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 a theme that could be used by everyday blogger. Everyday bloggers are in maximum numbers and this theme could reach a greater mass and serve the community.

    * It should contain customizable things, like background color etc.
    * or you can provide a set of css sheets which could be configured via admin section.

  2. 152

    Make a really sleek and usable theme which is also very beautiful and features plugins to payment gateways. Very few good e-shop themes out there for wp :(

  3. 303

    I would like to see a 4-in-1 sport inspirated theme. With just a click in the settings you change it from soccer to hockey, to basket, to baseball. Maybe soccer can be green for exmple.

  4. 454

    my school is on a development for its website, so i think that would be a great idea to create a web template for school or education based WordPress :)

  5. 605

    A social hub theme would be awesome, with the flexibility to pull in content from a wide range of sources.

  6. 756

    A photography theme or a portfolio theme. Pure HTML/js, no flash please ;-)

  7. 907

    I’m up for anything you guys design! But I’d love to see a theme that comes with an alternate mobile stylesheet or is built to work flawlessly on both big screens and tiny ones. Something built using fluid grids perhaps? And with fluid images – even better!

    I can’t wait! Thanks so much!!

  8. 1058

    A blog-portfolio combo would be useful.

  9. 1209

    A simple-light portofolio theme for designers and web-developers would be nice!

  10. 1360

    I would love to see a personal blog with:
    • a built in homepage feature for reviewing favorite items: software, books, music CDs, toys, whatever; the latest reviewed item has a picture, with links to more.
    • great photo CSS styling for posts
    • integration with Twitter, flickr
    • not over-stylized; easy to customize and make it look “mine”

  11. 1511


    I think the best would be a cross-browser (but not for IE 5.5 or IE 6) theme without flash or silverlight (or something like this). It could be suitable for any purpose. Although it would be nice if it’s source could be validated without any warnings, some HTML5 and CSS3 features could be handy. And (of course) some jQuery or just javascript in it also can make it better.

  12. 1662

    I think it should be a hybrid of a portfolio and a blog. I like themes that have the nice footer, but also allow you to have side bars.

  13. 1813

    Massimo Bastianon

    April 21, 2009 7:02 am

    Nature-Photograpy blog with gallery (next-gen) and maps (google or yahoo maps) to locate the images..
    Someting like plus maps..

  14. 1964

    Why not create the “first” GOOD WordPress theme but for the Admin area, that users can tweak around very ez, and Clients which uses the CMS find it very pleaseant to work in… the admin now is good but i think it can be alot better, and that would be a first :D.

    This would be mainly for people who gives clients solutions via wordpress (which turns out nowadays it’s getting bigger and bigger).


  15. 2115

    please, make a nice, simple, minimalistic and clean lifestream blog design.

  16. 2266

    Clean web 2.0 style that can translate well on the iphone/ipod touch
    two columns
    twitter integration on side column
    search on side column with google adsense integration
    spots for text ads on side column
    allow spots for banner ads inbetween posts
    allow facebook users and twitter users to comment
    posts should have social bookmarking links to every site imaginable

  17. 2417

    Jonathan Barnhoorn

    April 21, 2009 7:11 am

    I suggested a basketball wordpress theme for my basketballclub, I’ve been looking for one for a long time now. Grasshoppers is one of the largest clubs in our countries, the site would be thankfully used!

    Very interested in what you guys would make of a yellow-and-black design, those are our clubs colors.

    Greetings and, please pick us!

  18. 2568

    It would be cool to have a theme that focuses on personal portfolios but not like the lame-ish ones that are out today. Making it highly adaptable, with a cool gallery for images, area for your resume/CV that you can download in .pdf format, built in twitter feed.

    Design it for today and tomorrow. What does today’s wordpress theme need if you’re a creative person? What will tomorrows wordpress need? I personally like the magazine kind of layouts. I thought the last magazine wordpress theme released was AMAZING. If you can top that I’ll be impressed.

  19. 2719

    A multiple portfolio/critique centered theme. A theme to house multiple portfolios (different people) and a space for a critique forum.
    To that end, the style could be whatever you wanted really, minimal yet bold, a background made with different layers, muted tones with splashes of vivid colors, etc. — but the ‘meat’ of the theme would be good functionality and incorporation of a forum plugin for the critique side of things. My experience so far, which is admittedly limited, is that the forum plugins do not mesh well with the theme. They look like plugins, not like part of the theme.

  20. 2870

    I’d love a wordpress theme for a clothing company. Must have a blog, and a community utilizing wordpress users (with functional uploadable avatars, defaulting on a default image with company branding).

    Custom fields using images should be pulled in correctly through the RSS feeds (i have had so much trouble with this in the past, I’d love to see how experts handle it).

    On top of it all, just to have professionals build me a custom theme would take away all my worries and I’d be honored. Good luck every one and awesome contest!

  21. 3021

    A personal sports blog for teams or individuals. I would envision this as a blog for the coaches and team-moms out there that want to publish practice & game updates, rosters, game summaries, player profiles, coaching tips, game MVPs, schedules, awards and photos.

    The header/footer and sidebar could hold personalized photos and/or random photos from a particular folder.

    The background would either be a green grass field with a white line or two, a hardwood court with a black line or two, a ice theme, and finally a water based picture background (I think covers all sports).

    Each post would have a small piece of equipment that the sports theme would offer: basketball, cricket ball, curling stone, baseball bat…etc. all based on the sports picked.

  22. 3172

    Hi ,

    I would like to see a really great 70’s retro style portfolio , where the background colors changes following the daylight . ( one for sunrise , mid day , sunset , night … ) i believe that will be a nice effect .
    I will like a great space for the last updates on twitter too.

    cheers , and i’m waiting my sleeve !! ;)

    Rodrigo , RJ – Brazil

  23. 3323

    I’ve yet to see a great theme that makes it attractive to post photos, videos, music, and/or just regular text all in the same site with the homepage focusing on all aspects—not just one or the other.

  24. 3474

    I would like an old looking theme. Something that looks like a 20’s or 30’s newspaper. Great Depression with a little grunge. Black and white or sepia.

  25. 3625

    A professional looking theme using WordPress as CMS, allowing mass uploads of images in a zip to compile a (flash?) picture gallery (with lightboxes?), easy to insert the content of news (with lightboxes) categories / downloads list / picture and video galleries across pages (selectable), automatic navigation and subnavigation.

    And it should be easy to change the graphics, so it would come with a nice PSD wireframe file.

    Apart from that I would include a ‘config’ theme page to be able to disable a whole lot of the redundant WordPress bagage.

  26. 3776

    Something for a really cool kindergarten teacher who wants to showcase her students’ work; links to books she loves, crafts, links to enrichment sites for parents to click on. Maybe a softer version of primary colors. Very happy, upbeat.

  27. 3927

    Lots of stuff for graphic designers and photographers, but what about something for a musician that’s not cheesy? A player isn’t necessary since we have wp-audio, but I’m thinking something that pulls in a Twitter Feed as well as blog posts, and keeps categories very clear so that the music posts are very prominent.

  28. 4078

    I like a classic blog theme or another magazine style. 3 column style in a retro look or something. Features: A easy hack to make a gallery in WordPress and css classes for float images. Recent Comments in Sidebar, twitter feeds, post it to delicious button ( i know i can do it with a plugin ) drop down navigation is nice or something with ajax, loginform onclick with ajax or javascript

  29. 4229

    I would like a fully CMS based template, with a clean layout.

  30. 4380

    Well, April 25th is my birthday, would be really cool to win something then!

    And for the design:
    I would like something between a clean and crisp (like tha mac OSX design) and something grungy. Best case would be a floating design with nice typography! :D


  31. 4531

    Great contest.

    “Freelancer” theme with “Client Management”

    In my dream, the theme would be a nice portfolio but with the addition of password protected “client zone” for each current customer (unique for each customer of course). We could use this area to post comps, sketches, docs, etc. all in an effort to keep good communication and transparency with the client. This area would also have a place for the customer to leave comments on the designs, formally approve the work and heck, even pay for your services with PayPal.

  32. 4682

    I would love to a see a really simple, modern blog-design..

  33. 4833

    Ok, Here I go. Hold on:

    My ideal features:
    1.- I love magazine style themes.
    2.- Given your great tips… I would like it to be highly customizable via an admin interface.
    3.- Strong marketing capabilities: Hight CTR positions/sizes… that avoid ad blindness. Oh! And those ad spots should not be tied to hard-coded ads… instead, it should allow the admin to use third-party plugins like MaxBanner Ads.
    3.1.- A great, unique, feature would be to include a customizable page peel ad pseudo-engine to handle it… perhaps via custom-fields.
    4.- If the admin is allowed to dinamically create content blocks inside the main index file… it would definitely a unique feature… never seen in any WP theme.

    My Nice-to-have features.
    5.- If it use jQuery, it should be compatible with popular plugins that also use it: Wp-Cumulus, Wp-Invoice, etc.
    6.- Top Category is a great plugin to implement category silos for SEO (amonth with s-categories plugin)… However, when you are paging categories, it cause many problems in many themes… If this theme can avoid these problems WOULD BE FABULOUS! However, absolutelly optional.

    Many many thanks in advance,

  34. 4984

    I need a theme for student blogs. It should be fun and colorful (reds & blues if you wanted to go with our school colors), but not so busy that the kids get distracted by design. The chronological order of the posts is important (as opposed to category), since most of the projects involve students journaling from the perspective of a historical figure or book character.

    Features that would be nice to have:
    -Blogroll to connect all class blogs together
    -Author profile page
    -Nested comments

  35. 5135

    I love the wordpress themes you have shown and designed so far, but in the true community spirit..

    I would love to see a WPMU (WordPress MU) theme, that has a main theme homepage, magazine style that imports all the sub blogs as content (based on recent posts, or most read etc)… and the sub blogs theme is the same as the main one, but can have individual elements, such as colors, background image, just to give it a little bit of independence.

    If there is an choice of how the design looks i would go for a classic newspapaer layout with a digital twist. i loved the layout of some of the designs in a previous post. ->

  36. 5286

    I would like a simple theme, not overcrowded with a friendly layout. Something similar to

  37. 5437

    James Woodrow Lane III

    April 21, 2009 7:38 am

    A great theme for the community would be a family tree theme for for members of the family can post family events, pictures, talking about uncles and cousins. So all the members of the family would have a central hub to go to for they can learn and keep up to date with the tree. And it would be great to help keep families together and informed.

  38. 5588

    i would like to see another maganize theme, without the use of a slideshow; something more unique. slideshows are getting old.

    sleek, sophisticated

  39. 5739

    I’d like to see a clean minimal theme, but not one that is so minimal that it looks like it was just thrown together in minutes. You know, the kind of design that looks simple, but that actually took some planning and forethought. One column with horizontal navigation at the top and a calendar on the right side. Blues and peachy colors would be nice.

    Thanks SM!

  40. 5890

    How about a Comic Book style theme? Word balloons, comic book fonts (not comic sans, of course), comic character sketches, sound bubbles, voice-over-style blocks, primary colors, nice paper texture, even a comic-style gallery? Also, a static-page-based theme would be good, for those of us who don’t want WP to look like a blog.

  41. 6041

    A sport themed blog-design would be great

  42. 6192

    I’d like to see a wordpress theme that is simple and clean, and uses images controlled by via the interface to allow customization. Too many wordpress themes are locked into single uses because they are too dark, or too focused on one concept. For example, w simple theme in whites and silver-grays that lets you choose images to rotate behind the title in the header area… something like that could be used for a church, a business, a personal site… just about anything.

  43. 6343

    I would like to see a portfolio style, maybe in a red theme or with red accents.

  44. 6494

    Widget style theme, similar to Google homepage.

  45. 6645

    I’d like to see a portfolio theme with an entry page with a single image that changes with each load, a news page, bio page and gallery page with flexible lightbox gallery. Ideally, all of it would be understated (clean and simple) so that the artists works are the focus. And if it could look more like a website than a blog… it’d be a popular theme.

  46. 6796

    I would love to see an easy-to-implement lifestream theme, especially if it had the option for a “front page” of sorts that was maybe set up like a newspaper. With sweet typography of course (but I shouldn’t have to mention that with the Smashing folks!)

  47. 6947

    Magazine themes are all over the place at the moment while there is few high quality free portfolio themes.

    You can probably Google a great free magazine theme in a few minutes but try doing the same with a portfolio one.

    I think Smashing Magazine should aim for a unique theme or at least a theme that stands out of the usual offer.

    Not another magazine or “simple” blog theme please. The market is already saturated.

  48. 7098

    I’d love to see blog in retro theme in magazine layout.

  49. 7249

    I would like to see a simple and modern e-commerce theme.

  50. 7400

    I would really like to see a good theme for BuddyPress. I know it’s in beta and only based on WordPress (MU at that), but I think it would be really sweet. If not that, then I’ve always wanted a nice theme for a video podcast site. Obviously the videos need to be front and center. Something a little more creative than just the black background with a bunch of thumbnail themes that are out there now.


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