How well Alister Cameron nailed down in 2008 – The future of WordPress Themes
Looking behind, in the past, it’s so intriguing. What big names, involved in the develop of WordPress since the beginning, said of the future? What did they think it was going to happen? Not many of them expressed reliable previsions, I may say (from my comfy chair in the 2012 – admittedly quite unfair). You can read tons of comments at the pages below (I could not find any for the 2010).
- The Future of WordPress Themes 2008
- The Future of WordPress Themes 2009
- The Future of WordPress Themes in 2011
- WordPress Themes in 2012
But one comment over all the others, expressed in the far 2008, is the most interesting in my judgement. We’re now seeing happening what Alister Cameron wrote in comment that I report here below.
Alister Cameron on The Future of WordPress Themes 2008
“We’re at the junction of a number of exciting developments.
Firstly, there are microformats. These continue to develop and challenge designers to take semantic markup (in general) more seriously. hFeed is pretty stable, and hRelease may make an entrance of sorts, and there will be many more…
Thirdly, CSS3 will push its way into the spotlight more and more, challenging WordPress theme designers to push the boundaries in many more ways, and get creative.
Fourthly, the user-agent now matters a lot! The iPhone and cell/mobile phones have reached saturation level usage and it’s time for WordPress themers to look at ways to accommodate these different user agents. I am personally not excited about the .mobi TLD, preferring smart user-agent-specific content delivery. However in themes, this approach will require elegant conditional output code in templates, which is a new concept to most designers.
Fifthly, we all need to take language localization more seriously. And that doesn’t have to be any harder than faithfully using _e(), etc. I have always felt there is a huge business opportunity for someone to do blog post translation in a cheap yet “human” way. Machine translation won’t cut it, but the price of human translation needs to come down, while maintaining decent quality. If someone cracks this opportunity, themers will want to take advantage of this for themes.
Sixthly, there is community expectation. With every theme released, people want more. And they don’t want to pay much for it. So I think themes will need to become more focussed: the blog, the magazine, the newspaper, the tumblelog, the company webpage, etc. We’re seeing that happen already, but it will mature a great deal.
Finally, there are CSS frameworks and grid systems, which have the potential to achieve what I’ve at least attempted with Vanilla: a single theme with many layout options. Whether with the YUI grids, or Blueprint, or any other CSS framework, the goal is the same – to make a theme “flexible” for non-tech, non-designer users. I want and expect this aspect of theming to mature a great deal, one way or another.
There is more I could add, but I’m more interested to read what others have to say :)”
Alister Cameron, The Blogologist, can be found, not surprisingly, at AlisterCameron.com.
The 2012 – There is room for new theme shops?
The pace at which WordPress is evolving and increasing its share in the net does not show any signal of slowing down. I’ve been pleased to see what the guys at Theme Force are doing these days. That is an example that pushes WordPress beyond the limit, with an intensive customization to fork it in a basically new product.
Sincerely, I think that we’re just seeing the beginning.