The easiest explanation is that a website theme is the way a site appears when you see it in a web browser. In this sense, design and theme have the same meaning.
Design expresses the logo image (header), background graphics, the page layout, the number of columns, the menu layout, the entire color scheme and the font.
Content management systems like WordPress have special areas that are used for “widgets” within theme layouts. Widgets allow scripts, menus and Twitter feeds (for example) to be displayed within a page. Look at the sidebars of this page to see widgets in use.
Definitions of theme and design do not usually include widget areas and page content. We at VizRED do not consider widgets and page content to be part of a website’s theme and design.
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