Just a thought.
I believe the term “WordPress Theme” should be deprecated in favor of “WordPress Application” or “WordPress App”.
With design and coding everything is rooted in concept, so what you call something has a lot to do with how the tool is used. Think design patterns. Each design pattern domain uses the same language + dev tools + devs themselves, but saying the name of a design pattern gives you an instant idea of how the code is organized and what the code is to do.
So when you say “Theme” it’s no wonder why 90% of WP sites are top down header, nav, slider, columns of info, and a footer. I mean that’s what a theme is, same structure and tool box of components with different colors (Simplifying here).
I’m not a seasoned dev, but just going off instinct I bet when WP first came out, theme-ing was used to best describe what was going on. Now I think that term undermines what the platform has evolved into and it traps new devs like me into thinking building a site with a slider and a filterable portfolio is what the platform is meant to do, and doing stuff outside of that is some advanced hackery.
Example: As a beginner going by the “WordPress Theme” standard thinking model, I would read books and blog posts and I wouldn’t come close to thinking the first thing I could build with WP is a cross platform mobile music app accessed through a URL on mobile devices. Instead I would probably spend the following months learning how to build and tie together a big conglomerate of web components like a blog, contact forms, galleries pages, 50 different types of sliders, portfolios etc. when there are already a million apps/themes that do this and I would be learning techniques that are devalued because of the millions of others that have been pushed down this specific training path.
Anyway My 2 Cents.
P.S. I do see the value of following the same structure also, reach a bigger audience through generalization and this would turn into code canyon if to much “uniqueness” came about. But it’s kinda crazy when a restaurant site, a portfolio site, and a gym site all have the exact same structure and components… Then it just loops around to that’s the nature of “theme-ing” which doesn’t really make sense if you design a solution for a specific business domain lol, then that loops around to is that a smart thing to do in a mass oriented marketplace (design for a specific business domain)... so you’re back to the basic structure I guess and it all is how it’s supposed to be.
Alright I’m done rambling, anybody else have an opinion?