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

    … un tema al estilo de James Bond en una misión, con muchas funciones pero que no las exhiba, sino que hago uso discreto de ellas con elegancia. Un tema fino, atrevido, seductor, con acceso a recursos e innovaciones geeks para su asignación. Si un blog constituye una misión frente al mundo, nos gustaría tener de nuestra parte a un agente con el estilo, audacia y estado de alerta de James Bond.

  2. 252

    Something ripe to support the new Jason Santa Maria-inspired blog art direction revolution.

  3. 503

    I am currently a developer (coder) and recently interested in UI/UX. I would like to learn from an excellent work.

  4. 754

    An edgy magazine-ish/clean/image/designer/classy style (large smooth fading, rotating header…with on-image “icons/#s” to toggle between the rotating headers).

    Appropriate JQuery plugins are a must.

    Image support for blog (with ability for twitter input) and a decent gallery (versatile: personal gallery (flickr…etc) or portfolio) . Slightly customizable interface would be nice (color of text and comment boxes).

    Stylish “callout” comments (not just boxes).
    Tag cloud and good organization/categorization of posts.

  5. 1005

    a portfolio based theme will be very useful!

  6. 1256

    I like see a professional and financial clean (blue and green) template :D

  7. 1507

    Hi Guys,

    Looks like some good comments coming in. Emerging themes are Portfolio, Magazine and gallery-esque… Would it be cool if we incorporated the two? Looking for more suggestions!!

    Link []


    GREAT idea to incorporate the two! I’ve been trying and trying to find a creative, great looking portfolio theme that has a separate “blog” to it, more like a CMS look I guess than a blog but implementing WP. A combo of a portfolio site, with huge image areas, ie; Graph Paper Press themes, and a mag or blog theme with optional homepages, is perfect! Would love something UNIQUE..minimalistic. Thanks!!

  8. 1758

    shop template

  9. 2009

    I add my voice to the Magazine/Newspaper group

  10. 2260

    simple clean slate magazine wp theme

  11. 2511

    What would be awesome is a theme for downtown/urban community websites. It would have a big city/ skyscraper feel, a fully adjustable width/ text size and features focusing on community tools (like Google Calendar integration, Forum skinning, etc.). Probably would also be to have built-in open id support.

  12. 2762

    Theme Type: portfolio-blog-lifestream-magazine

    If this is not possible just hack my idea into pieces and incorporate different elements.

    SEO Ready
    Auto Resize Image
    Custom fields
    Life Stream integration
    Widget Ready

    Custom Category Templates:

    Video: Like The Red Carpet theme by Gabfire with better design for widescreen videos. I like this implementation because while you can change the video that is being played, each video is in its own page. So people can comment on it. Better implementation then the Video Gallery plugins out there.

    Photo: Much like all the CSS gallery themes you seen out there.

    Life stream: Like popurls

    Blog: Like the Brightness Theme by dailywp, or like the Convergence theme by Theme Forest.

    The homepage can be the blog, where the latest item in each section will be posted. Or you can choose whatever template you want has the index page, this way people can choose what kind of site they want. The footer can be widgetize to show the latest from each section as well. This way if someone choose a template other than the blog, visitors still see what’s going on elsewhere.

    The main point is different category templates that can be used as the index page.

    And oh yeah… me want Laptop Sleeve.

  13. 3013

    A fan-tas-tic gallery theme…but, wait I’m already working on that!

  14. 3264

    I am looking forward to see what theme is decided on. I’m not creative enough for my own theme and all the ones I come across are so great. The unfortunate thing with great ones is that they get replicated all over the ‘net.

  15. 3515

    I’d like to see a magazine-style theme, but one that does not demand too much content so one person could manage it — just one or two featured posts, plus a column of regular posts. And a sideblog. Good category & tags implementation with a prominent search box. Gravatars & threaded comments. Prominent RSS feed link for content and comments — e-mail updates too.

    I’d like it to be customizable, so the admin could change from 2 to 3 columns, or reposition the columns and change the graphics used everywhere: background, divs, header, etc.

    Something creative and artistic — not too corporate or soulless.

  16. 3766

    Please, not again a magazine theme.
    Make a minimalistic theme, stylish, with great typography. Back to basics, guys!

  17. 4017

    I’d like a portfolio / CV type theme. =)

  18. 4268

    I would really like to see a theme aimed at sports – specifically, a theme that could be used for a kids’ soccer league or baseball league.

    Every town has a bunch of kids involved in something like that — and a theme built to serve the needs of teams or organizations would be great.

    Tossing out ideas, the theme would have:
    A blog portion for the team / league managers
    Schedule of Events
    About our team/league
    Contact our managers
    Photo gallery

    The possibilities are limitless, and it would go a long way to serving the needs of a LOT of people.

  19. 4519

    Here is what I want to see :)

    Colors – Good use of colors throughout the theme. Using one of the top themes from would be cool. Would be even more awesome if a color switcher is available for non-savvy users (we can easily change via CSS)

    Basic Feature & Structure – Many of the themes that have been released through SM before lacked a thing or two. Please make sure to include all the new features of 2.7 / 2.8 and support for headings, forms and additional markup.

    Styling – Remember – just spending an extra hour behind styling the headings properly can change the whole theme and give a lot of depth to the design. The comment area should also be styled with care.

    Updates – A good theme is one which remains under development for a long time :) Would be great if someone continues to upgrade the theme when WP’s code changes.

    – Ehab – Bangladesh

  20. 4770

    I’d like to see a WP-Theme for video bloggers &/or Podcasters.
    Something that nicely accomodates 640 video, highlights options for rss and itunes subscription and has a sleek commenting system w/ special styling for the admins responses. Also this would work best ad something clean & grid based that can easily be modified with a custom header image.

    + I’d <3 to get my hands on a sleeve for my netbook!

    Thanks! :)

  21. 5021

    Definitely something for both the amateur or professional photographer. Everyone wants to show off their amazing snapshots from the family get together or the most recent maternity photo shoot. Something with a sleek design with a modern, almost steel look to it. Maybe the design looks like a camera itself. It should have a way to easily categorize photos possibly with the ability to map where the photo was taken. And it should definitely have a popout to see the larger image when clicked possibly with thumbnails of photos with similar categories/tags. Yup….that’s all I got.

  22. 5272

    I would love to see a childtheme to one of the pioneers of themedevelopers of the community. I would love to see a poll as to who it should be. I would prefer a child theme of Justin Tadlocks Hybrid. But it could also be a guy like Ian Stewart, Bryan Gardner or somebody like that.

    I don’t really care of what the theme would focus on. It could be anything that uses these developers great framework. Maybe a real-estate site with full google maps integration…

  23. 5523

    Desperately needed, very underserved…

    * Huge top area for photo/branding — maybe where the branding is static, but huge photo behind has the option of rotating/fading between a few
    * Area to display upcoming concerts/appearances
    * Area to display blog tease
    * Social networking tease
    * Featured/latest release area with audio sample(s)

    * History/About
    * Blog
    * Discography
    * Photo Gallery
    * Show archive (could fold into History)
    * Merch (with e-commerce option)

  24. 5774

    Would love to see a sharply designed E-commerce wordpress theme. There are some nice ones out there now, but they are limited and often too “cute” for many publishers. Just a nice option that is clean and customizable with color choice.

  25. 6025

    Hey! What a great idea. As someone who works in student transition; blogs, flickr, twittering, rss, sms, social communities, portals, video etc. etc. are huge components of the modern learner. Yet, there are really not great templates that suite the education arena. Website development is not something the aveage educator is skilled to do and it’s these folks who build and maintain thousands of educational sites… some still designed in Corel Composer – can you believe it!

    Any ways, I am not expecting to win, but thought I’d raise some awarness for all those who are struggling in their schools to develop something more engaging then blue hyper links and blinking gifs.

  26. 6276

    I would like to see 3-column, typography style, with color chooser theme.

  27. 6527

    I would like to see a nice design :P

  28. 6778

    hey guys,

    make it a developer’s theme. there are some coders out there that need your help for great wp designs!

  29. 7029

    listen, one of the most popular themes in the WordPress universe is “Thesis.” The next theme Smashing Magazine releases should be a free alternative to “Thesis.” It should have good hooks (for ads or features), lots of widgetized areas, the ability to be two or three columns (and choose what side they go on), great SEO built right in, and it shouldn’t be too graphics heavy. Also, no gimmicky fonts. The typography needs to be sturdy and enduring.

    And, unlike some of the previous themes you’ve released, none of the special “configurable” features should be hard coded. Releasing a theme with the theme-author’s twitter stream hard coded into the page is unprofessional and, frankly, should be unacceptable.

    I’m looking forward to whatever you choose!

  30. 7280

    there are a lot of photobloggers but no one brilliant photoblog theme, only te ugly ones. What about photoblog/portfolio theme with horizontal croling.
    clear minimal theme with great typography for writers

  31. 7531

    I say a sleek magazine style theme or a clean theme with amazing typography/

  32. 7782

    Nice one! I have the following idea for a WP theme:

    For my local soccer team we would like to have a website at wich we can communicate with each other and were we can update the team with news, keep up with player statistics and integration with social platform accounts from our players for example. About the colors and the styling: professional, uefa, champions leauge, nike, speed, contrast…

    Cheers and good luck!

  33. 8033

    CMS with nice flickr plug-in, photo gallery, easy-to-customize contact form with validation.

  34. 8284

    Christof Schirra

    April 21, 2009 11:55 am

    A theme that can be used as a photographer to present his portfolio.

  35. 8535

    WordPress as a CMS. With optional eCommerce functionality. A theme easy to customize.

  36. 8786

    I would like to see a book-style theme different from any other out there. Book 2.0 style!

  37. 9037

    one word : KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid)

    Webdesign these days are full of nice vectors, images and features but don’t forget the basics :)

  38. 9288

    I’d love a photoblog/magazine style theme! With colour options as a feature. Also, with the world going twitter crazy I’ve got twitter integrated into my blog which is using your Magazeen theme. The one downfall is that because the post comes from twitter, it doesn’t have a picture to top the post. It would be awesome to have a feature where I could choose a default picture for posts that haven’t had a specific picture chosen

  39. 9539

    Aurelian Anghelescu

    April 21, 2009 12:25 pm

    I’m interested, as many are, i’m sure, in a perfect newspaper wordpress theme. The problem is that it has to be as more automated as possible. Most of the time there is only one person taking care of a whole daily newspaper which is really hard to do.

    I think there should be a way of picking the pictures automatically by a custom field using a phpthumb script for frontpage/category and post and than make use of a lightview script for seeing full picture.

    Also there should be widgets already in theme with latest news, most commented, latest comments and usual features like that.

    It has to have multiple colors with different CSSs, because usually a newspaper has a dominant color.

    Frontpage should be easy to admin because most webmasters don’t know programming. It should be something like a sortable jquery script.

    There has to be a newsticker horizontal or vertical.

    There has to be a featured articles space with articles rolling using a jquery/mootools/prototype script.

    SEO and semantic code is a must. Good typography as well.

    And so on….

  40. 9790

    I would like to see a theme that is more like a eVid theme, for those who like to publish articles about music related stuff. And integrating video publishing feature in it will makes it much better. Also having default plugins in it to enhance the sit’s design and features. and some extra features like, having a poll, ad-support, request page, and just the basic features.


  41. 10041

    I suggest a Tutorials and Podcasting theme, using Ajax and JQ, Web 2.0 look, Users Login Area !, make it easy for Visitors to make comment mean make WYSIWYG not just tags .. i guess it’s a new idea too, sidebar some like SM, the index.php put a topics photos slider but by a new effects like fade out/in by JQ i guess that’s all to now…

    Greetings, Best Wishes

  42. 10292

    I haven’t come across any interesting merge of Portfolio + Life stream’fied theme. Blog is just another type of content entry in a designers social web. Tweets, Bookmarks, Photos, his day to day work(illustrations, desings, icons) …all of these comes more frequent from a designer, rather than a blog post. Though wordpress as a CMS is powerful enough to handle all of this, i haven’t seen theme which weds all of this seamlessly.

    Simply, a theme which weds the best of Sweetcron + DailyWP Portfolio theme + Viewport Theme, and of course smashed!

  43. 10543

    I’d like to see a wp theme that incorporates a blog and a photo blog with defined separate areas but that still focuses on both (with the photo blog as the main interest area) on the home page.

    I’d like the style to be clean and concise with a bit of whimsy but not so much that it overpowers the content with beautifully crafted code and a sharp contact form.

  44. 10794

    We’ve seen clean and crisp. We’ve seen grunge WP themes. I’d like to see a happy median between the two.

    A WP theme geared towards reviews. Perhaps technical reviews such as a CNET-like site (as far as information, not design).

    Overall, I’d just like to see a WP theme that doesn’t “look like a WP theme”. Something we couldn’t put in to a list like “65 Crisp and Clean WP Themes”.

  45. 11296

    Portfolio theme please! Redesigning my own portfolio and would like to see some cool designs to inspire me.

  46. 11547

    Just simple one coloum wp theme. with colorfull.

  47. 11798

    I’d be keen to see a successful e-comm theme using wp. Something with a professional design, great usability, no fricking flash, intelligent IA, and a short, painless, check-out process.

  48. 12049

    I’d love to see a Travel Blog site that would allow me to post events, photos and video from my laptop as I travel South Africa ( and try a do a bit of freelance design as I go !!!)

  49. 12300

    Hi there,

    I would really appreciate a template for flash games where people can register and submit their score after playing.A 3 columns template with spaces for some advertising and a page where guest can buy merchandise with the site logo.

    P.s. Sorry for my bad bad bad english.

  50. 12551

    I would like to see more retro stuff!


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