Smashing Community WordPress Theme: Comment and Win!


While the Smashing Community icon set1 is being designed and prepared for the release, we would like to ask your opinion about the WordPress theme that you would like us to design. And here’s how it works: you tell us what WordPress-theme you need, and then we design it together with PSD to WordPress42 and release it for free.

And to make it a bit more interesting, we’ll smash three commenters with original nerdy laptop sleeves. To participate, just suggest an idea for a great useful WordPress-theme in the comments to this post. Details are below.

Smashing Magazine WordPress Theme
This image was based upon the design by our friends from SoftFacade3 who are preparing the Smashing Magazine icon set. Thanks, guys!

How do I participate?

Participating is very easy: just post the WordPress theme you would like us to design in the comments to this post (and, if possible, what specific features it should have) – it can be anything, e.g. portfolio-design, blog-design, lifestream-blog, magazine-style etc. The theme should not be basic, but it also should not be too complex.

On the 25th of April, we’ll select the most popular ideas and requests and publish a poll in our magazine, inviting our readers to vote on their favorite theme. Once it’s done, the creative minds behind PSD to WordPress42 will carefully design the theme. You can keep track of updates on Twitter @smashingmag85 and @LachyG6.


A total of three commenters will be awarded Laptop Sleeves7 (see images below). The winners will be picked randomly and announced on Twitter (@smashingmag85) after the concept of the WordPress theme has been chosen. The winners will decide by themselves, what size and what pattern of the sleeve they prefer most.




Finally, we’ll release the theme as a free download, which you can freely use for personal and commercial use.

Smashing Magazine Is All About Our Readers

At Smashing Magazine, our readers have always been our highest priority. We respect our readers; we listen to them; we are always open to their suggestions; and we always appreciate constructive criticism. This is why we created a number of ways to interact with our readers:

  • We created a friendly Smashing Forum12 to make it possible for our community to exchange ideas and help each other in problem solving.
  • We are using Twitter13 to share useful resources and knowledge with, and get feedback from, our readers (e.g. deciding which article should appear next), and we now have almost 29,000 followers.
  • We are preparing the Smashing Book14, in which our readers can decide what topics will be included.

And now we would like you to decide what theme we should design and release next, especially for you. We hope to get great feedback from you, and we would like to thank “PSD to WordPress” for its cooperation in this event. Please spread the word, too; we would like the design community to decide what would be most useful and interesting for designers out there!

So, what WordPress theme is it going to be, folks?


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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    I would like to see something big, bold, and brassy that my blog readers are going to remember.

  2. 52

    How about a social network/life stream theme with an emphasis on being clean and clutter free with plenty of room for customization?

  3. 103

    A web designer WP theme especially; more than a portofolio web site, more than just a blog.

  4. 154

    Richard Cloutier

    April 21, 2009 5:48 am

    A one-page portfolio theme would be really nice !
    We all know these are trendy but there are not much available on the market yet.

  5. 205

    I would a newspaper theme with a simple single page style and an original homepage.

  6. 256

    Clean and minimal theme

  7. 307

    What about portfolio-blog-lifestream-magazine WP theme, ha? Give me all-in-one!

  8. 358

    Martin Sullivan

    April 21, 2009 5:51 am

    A good CMS would be nice. One that allows custom page layouts and themes on a page by page bases. To many CMS WordPress themes are just a restructured blog. Truly utilize the CMS potential of WP.

  9. 409

    I´d love an incorporation of the tumblog-feel and functionality in wordpress – to gather video, pictures, quotes, links and more in one feed – but with extended features compared to Tumblr. And in a nice, minimalistic style with white space and beautiful typography as only you guys could do it. That´d make my evening.

  10. 460

    Do a comic book lovers theme!


  11. 511

    A site designed around heavy media usage. Example: Qik and/or Vimeo integration for easy media integration.

  12. 562

    I like the idea of a social hub someone mentioned. Most people don’t just blog, they also use twitter, facebook, flickr, and whatnot. With such a theme, WP could more than just a blog – it could help bring every social platform together easily for those who want it.
    On another note, how about a theme that allows for multilanguage blogs? Ideally, I’d like to blog in English, Spanish and Basque. So I’d like to have a theme that shows, for example, in the top right corner the other languages available so the user is able to switch to the language he or she prefers.

  13. 613

    I’d like to see a porfolio theme…..clean, wide, white, simple in comination with a lifestream blog…

    1.Lifestream blog
    2. Portfolio
    3. jquery Photo Gallery
    4. Integration of Digg,, mister wong

  14. 664

    I would like to suggest a theme I didn’t have time to build myself.
    The is for reading, so it’s focused on
    * Plain text, no sidebar (there are separate pages with tag clouds, categories etc available from a small graphic sidebar menu, floating possibly)
    * Big typography, lets say 1-2 em (georgia, Times new roman).
    * Header inline with first paragraph, unless it’s code or blockquote (looks quite nice, followed by an arrow or »). Italic possibly for it to stand out.

    That’s it really… Going to make it myself soon in anyway, available for public as well… with plugin, highligthing tags in the text.

    Cheers, SM. You really smashing!
    * Author and date comes after the text, as if it’s a letter (“— Alexey, 21st of April, 1:00 PM)
    * !Important. Tags and category names are highlighted in text linking to required pages with list of posts. Tags that are not found in text are listed after the post (as usual), same for categories.

  15. 715

    I’d love to see a design that looks like liquid. With drops and dots, a watery liqiud looking style, like for a nice whiskey brand or a new kind of energy drink. Crazy colours, natural looking drops of water, a “fresh” and colourful design. :)

    And keep up the good work, Smashingmagazine is #1 :)

  16. 766

    I’d like to see a theme that can work like an intranet for a small design studio. Include people’s tweets, facebook updates, catalog links that normally get emailed around, and link up to basecamp or google docs for project management. Make it fun, maybe even add points / score.

  17. 817

    I like the “portfolio-blog-lifestream-magazine” Idea..
    This would be very nice :D

  18. 868

    Rommel Miraflores

    April 21, 2009 5:56 am

    I would love to see a multi-user, multi-media gallery theme. Build a community of groups that users create and invite others to join, and share photos and videos of similar interests (Designers can share their work, Photographers can showcase their captures, Videoheads can share their shorts (short films, that is…) and that PayPal idea sounds good, if you like what you see, buy it on the spot…

    2 columns would be nice, to keep the content area big. Hmm.. how about a background changer (either by choice of group owner or individual users)? Not too complicated, is it?

    Good luck. This sounds like it’s going to be an interesting project. I’m going to keep checking in to read everyone’s suggestions.

  19. 919

    A Video-blog theme would be nice. Apart from standard features (comments, rss etc.) it could have the option to share/embed the video to your you tube/own blog. So in general – blog that would be your private tv channel.

  20. 970

    I’d like to see a personal theme with nifty jQuery plugins, good support for pictures and the use of Simplepie to have a customizable Lifestream. As a plus there could be special focus towards typography (I just can’t seem to get sifR3 to work with WordPress) and choices of colours variants on the theme.

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  22. 1072

    The best pick would be a clean and good looking general CMS theme which can be used (tweaked according requirements of course) as theme for eCommerce websites, simple brochure websites and so on.

    Finally regarding the features … a “trendy” jQuery content slider (for latest post or news or products) and maybe a great and good-looking tooltip script.

  23. 1123

    You could make the menu a bit more moveabler.
    Like allow the user the make his own menu (Drag and drop).
    i could put the googlebar on the menu or change the menuitems (to Home, How-to, etc)

  24. 1174

    Joram Oudenaarde

    April 21, 2009 6:00 am

    A WP-design that houses both a blog ánd a portfolio page would be most ideal for most people I think. :)

    A lot of people who use WP have both a blog and portfolio, and adjusting the design into 2 different pages (one design, different style) complements both those things.

    As for the design:
    A simple design with eye for typography (no 300 characters per line for example), with a nice playfull background like the current trend (rainbow-coloured grungy backgrounds or something). Perhaps a nice reasonably large footer for some additional information?

    Thanks in advance for making it a public theme! :D

  25. 1225

    I would like to see a never-seen, amazing designed media wp theme, where you can easily upload pictures and videos.

  26. 1276

    Sarah - TweetMeme

    April 21, 2009 6:02 am

    I’m not sure whether you realise this or not but on your twitter re-tweet button at the end of each post you include @tweetmeme presumably so that your posts are included on, however all you need to do is have someone re-tweet your post including the url and it will get picked up by the site. You don’t need the @tweetmeme at all so I’ve just saved you 10 of your precious twitter characters.

    Please do update the site with the above that way we can see when people @ us to ask a question over @tweetmeme if you have any other questions then do drop me a line @talktweetmeme on twitter or send a quick e-mail

    ps I’m not sure if that counts as one for your competition but I do hope it’s helpful!

  27. 1327

    I would really love to see us moving away from magazine layouts and moving back to conventional top to bottom layouts, with the focus around category seperation. There are so few themes, which manage categories more than their simple purpose of seperation between posts. Most sites make use of several categories, so why not style up a theme according to categories, so for example, when someone clicks through to the “CSS” category, it has certain design elements or colours relative to that category only?

    I think a lot of people would be interested in this sort of theme, based on the ability to run a rather large blog, without it all looking exactly the same.

    Well, those are my thoughts :)

  28. 1378

    A magazine style theme that is clean and professional looking, for use within an enterprise environment. Highly intuitive for users who aren’t used to contributing/commenting/engaging online. Emphasis on sharing of content with others.

  29. 1429

    Don’t worry so much about the design or theme, but instead make it a theme meant to be customized and used for a large number of uses.

  30. 1480

    I would like to see a fresh, green-colored magazine template for bulding social tuts-like sites. With a nice background like, and clean typography.

  31. 1531

    oh im very interested in new themes. i build themes in my dreams, then wake up and i am the champion

  32. 1582

    Hi, the WP Theme I’d love to see would have:
    1. Microblogging tools integration
    2. a 960 centered fixed grid-based template
    3. big sans serif fonts for titles / Georgia/Verdana or text
    4. fully valid of course
    5. very clean / lot of white space
    6. an easy video integration
    7. a built-in Flickr integration
    8. built for a truly CMS not only a simple blog
    9. very light files (no background img stuffs like that)
    10. Emphasis on comment area design as in general those are really ugly

    That’s it. Best of luck.

  33. 1633

    I’d like to see a great portfolio style theme.

  34. 1684

    How about an e-commerce theme with an ajax shopping cart like
    Something minimalist that allows us to customize our own design…


  35. 1735

    I need a clean and clear wp theme with an horizontal way (like this web site)
    I’m thinking of something dealing with natural elements (sky, clouds, birds, trees, leaf…)
    I think that’s a smart idea…

  36. 1786

    I write a lot about movies and 80s nostaglia. I’d love to see a theme that reflected that kind of feel. Casette tapes, NES controllers, retro movie posters.

    As for functions, I’d like to have a quite strong lifestreaming focus and, a pre-defined set of CSS classes with logical names that allow for easy positioning of media within posts.

  37. 1837

    Something that hasn’t been done particularly often with WordPress themes is an online game resource/blog website, a bit like WoWInsider in concept.

    As an information-heavy theme, it would likely need to have very strong compositional and typographical elements to keep from giving users the Wall-o’-Text effect. It would also need to be thematically linked to the “online game” mythos in some way… without being tied to any specific game.

    Social Media – major concept, since it’s a community site theme

    Strong Indexing – categories and tags play a major role in guiding users to content they’re interested in

    Gallery – who doesn’t love “screenshot of the moment” features?

    Game Data – though there are few games that do this, pulling information directly from an official game resource (e.g. WoWArmory) for processing and display on the site would be useful

    It’s certainly something different from Smashing’s usual fare, if nothing else.

  38. 1888

    Magazine Theme

  39. 1939

    A portfolio based theme would be lovely

  40. 1990

    Valentin Varadi

    April 21, 2009 6:07 am

    A magazine-style theme about music would be awesome :)

    Keep it up!

  41. 2041

    I’d love to see a minimalistic portfolio theme.
    Unfortunately, there are no such to find.


  42. 2092

    a admin theme with a tut shud do a gud job for all of us i think…sometimes when an organization is using wp for thr site/blog…they need a diff luk on the backend too…

  43. 2143

    I’ve got a couple of ideas.

    1) Webcomics
    I know that ComicPress exists, but I’d like something with an easily customizable header graphic, header page navigation, heavy footer navigation with ad space (no side navigation, except the “First” “Previous” “Next” and “Last” buttons. Something that could be used by webcomic artists.

    2) Book-lover
    There are a lot of “messy desk” themes out there – some good, some not quite so good, but there’s nothing that I’ve found which appeals to the book-lover in me. There could even be options for genres – a “fantasy” book lover, with dragon bookmarks, a mug of tea or coffee, leather-bound volumes and rich colors. A “romance” book lover, with reds and pinks (without being tacky), hearts and again, the books. A “mystery” book lover, with a smoking gun, a rose, lots of blacks and contrasting reds. This kind of theme would be used by regular bloggers, by book-review sites, by author sites, by book podcasters…

    3) Website
    Sort of an odd request, but some people just want a website, not necessarily a blog. WordPress can handle this easily with the page functionality and the widgety sidebars – but having a theme that was geared less towards the “blog” aspect of wordpress and more towards the “website” aspect might be good for small business owners who simply want an easy-to-set-up web presence.

    3) Gaming.
    World of Warcraft gaming blogs in particular are HUGE. Finding themes that look professional? Nearly impossible.

    4) Fitness
    Working out moreso than just eating right – this isn’t a skinnychick website, this is weightlifting and cardio and sweat. Towels and protein shakes and muscle – from a woman’s perspective. Too many muscle mags and themes are male-oriented, when every single one of the fitness blogs I follow are run by females. I don’t want yet another dieting theme, I want blood, sweat, and tears!

  44. 2194

    I’d like to see a portfolio theme

  45. 2245

    I’d love to see a nice handcrafted portfolio WordPress theme…

  46. 2296

    I’d like to see a nice, simple and modern e-commerce theme.

  47. 2347

    Clean and white 2 column, design showcase theme

  48. 2398

    WordPress for CMS! Not everyone has the time or passion to update every day or week, so blog and magazine themes won’t fit the bill. I’d love to see a professional-looking website that can host solid (static) information (e.g. for my field: science!).

  49. 2449

    Samantha Armacost

    April 21, 2009 6:13 am

    I think it is time for something completely different. I’m sure what fits that bill, but I’d like to see more innovation in the implementation of WordPress.

  50. 2500

    I’d like to see a photoblog theme


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