Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), are a leading candidate for the dark matter that is observed to constitute ~25% of the total mass-energy density of the Universe. The direct detection of relic WIMPs (those produced during the early moments of the Universe's expansion) is at the forefront of active research areas in particle astrophysics with a numerous international experimental collaborations pursuing this goal. This paper presents an overview of the theoretical and practical considerations common to the design and operation of direct detection experiments, as well as their unique features and capabilities.