The Shifting WP Theme Market

It is sad to see that the shifting WordPress theme market has started to push out a large number of incredibly talented people. Following market principles, one could say “good riddance”, but, as is often the case, that would be a more than superficial way of looking at it.

What the rapidly increasing number of so-called “multi-purpose themes” means is that creativity and – in many cases – design and programming excellence are taking a more than severe beating. And, at least in my opinion, the principles that once made WordPress what it is today are taking an even deadlier beating. Empowerment seems to be one that is only business-oriented today and, worst of all, new ideas that go beyond the mainstream are disappearing across the board. Every single day. Those kinds of themes are simply not economically viable anymore today. Only a very few years ago, they were the ones that got the ball rolling and made the stunning success of WordPress possible. They were the lifeblood of WordPress as a publishing platform.

My advice to those people still in the game, the ones unable to compete with the flood of elephantiasis-like WordPress themes, is to get out while you still can. If you don’t, you’ll be buried sooner than you can say “multi”.

P.S.: I think I am probably the only one even remotely concerned, but it never ceases to amaze me that the head honchos of WordPress aren’t more vocal about this development. I guess they are just happy about the astonishing growth of their publishing platform . That is short-sighted, to say the least. At the moment I actually do hope that this development, which has taken on alarming proportions, is going to turn around and bite them in the ass one day. Twice.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

  1. Unfortunately the multi-purpose theme trend is a commercial trend and that means the almighty $$. As long as they keep selling that’s all that seems to matter.


    1. Yes, Jonathan. Unfortunately. And, in the long run, it will hurt WordPress, I think. It might not matter at the moment, simply because, as you said, dollar signs are lighting up right and left, but it would not surprise me if the average Joe will eventually look elsewhere, simply because the WP market is being inundated with themes that are beyond what he/she needs or might be looking for. I have, by the way, noticed that for example blogging themes have become so infuriatingly generic that even the best ones don’t do it for me anymore. There’s nothing new. No excitement, no incentive to get with the program from a simple blogger’s point of view. It’s a sameness that, for those interested in design, ideas and creative solutions, is simply deafening. On this side of the pond, I have always helped people (usually free of charge) to get going with WordPress, luring them in with some great themes to tickle their (sometimes deeply hidden) creative juices. These past months I have gotten nothing but “meh” reactions. Been there, seen that, won’t do. That kind of thing.


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