What's Missing in Your WordPress Theme?
December 1, 2009 — Writings
Because I specialize in doing very deep customizations, and every client site I build is from scratch, I have not had the opportunity to explore some of the most popular themes like Thesis, Thematic, WP Remix and such. I know they are all very popular, among others that are found at premium theme shops like Woo Themes, Theme Forest, and Elegant Themes, but why? Okay, don’t give me that look. I know why, but what I’m after is real feedback.
What are the definitive things about these themes that attract everyone from the amateur to the skilled professional, and more importantly, what do you find is sometimes lacking? Don’t be scared, I’ve yet to hear a need that some solution couldn’t be dreamed up for. If you could demand any feature for a theme, barring customizations that only a narrow niche might find interesting, what would it be.
I’ll tell you one that I’ve had. Sometimes the need has arisen for custom classes to be used on a regular basis for pieces of content, such as a “note” or a “warning” message. It’s simple enough to teach a client how to manually add in the class to their paragraphs, but how could this be made easier for distributed themes? What if I could add these classes to a drop down menu in the write panel that would allow the client to simply highlight that piece of text, select the “warning” class from the drop down, and have it added automatically. Then you could distribute themes with these special classes that would give the user more control over the polishing of their blog posts like drop caps, pull quotes, and special notes that are set apart with color and other css styles.
I took this idea to my friend, Aaron Forgue, a talented php developer I’ve befriended along my freelance journey, and he was able to turn my idea into a plugin called Custom Class Selector. Ok, there’s that look again. I know it’s a plugin, not a theme, but I think, or at least I hope, that it could possibly be a simple a tool that theme developers could incorporate to make styling a little bit more accessible.
So I’ve shared my idea, your turn now.