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 love to see a green/nature inspired design for an environmental blog. I imagine it would be a bright green theme with “vine”-like vector illustrations. It would be super cool if it could have an easy to use, crisp and clean photo gallery that blends into the site and doesn’t look like a 3rd party plugin. Also, a section that can be used to link to other resource type sites – but keeping with the colour theme.

  2. 102

    A portfolio theme with blog too!

  3. 203

    I would be interested in a blog theme that combines great style with revenue generation. Let’s see Smashing Magazine do revenue generation right! The blog design should include many different types of revenue generation techniques built in. The design will utilize best practices to optimize yield on advertisements. The goal of this will be to create a well designed blog while not simply “placing” in ads wherever they fit, but taking the goal of revenue generation into consideration in the design process. (Far too many blog designs today are simply adapted to include advertisements and do not truly take full advantage of combining good design with advertisements.)

  4. 304

    I’d like to see a porfolio theme, clean and simple with 2 colors + gray.
    1. Blog
    2. A Portfolio with the ability to have different galleries on seperate pages
    3. A Coda Slider Effect (jQuery) gallery on the homepage
    4. Integration of Digg, twitter, etc.
    5. Sidebar in the footer, (3 column)

    carbo86, you are pretty much thinking what I am thinking!

  5. 405

    Jean-Philippe Murray

    April 21, 2009 6:16 am

    What about, finally, a theme built for podcaster? There is PLENTY of theme for video casting, but none for podcasting!

    – A simple something, with possibilities for displaying blog post, and podcasts;
    – Embedded player?
    – Twitter support;
    – RSS feed for blog, RSS for podcast in mp3, rss for podcast in AAC (itunes);
    – post (podcast) rating, usual social features (share on facebook and all that jazz)
    – maybe support for existing podcasting plugin (not not hardcodded! I myself don’t use them as it’s not entirely reliable…)


  6. 506

    George Serradinho

    April 21, 2009 6:17 am

    I would like to see you develop a theme whereby the admin can log in and change the following:

    1. Layouts from 2 to 3 column
    2. Be able to add adsense code
    3. Be able to add author signatures
    4. Change site headers and footers at will
    5. Use gravatars
    6. Be able to swith to DoFollow (on or off)
    7. Change theme colors or have a few colors that the user can select from
    8. Change background by uploading images
    9. Create menu’s from admin with no coding at all
    10. Add social bookmarking sites to posts by uploading details in admin area
    11. Generate thumbnails in all sizes used by theme

    That’s all I can think of as of now.

  7. 607

    I’d love to see a theme that displays a copywriter’s portfolio. This would be a portfolio theme that isn’t so heavily designed that it takes away from the idea that the owner is a writer. There would be places to simply display work and let it speak for itself.

  8. 708

    I would like the theme to have the following characteristics:

    The style I like for a personal blog, with the colors used by Smashing Magazine would be perfect.
    Defined lines, but the font medium, not so great. A little square.
    That may include color and # F5F5F5 # E1E1E1.
    Support for Gravatar.

    In the Header:

    A spacious place to change

    One to showcase
    One to archives
    – Detailing by month, year and the last 30 items, and may show the tags as well.
    One to contact
    – Have a contact form

    In the Sidebar:
    -Submit news
    -A nice search box
    -Twitter Integration

    In the footer
    Three boxes to customizing

    It is enough, but I also like the theme.
    Thank you for taking our opinion into account

  9. 809

    There is definelty a lack of good free magazine themes for wordpress, maybe similar to The Masterplan ( What I am talking about is a clean, not overloaded 3 column magazine theme smashingmagazine could become an even bigger legend with ;-)!

  10. 910

    Those are some nice sleeves.

  11. 1011

    Massimo Nastasi

    April 21, 2009 6:20 am

    a Steampunk Theme

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  13. 1213

    Hey, i would like to see a wp theme for an online video magazine, with:
    1. easy video integration
    2. big fonts
    3. css framework based

    have a nice day ;)

  14. 1314

    I´d love to see the evolution of the Agregado Theme you published in September last year.

    Give it a bit cleaner structure and nicer typography. In order to have a nicer integration and have no need to tweak around with the lifestream integration just make it neatly working with friendfeed (wo all the friendfeed recognition.

    Would love this.

    By the way, I don´t care about the notebook sleave but want to get the theme. I would donate the sleave if you only pick my suggestion :).

  15. 1415

    A good CMS could be nice allowing custom page layouts and themes on a page by page bases.
    Possibility to have a liquid or fixe layout for the central part.

  16. 1516

    Sleeve Candy! I would love to see a Rich CMS based site – not so much Magazine – but more Newspaper based. Clean, Functional and SMASHING!

    Love the site keep it up!

  17. 1617

    Alexander Friesen

    April 21, 2009 6:25 am

    I would love to see a great Theme that is perfekt for Groups not only one Blogger. Not really like the Prologue or P2 Theme which is to twitter like. It should be awesome to use for multiple users in order to discuss and interact with each other. Like a Konference Theme which helps to realize Projekts within a Group. Horizontal Navigation please ;)

  18. 1718

    Its a great offer and a whole new good concept. I would love to have a Template custom designed by SM with my own needs

    I need a template for Webmaster’s website for tutorials. news etc

    Features would like to have are :
    1) 2 Column Template ( White with Brigh Colors or Dark )
    2) One of the sidebar element should have left and right as two sub sections
    3) Eye catching Post title with date on left and comments count on right and post title in middle
    4) Web 2.0 Template.
    5) Some icon set to add laterand for Social bookmarking sites to use too.

    These features completes a good template design.
    Waiting for the Results :D

  19. 1819

    I would like to see a modular portofolio design. A pre-designed portofolio design is pretty lame, hence it needs to be modular – i.e. easy integration of 3rd party modules and probably not too much huge graphics (e.g. a big paint splatter all over the page) which make it hard to integrate other stuff.
    Portofolio design is really nice and especially if it is NOT wordpress style blog-format, but more a full fledged content-format. Meaning several possible sections with main content areas and not just a boring list of blog entries – people read blogs via RSS readers anyways so the site needs to invite to do more than just scan over blog entries.

  20. 1920

    i’d like a better portfolio theme

  21. 2021

    I think the perfect theme would be a mix between old and new. I would love to see a theme & layout as if the user could see into a vault. Such as, a Mahogany wood vault (or a shelf, that would work too) with old english letters that displays open the contents of the site. Some of the sections I would like to see are podcasts, videos, editorial, news and even a twitter & Flickr feeds(non-intrusive on the side of bottom of the page.)

  22. 2122

    André Nitz Webdesigner aus Leipzig

    April 21, 2009 6:29 am

    Id like to see a price comparison or a shop theme for WordPress.

    Greetz from Germany, André

  23. 2223

    Visual Concept:
    The idea of a telephone pole or the side of an old barn. The place where people tack up their posters, ads, photos, whatever.

    Flash galleries, video galleries, horizontal navigation, customizable background images, all that flow into the visual theme.

  24. 2324

    Someone needs to make the ultimate designer/illustrator/photographer portfolio theme!

    I’m thinking:
    – Gallery format with multiple category streams
    – Minimal white default style with hooks to an admin page with type/colors/custom logo or header.
    – separated out “news” posts stream
    – support for video for motion
    – made with RSS in mind
    – footer widgets

    Dream add-on: matching e-commerce for T-shirts, prints, etc…

    I think everyone in the design community could use on of these!


  25. 2425

    What WordPress really seems to be lacking in is a great e-commerce theme. It would be awesome to see you guys come up with one of those!

  26. 2526

    If you need someone to develop a portfolio theme for you then there is something wrong. If you have a web design portfolio to show off then you should be able to develop your own theme from scratch in my opinion.

    Congratulations to SM on 100k subscribers. Good going.

  27. 2627

    I would like to see a true CMS in a nice Premium Magazine style format.

  28. 2728

    A nice portfolio theme would be pretty usefull!

    Cheers from bonn, Oliver

  29. 2829

    Please make a quality photography theme, there are none.

  30. 2930

    I’d like to see a portfolio theme

  31. 3031

    I would love to see an e-commerce shopping cart theme – for more than just sidebar products. Fully styled cart pages with categories, etc. Also, I’d like to see featured sections on the landing page with dynamic abilities to change out new or featured products in those sections. Excellent e-commerce themes for WordPress are few and far between!

  32. 3132

    Love to see a band/music theme! It’s very difficult to find one, or you have to code one yourself.

  33. 3233

    I’d love to see something CMS-ish that could be set up for someone new to wordpress or blogging in general. A cool theme design is one thing, but fancy features (or not-so-fancy ones that do what they’re supposed to!) are what really stick out in my mind!

    Also let me take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy reading the articles here, your freebies are also extremely awesome, and.. oh, are those laptop bags? I hadn’t noticed ;)

  34. 3334

    Jonas Hellström

    April 21, 2009 6:40 am

    I would like a theme that could suit for a tutorial site. There should be page templates for both text tutorials as well as video tutorials.

  35. 3435

    i would love to see a wordpress theme that incorporates a portfolio type showcase at the top (above the fold) while keeping a blog listed below the fold. so it would be a hybrid portfolio / blog. this is what i am trying to achieve with my site, and would be ideal!

    an added bonus would be if it can switch from dark to light with a css tricks via a link!

  36. 3536

    I heart Apple style :)

  37. 3637

    my favorite kind of blog interface i hope in green variation :-) :
    The Unstandard WordPress theme

    The home and archive index pages utilize photos rather than text.

    The beloved futures:
    1) Sidebar – Main: Column displayed on any page but a single post.
    2) Sidebar – Single: Column rendered on a single post page.
    3) Footer – Shared: Always visible widgets towards the bottom of the page.
    4) Threaded / nested comments
    5) Gravatar support and site admin comment author highlighting

  38. 3738

    A resume / CV / portfolio theme that works for everyone.

    One that makes it real easy to boil down to the key skills and talents.

    One that is organic / wiki.

  39. 3839

    I think you should do the first ever podcast focused theme, Displaying the latest episode on the front page and also past episodes. It should work well with PodPress :)


  40. 3940

    I imagine photoblog simply combined with a personal blog —> the place where i can show my photos to others or just write about my life a and about all smashing things on the world :)

    I know that the wordpress blog system is initially, but I would like a personal blog combined with a something like “photopost”, maybe via nextgen gallery or …. ?

  41. 4041

    I definitely think that many folks use WordPress to combine a blog and portfolio. It’d be neat to see a theme that’s pre-built with that in mind. I’m thinking it would function more as a theme framework. I could see that being immensely useful.

  42. 4142

    Portfolio would be great

  43. 4243

    Francesco Rizzi

    April 21, 2009 6:45 am

    A ‘magazine-style’ template (a-la DePo Masthead, but there are others) with 3 main columns… here’s the kicker: each column should be reserved for one (or more) of the blog authors. So, if we have 5 authors posting on the blog (A, B, C, D, and E), we would get the posts from author A always in the left-most column, those from author B and E always in the middle column, and those from author C and D always in the right-most column.

  44. 4344

    I’m interested in a sports league, CMS style theme. A theme that can be used as a website for an entire league, a subset of a league, or a single team. The theme should not be specific to any one sport, but allow for sport identification via a header image.

    * a home page which would show intro paragraph follwed by the latest news items
    * sub pages which, if used as a team’s “home page” would make use of a child theme to allow for individual team colors
    * widget control per page and/or category, not just site wide.
    * a site wide navigational structure which allows for drop down sub menus
    * a header image which can be rotated on the home page or general pages (jquery inner fade), and then specified via the child theme on a team page.
    * a photo gallery page
    * a video gallery page
    * comments should support avatars

  45. 4445

    In my opinion we have seen lots of great magazine themes being released, some of them Premium and some of them for free, and I don’t think a new one released here would be the best idea (even if you always release great themes!)

    What would really be a benefit for people using WordPress would be a theme foccussed around photography. I know there were some already, but none of them was advanced and smooth enough to have people leaving their flickr account (for example) to start a personal blog.
    I would consequently see a new style of photoblog, created to publish albums and sets of pictures rather than daily pictures.
    – A nice homepage would display galleries with small thumbnails leading to articles displaying a set or gallery or a single picture with some text.
    – Of course this WordPress theme would take benefit of custom fields of WordPress and extract one of the pictures of a gallery to display it as cover of the gallery.
    – Javascript can allow to add some nice features to the display.
    – Including support for a rating plugin or a flickr plugin would be a big bonus, maybe even included in a nice javascript pop up box for every picture.
    – I would imagine a dark theme with a strong texture background, with maybe a drop down navigation at the top of the homepage.

    Ok, I know I am asking very precise things. As a matter of fact I have been working on such a theme for a bit of time, so I’d be happy to give you even more details later on! I really that would be an original theme, that would be successful among the readers!
    That’s all for me! :)

  46. 4546

    Something different from what’s already out there. It should be highly customizable … but not the typical magazine layout. Something that doesn’t look bloggy, but more website-y. (That is a technical term.)

  47. 4647

    It doesn’t matter what theme you guys put together – I know I’ll like it. But, sometimes a simple theme is better than any feature-rich, complicated, complex theme. I believe it tests a designers skills to create a truly magnificent but SIMPLE theme.

  48. 4748

    i like it with magazine style and it will be nice with another fresh color composition :)
    will be waiting for new style and new fresh color :)

  49. 4849

    I would like to see a clean, professional, and modern(design as well as coding, javascipt, ajax, jquery, etc) template for resume’s and portfolio’s. I believe this would be very helpful for a lot of people because people with blogs try to have some sort of portfolio combined and I haven’t found a good tool to do so.

    Twitter: @anthonygarand

  50. 4950

    A CMS implementation of wordpress.
    with contact forms enabled for both a contact page and inner pages. and a full tat on that.

    thank you.


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