Glad to see all the discussion on this thread!
I disagree that you should give the masses what they want though. As a creative agency, we actually make the difference by doing it the hard way.
It’s difficult, but if you hang on, in the end it pays of. Take a look at Themezilla for example. Orman Clark & Co build themes that have a unique touch to it and he’s quite the premium author
Well, we check the new themes daily to keep a good overview of what’s happening out here.
Second, when we need to buy a new theme, we check the ones that look suitable and then look at the rating. We don’t buy themes with less than 4 stars, yet we keep in mind that when only two people gave stars, this isn’t something to rely on.
Third we run the demo through a couple of tests to see how it reacts on devices, to see if everything works fast and is well programmed.
Fourth, when we find a good starred theme that looks and works the way we want, we head over to the comment section to read all comments, from first to last. That’s probably most important for us: great support.
Fifth, we buy it!
Sixth, we give it our own rating, because we believe in the stars
Design unique stuffs, you get satisfaction and good sales if you are lucky. Design common stuffs, you get some sales and never a satisfaction. Love to go with the first coz after all, its a great feeling when you look at your own portfolio of goodness! When each theme -> viewers comment “great work buddy, one of its own kind”, we get pleasure
flashedge saidActually, as a designer, I do chose the hard way. Sometimes it works, even more times you get the door slammed right in your face
Copycats sell, original stuff is risky. Where would you invest your time? We’re also talking about stock items, which need to please as much people as possible. Though some authors have their own style even even if they share the same wireframe. I’ve seen hidden gems which deserve some more exposure as also ugly ripoffs which shouldn’t even been approved.
That’s an interesting point of view Kevitus.
For the record, I also wouldn’t say that themes are copied. I see a lot of authors doing a hell of a good job. Nevertheless, I’m glad the boundaries of Wordpress are still being pushed. I believe there are still a lot of design options possible.
I think creativity and an original point of view can be the solution for an over-saturated market. This will make an author and his/her theme stand out from the crowd.
Yesterday Orman Clark tweeted something that has also been on my mind quite a while:
9 new WordPress themes added to ThemeForest today. 1 looks original, 8 look like 476 others.
While I’m essentially a webdesigner and no theme developer, I’ve been working with Wordpress and tweaking themes for my clients for the last 4 years.
While some themes just break the boundaries of Wordpress, showing off what an amazing CMS it has become, the last months a lot of submitted themes look almost identically.
I guess, and I understand this, that it’s probably easier to make a living out of it when you don’t have to take a risk and build something that people are used to. But I find that about 80% of all new themes are more of the same.
That’s why I’m asking, do you also think there are too many theme lookalikes?
I think you should make a theme ready to work with a plugin, I would recommend Yoast SEO .
If I see a theme that’s build perfectly to match with Yoast SEO , I like it, then I don’t need to do any more customizations in the php to make it work better.
I don’t think that there’s a theme out there that can outperform Yoast, and actually I don’t believe that’s the task of a theme either.