Difference Between WordPress Theme and HTML Template

WordPress themes and HTML templates (or site templates) are oftentimes mixed up when you browse a marketplace that sells both. While marketing strategy is the usual reason for this, you could easily end up having the wrong development tool if you’re new to building websites.

Themes and templates look similar and both are useful for building sites. But to the webmaster, they differ significantly in development environment. So, when should we buy a theme and when should we choose a template? Since this is vital to your site development plans, we have compiled a list of significant differences between themes and templates.

WordPress ThemeHTML Template
(1) WordPress files are called themes; each theme includes templates and other components that make a fully functional site.
(1) A template is an HTML file that you can edit using any text editor. It is also fully capable of running a website.
(2) A theme is a Content Management System (CMS) powered by PHP and MySQL. CMS is a complex program that includes manual and automated procedures for site development.
(2) A template doesn’t have CMS and you cannot install it in a WordPress site. It doesn’t have any feature related to WordPress, but it can be sufficient enough to run a website.
(3) A theme has software versions because it receives developer updates from time to time.
(3) A template, most of the time, doesn’t have a software version (or doesn’t need one).
(4) A theme may require little to no coding skills when modifying the content or display of your site. You can do this using a plugin or WordPress’ built-in tools.
(4) Modifying the content and design in a template are done manually, so they will require coding skills but you’ll be at home here if you love coding.
(5) A good theme costs between $35 and $80. More than that better go for a theme club membership where you get all themes.
(5) A template’s price usually starts at $1 and could reach up to $15. More than that, better go for a WordPress theme.

When to Use a Template

HTML templates are ideal if you are running a single page (to few pages) site, just like in the case of niche sites, where you can see most of the information in one page (the home page).

When to Use a Theme

If you plan to build a dynamic site with multiple functionality, several pages, and complex procedures, you should go for an excellent WordPress theme. Besides, a WordPress theme has all the functionality of an HTML template.

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