      The support is also amazing. All the way from SiteSupport who makes sure everything is running smoothly to the supportive community of over 1.4 million people. You can find anything you need at all hours of the day!

      Thanks again for reading, talk soon!


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