What do you look for in a WordPress theme?

22 replies
Hi,
I've created a WordPress theme which is currently free as it is in beta mode. I am planning on keeping the current version free, and drastically improving it for a pro version which will be paid.

I've got some ideas, but I was wondering what people really like to see in a WordPress theme. What would be something truly unique and special you would like to see in a theme?

Regards,
Toby
#theme #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author RobIMJones
    Hiya!

    Personally I just like to see nice clean, easy to use and navigate themes

    All the best,

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author CodeBotics
    Thanks, that's something I try to integrate anyway! Do you think simple colours - black, white and grey are popular? Also, when you say easy to navigate, does that mean you like to see things like the categories in a navigation bar?

    Thanks,
    Toby
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  • Profile picture of the author WebMarketingDiva
    I look for the ability to easily change fonts/colors/layout in the theme settings instead of having to go to the css file (because coding is not my forte). My favorite themes that I've bought have all been on Themeforest. The deals I've seen on WSO's don't have all of the functionality I'm looking for. I also like flexibility in the slider (pictures/ videos/ size/ placement/ effects) and the homepage layout. Ability to put phone # at the top right header section. Built in social media buttons. Multiple sidebars so you can assign different sidebars to different pages. A nice contact page... I could go on and on!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author CodeBotics
    Wow, that's quite a list to be working on! You say flexibility in the slider, so I'm assuming a slider is a must then?
    Phone number in the top right corner is an interesting one I hadn't thought of, that would be incredibly easy to implement.
    Social media buttons are something I'm adding anyway, and it's strange to see a theme without them.
    Customisable CSS, but not just a text box saying "add your own custom CSS". That's something that could be implemented, and would be quite a nice thing to have as it's own settings page.
    Multiple sidebars shouldn't be too difficult to add, and having a choice of sidebars as an option on every page is a nice idea too.
    You mention a nice contact page, so is this something you look for the theme to do without the need for a plugin?

    Thanks for your suggestions!
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  • Profile picture of the author Elizabeth Fee
    As mentioned by WebMarketingDiva, easy customization (i.e. ability to change fonts, colors, add images, widgets, custom header, etc), and ease of use would be at the top of my list.

    Sometimes I spend more time than I'd prefer trying to figure out how and where to make changes. I realize that every theme will have a learning curve if you haven't used it before, but I have run across themes that are much more user friendly than others.
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    • Profile picture of the author seanicasia
      Yeah, customizable from the Dashboard / fill in the blanks kinda way instead of having to go to the editor section and hunt down specific codes to change.

      color-wise, I prefer something clean ... mostly white backgrounds, so that it's easy to blend ads and images. Nothing loud or distracting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Perry
    My favourite theme has to be Canvas by WooThemes. So many customization options. I would definitely model a theme after that one.

    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author CodeBotics
    Thanks for the feedback everyone - I've taken a look at Canvas, and it does seem very good. The only problem from my point of view, is that it seems to be capable of doing everything! My WordPress theme is meant to be an online store that displays Amazon affiliate links, so I wouldn't be able to implement some features that you have on a standard blog. However, there are definitely some useful ideas there.

    What do you think of widgitised footers? Worth adding?
    Also, what do you think of custom ad areas? Or is best to just make the area widgitised so people can add adverts using a text widget?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Perry
      Originally Posted by CodeBotics View Post

      I've taken a look at Canvas, and it does seem very good. The only problem from my point of view, is that it seems to be capable of doing everything!
      That's why I love it! So versatile. Their support is really great too if you ever run into a problem

      Kevin
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      Marketing Consultant for AuctionAutoBidder.com - An eBay Auction Sniper service
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I like the features of Woo Themes. They're notoriously easy to add your advertising and customizations in using their framework and the framework is updatable without messing up customizations you might have made to the sidebar.

    I like everything widgetable, including footers and ample ad space in the sidebar, layered Photoshop files for the header so that headers are highly customizable.
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    • Profile picture of the author SantiSantana
      I like how some themes integrate functionalities you usually get from plugins so you dont need to load 45 plugins to get the theme working the way you want. Things like a slot for your analytics, contact pages built in, perhaps even the space for your privacy policy and of course the oh so necessary social buttons.

      A good bet is that if you get a list of the top 20 or so plugins, adding as many of them as built in features of the theme will probably hit the jackpot. On my current project im on 16 plugins and its not even near ready in my opinion. This is the kind of thing you can make a difference on. Pretty links style link structures... I mean, I understand Implementing All in one SEO and super cache or back ups might be out of the scope of your project. To compensate for that, adding all those other little functionalities that save time and effort will definitely give you a winner. Hell, if you accomplish anything like that in a reasonable period of time not only will I be the first to buy, I'll sign p as your number one affiliate

      Hope this helps

      PS: SInce we are allowed to ask for whatever we want , also add what all those smart people above my post have said.
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      • Profile picture of the author CodeBotics
        Originally Posted by SantiSantana View Post

        I like how some themes integrate functionalities you usually get from plugins so you dont need to load 45 plugins to get the theme working the way you want. Things like a slot for your analytics, contact pages built in, perhaps even the space for your privacy policy and of course the oh so necessary social buttons.

        A good bet is that if you get a list of the top 20 or so plugins, adding as many of them as built in features of the theme will probably hit the jackpot. On my current project im on 16 plugins and its not even near ready in my opinion. This is the kind of thing you can make a difference on. Pretty links style link structures... I mean, I understand Implementing All in one SEO and super cache or back ups might be out of the scope of your project. To compensate for that, adding all those other little functionalities that save time and effort will definitely give you a winner. Hell, if you accomplish anything like that in a reasonable period of time not only will I be the first to buy, I'll sign p as your number one affiliate

        Hope this helps

        PS: SInce we are allowed to ask for whatever we want , also add what all those smart people above my post have said.
        I love the idea of the top 20 plugins, I'll will definitely be doing that! Thanks for the ideas everyone, I've got a massive list now! Because of that, don't expect it to be done any time soon - it could take me quite a while to develop, especially as I'll have other products at the side in the meantime so I can afford everything. I'll hopefully be able to post a WSO (I should have a better grasp of what one is by then as well ) once it's finished.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by CodeBotics View Post

          I love the idea of the top 20 plugins
          I wouldn't go ape on plugins. Plugins are an individual choice. Google is penalizing sites for slow performance. I use a minimum of plugins and I want to be the one who chooses which I use and which I don't use.
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          • Profile picture of the author SantiSantana
            I hope he got the idea I expected him to get from my reply, that is, to integrate some of those plugins' functionalities within the theme so you dont need the plugins, hence making the site load faster than it would by using those plugins.

            Another important thing (THIS TIME MARKETING WISE) when you do that is to make sure you communicate it clearly to your customers so they dont go and load the plugins anyways. Just a though
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  • Profile picture of the author Tenzho
    I want the blog post minibox side-by-side with picture.
    Top slider image for featured post, side bar have banners for Affiliate stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mach1Marketing
    Ability to change colors easily and a cool slider. I try to stay away from plain jane themes. Also a mobile theme to go with it is a plus....
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  • Profile picture of the author Larry Leggett
    People are very much addicted in installing plugins in a wordpress sites. They mostly wants to build their sites with their own colors and styles. If you are building a wordpress template, you should keep it simple and clean but dynamic. A very short suggestion but I hope it will be helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author rockong
    whether a WP theme loads quickly or not is big for me. In addition, adding in graphics say for sales pages and stuff is a big bonus so that users don't have to find the right plugin and stuff

    It's really dependent on the need of the website though
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  • Profile picture of the author williams5678
    easy customization (i.e. ability to change fonts, colors, add images, widgets, custom header, etc), and ease of use would be at the top of my list.
    I love themes, I can customize according to my needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketerSPB
    Personally, I look for something that looks pretty unique (errs towards unique rather than cookie cutter), professional, clean, and appropriate colors for the project.
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  • Profile picture of the author vietnap
    One thing I would like to add is responsive feature. There are more and more users accessing websites from their mobile devices, and if your themes are not responsive, they might have troubles.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzygelable
    Flexibilty and now, responsive (for mobile sites)
    I'd like a theme that has vast choices for homepage layouts and its inner posts. The ability to change color, background pattern are some of the simple ones I can think of right now. And lastly, customer support. I like a theme where the seller is available for quick consults.
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