Is this the future of WordPress themes? I think so

chrislema-face

future-wordpress-themes

Integration offerings can be a pain

Yesterday I highlighted a new e-commerce solution that had just rolled out – and from the looks of it, it was predominantly an integration offering.

If you don’t know that that means, let me explain. You buy product A and then you buy product B and then you end up buying product C which is mostly a simple way to let you use product A and B together.

The challenge with integration offerings is that they can easily just add complexity to the whole thing.

This concept has been top of mind as I’ve been reviewing visual page builders for WordPress (look for an upcoming article). One of the questions I keep asking is whether a theme should “support” some of these plugins without any additional work by the end user.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the theme should come with all that functionality. Repeat after me: themes for looks, plugins for features. 

But what I am saying is that in my opinion, the theme developers that go out of their way to put in place the support for other plugins (they expect will be used with their theme) will rule the Earth. Ok, maybe that’s too strong.

But I’ll like them a lot better.

The future of WordPress themes

Let me introduce you to a case in point. An example that I think is getting it right.

OxfordOxford is a theme from Theme Foundry.

They’re not the first company to make WordPress themes.

They’re not the first company to use a designer font in their themes (rather than a Google font).

But I think they may be the first company to integrate their theme with Typekit – without you having to be a Typekit client. And without you having to do anything.

It just works.

Why is this the future of WordPress themes?

To be clear, I’m not saying Typekit integration is the future of WordPress themes. I’m not saying that Oxford is the future of WordPress themes. I’m not even saying that Theme Foundry is the future of WordPress themes.

But the thinking behind the work that Drew and his team have completed here is what I think will be the future of WordPress themes:

  • Easy integration
  • Implementation taken care of for you
  • No fuss
  • All for the users’ benefit

When you stop thinking about “that’s not my job” (in any development effort) and start thinking about “how can I make this easy” – you’re helping move things forward.

What’s next?

Well, from what I understand, the Theme Foundry team is going to start rolling Typekit integration into other themes they produce, even giving people a chance to change some of the fonts.

And from there, who knows where they (or others) will go?

Maybe we’ll see people integrate natural support for plugins like:

Oh what a wonderful world that would be.

About Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Join more than 7,500 others

My posts. Your inbox. Beautiful.

Chris Lema Speaking

Do You Want To Pick My Brain?

Over the last few years, through private consulting, coaching, and using the pay-by-the-minute Clarity service, I've helped hundreds of folks like you solve their WordPress problems and overcome their technical challenges.

“In 18 minutes Chris was able to save me months of lost time and tens of thousands of dollars by directing me to the right technologies to create my course marketplace. The value was 100x what I paid.” — Josh

Have a question right now? Most of my Clarity calls last less than 20 minutes. Let's set up a call.