Ever wonder what all those tags are?
At WordPress.org, you are searching for a WordPress theme. And you see different tags added at the bottom of every theme’s detail page description. Also, when you try to filter your search results, it shows you different options to filter your theme search results from.
What are they?
In this blog post, I am going to explain all those terms in an easy to understand manner.
Few WP themes come with the tag “accessibility ready”. What this means is that for people with certain disabilities who is surfing web, this theme makes sure they can access the website easily. For example, there are people with color blindness who see everything black and white. The accessibility ready the themes makes sure they are able to surf the website even without all the colors.
Same way, the theme is coded semantically. So people are able to access important elements on a website like hyper links, form labels and fields easier on all the devices.
If you are catering to old age people and people with disabilities, having accessibility ready theme is a must .
If a theme is tagged with BuddyPress, this means it works well with BuddyPress. And it is styled for BuddyPress, community software created by Automattic, the same people who created WordPress.
BuddyPress compatibility is necessary only when you need to build a community around your product or brand.
When you wish to keep a specific image as a background in your website, you want this feature in your Free or Premium WordPress theme. Depending on the setting in the theme, you are able to either show the image once or show theme repetitively as a pattern.
Personally, I am not a fan of this feature but in some cases, having a subtle pattern in background can really make your website stand out from the rest.
Now this is a very important functionality to have in your theme. No matter what colors the theme is showing, you will be able to change those colors to match your own brand. Usually, the theme lets you change background colors, title colors, text colors, button and other important elements in the theme.
The lesson to learn here for you is that when selecting a theme for your blog or business website, you should look beyond colors and graphics. Because you will be able to change it later to look close to your brand anyway.
You see a theme you like but you are worried about how you would replace your logo with the one shown in the team? Worry not. When a Free WP theme is tagged with “custom logo” tag, it means the theme has an option. So you can easily upload your logo and it will replace your uploaded logo with the existing one.
Nearly all themes come with this feature now.
WordPress has a built-in feature where you are able to create a custom menu as per your wish. You are able to add/edit/remove any menu item and arrange it per your liking.
In WordPress > Appearance > Menu option, you are able to add any page, blog post, category or even custom links. A theme tagged with “Custom Menu” means that it supports this feature of WordPress. Sometime, a theme comes with not just one but two or more menus.
This is not a must have, but nice to have feature. Are you a blogger? Or, is your website going to be content heavy and you will need to write and edit articles quite often? In that case, a theme tagged with “Editor Style” would be helpful.
As you might probably know, the article is shown on your website but it is written in WordPress Admin area in a visual editor. Usually, the fonts face and font size is different than what is actually shown on your webite. A theme tagged with “Editor Style” tag means that the theme author has written stylesheet for visual editor. Such that it will show same font and size in visual editor as well.
Quite nice-to-have feature. Isn’t it?
Your main blog page shows list of all the blog posts you have written. It is nice to have them look similar in style with an image thumbnail followed by post title and some content. Also it is nice to show an image at the top of the post. Sometime as a background image of your post title.
When you are writing a blog post, you are able to not only write content but also able to add images wherever you want in your blog post. However, not always it seems fit to add image as the very first element of your blog post, when it is not relevant.
WordPress has the feature which lets you add “featured image” separately. This feature comes handy in such situation. You may or may not want to show the same image in your actual blog post. But if a theme wants to use the image in blog archive or in special cases like post background etc., it can use this.
Now you know the meaning of a theme tagged with “Featured Images”.
Footer is a great real estate in any website. Usually, it means that the page or a blog post is over. A user has nothing more to do on the page and they leave. But if your footer has more links, images or subscription box, it is more likely that they will click on one of them and take action.
More engaging time for your site visitor and lower bounce rate.
“Footer widgets” tag means it will let you add one or more WordPress widgets in your website footer.
Front page posting
Very rarely used feature. But sometime, you might want logged in users to be able to post on your website. For example a theme like P2 theme [https://wordpress.org/themes/p2/] is used a twitter for team. “Front page posting” tag means ability to add new posts from the site front-end.
If you are not letting public add posts on your site, this tag is of no use for you.
Advanced feature for web-developers. A theme tagged with “Flexible header” means it supports ‘flex-height’ and/or ‘flex-width’ parameter in custom header image.
You have seen Pinterest.com boards right? A “grid layout” usually means the theme has a layout such as Masonry or tiles. Quite obvious from the theme screenshot. But sometime it may have inner page template which supports this feature.
Also known as open data formats, microformats are patterns of HTML. To show commonly published things like people, events, blog posts, reviews and tags in web pages.
On the surface, it looks same but at code level, having code compatible with Microformats is nice to have. See more about this here: [https://www.webfx.com/blog/web-design/ultimate-guide-to-microformats-reference-and-examples/]
Remember initial Tumblr era? It showed posts of all kind together, but showing them visually different. a WordPress theme tagged with “post formats” is nice to have when you are publishing regular updates about your life or blogging on a certain topic, but you don’t always want to write about it. Sometime, you only want to share a link, a photo (or group of photo), a video or audio as well as occasional blog post. A theme tagged with “post formats” would show your posts in a tumblr like design.
Without saying it goes that in current age and time, “Responsive Layout” is a must. Your website has to look great on any device no matter whether it is accessed from a PC, a tablet or a phone of any size, any orientation.
A Responsive theme is designed to be adapted on any device size. Making sure your site visitor will have a nice and easier experience accessing information on your website.
Left sidebar / Right sidebar
Sidebar, as you know is a column shown on left or right side of a blog post. It contains different sections or widgets showing information other than the blog post.
Theme tagged these tags simply means it has Left sidebar or Right sidebar.
RTL language support
Is your primary target audience is coming from countries where written language is right to left? “RTL” is very important tag to look for in a theme. For the audience of RTL language such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Urdu etc., this is very important.
RTL support means your theme will have no problem showing the content you write in RTL format.
Like a “pinned message” or “pinned tweet”, sometime you wish to show a specific blog post as a first on your blog no matter how old it is. And even though you have written newer posts, you want that specific post to show as first and highlighted.
If that is the case, “Sticky post” is the tag you should look for in a theme.
If a theme matches your need but you wish to change some color, font or other minor design changes, this is a must to have tag. Theme with “Theme Options” feature means that theme author has added customization possibilities. Such as ability to change logo, some colors, fonts, and other customization, depending on the theme.
If you are not able to code, this is a must-have feature.
You write a blog post and your audience expresses their opinion and wants to discuss some points with you on the specific subject you wrote about. WordPress lets you enable comments on your blog.
But, instead of showing one comment after another, a theme with “threaded comment” feature shows main comment and replies to that particular comment in a separate thread. Making it visually easier for everyone, to see the comment relevance on your blog post or article.
If you are going to interact via comments in your blog, threaded comments is a must to have.
If English is not your first language, and you use WordPress in other language, you would want all visible texts (front and back-end) to be internationalized. A translation ready theme means the code can be localized to your language.
One column, Two columns, Three columns, Four columns
A theme tagged with any of the above simply as its name suggests, is either one column which means no side bar just content area on your website. Two, three or four columns means apart from main content area, it has one, two or three more sidebars where different widgets and content could be shown.
Two column blogs are common. Three or four column blogs are rare and is seen on news website homepages mostly.
Full width template
As its name suggests, even though your WordPress blog or website shows specific width, some time you need a full-width page to show specific content e.g. Map etc., then this template comes handy.
If it is a WordPress theme, it does support blog feature, No matter which theme you are using. WordPress by default is a blogging system and having a ‘blog’ tag in a theme. Means you will be able to set a dedicated blog page either on your home page or a sub page.
The blog page in WordPress shows latest blog posts you publish on your WordPress website.
Now this is huge. A theme tagged with “E-commerce” means it supports and styled for e-commerce functionality. WordPress by default does not come with e-commerce feature. But there are several plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, WP-eCommerce plugin etc. who does.
WooCommerce is the most popular and most advanced plugin out there. It is expected that when a theme is tagged with “e-commerce”, it means it is tested and styled for WooCommerce plugin.
Are you going to post news on a regular basis? Do you want your WordPress website to look like a news website? A theme tagged with “News” tag would sometime include magazine like structure in the homepage.
This means it is designed to not only show latest blog posts. But also show various widgets, posts from specific category or tag, recent comments, advertisement areas and other features. They make your homepage look like a news website.
And the rest of it.
Likewise, there are several other tags which are self explanatory. For example, Food & Drink, Entertainment, Holiday, Education etc. tags simply means the theme tagged with those tags are built for that specific niche. And you are more likely to find theme structure, design and colors to match that specific niche.
I hope this article explained it all and you got the explanation you were looking for.
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Source: Official WordPress theme review hand-book.