1. J.D. Grimes

    Great post. I think themeing with mostly CSS is a great idea that should be explored. I also agree that themes shouldn’t contain lots of ‘features’. Themes are supposed to control how your site looks. I’m not a fan of themes that have lots of extra features and options that aren’t really integral to the theme itself. Leave that stuff to the plugins, or possibly WordPress core itself.


    • Jeffro

      So the idea based on what I’ve read is that the core of WordPress should contain most of the heavy handed features we see in themes. That way, all of the code used for those heavy handed features in themes can be removed thus, lessening the complexity and baggage of the theme itself. Themes would then tap into the core of WordPress to use a slider, pagination, or other commonly used features that need to be coded from scratch.

      In this light, themes become less about PHP and more about CSS/Visual elements to set it apart. Theme designers can get back to concentrating on the presentation of content, not the structure of it.


  2. Jordan

    I love the idea of a WP Zen Garden – showcasing how much can be changed just with CSS.

    I shared a couple of thoughts on it a few days back – http://www.jordesign.com/wordpress-zen-garden/ – and am trying to get it up and running.

    Would love to hear people’s thoughts.


  3. Mercime

    Check out Aaron Jorbin’s proposal “that Twenty Fifteen be a single page app largely done in JavaScript. ” http://aaron.jorb.in/blog/2013/12/the-twenty-fifteen-theme/

    Cool idea :)


  4. Lynda

    I studied the various sites in “CSS Zen Garden” over and over back in the olden days. :-)

    It never ceased to amaze me what people could do with the SAME HTML code and text to produce totally different sites.

    I believe the same thing can be done again via the idea in WordPress. Outstanding!!! Go for it!


  5. Lorelle VanFossen

    The competition all those years ago was fantastic, but it was the Kubrick Default Theme that was focus of the competition, not the Classic Theme.

    There was another big competition with the then new Sandbox Theme by Alex Skelton and Scott Allan Wallick. The goal was to do the same thing as mentioned in the article with the Sandbox Theme as a form of blank canvas in 2006. The work done with that Theme helped to bring attention to the WordPress.com “Extras” to pay for access to the stylesheet of any Theme and customize it.

    Other competitions to repeat this have been hit and miss, but if done right, and there is reward enough for it, no reason why it can’t be a huge success this time.

    I’ve always loved CSS Zen Garden and have begged for something similar to demonstrate the power of WordPress Themes and designers since the introduction of WordPress 1.5 modular Themes. About time it got rocking!


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