While at WordCamp Europe I had the opportunity to meet Russian designer and developer Dmitry Mayorov, whose themes I had noticed earlier in the year in the WordPress Theme Directory. Mayorov’s design style is reminiscent of other niche theme developers like Anders Norén and Mike McAlister. He launched his own commercial themes business on ThemePatio.com two years ago and his free Counter and Maker themes collectively have more than 3,000 active installs on WordPress.org.
Mayorov started taking part in meetups in Russia in 2013. Following WordCamp Moscow 2015, Konstantin Kovshenin asked him if he would take on the role of lead organizer. Mayorov is organizing WordCamp Moscow 2017, which is scheduled for August 12. In our interview below, he describes a few of the challenges organizers face in uniting the Russian WordPress community that is spread out over such a large land mass.
Mayorov also discusses how he began creating WordPress themes and how clients’ needs influenced his theme development philosophy. He aspires to create themes that are fast, content-focused, and minimalistic, without the bloat of hundreds of font options and pre-built site layouts. Mayorov also gave us his predictions for the future of the theme industry.
“I think it’s going to go two directions at the same time,” Mayorov said. “I think that page builders and multi-purpose themes wont go anywhere but I also think that niche themes are here to stay as well. Not everybody is looking for a page builder.
“I see the tendency that at first when people get introduced to WordPress they discover theme marketplaces. They think, ‘Ok this is the top seller, I’m going to go with this theme.’ For some people it works, and there’s nothing wrong with that, because sometimes you have challenges where you need to create a website like yesterday…Once they see that there is another way, they start to research other theme developers and shops, realizing that there are simple themes that work faster and are easier to use, and that you don’t need to spend two hours trying to create the homepage. They will use those themes as well. These are the themes I’m trying to build.”