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Announcing WordPress.com Theme Review

Posted in Technology, WordPress.com Tips by engtech on September 12, 2006

WordPress is the best blogging platform.

Running a website on WordPress.com instead of self-hosting gives you access to the latest and greatest features of WordPress Multi-user, as well as the opportunity to provide feedback before the features become public. It also has it’s downfalls with the restrictions on custom plug-ins, javascript, embedding flash, paying for CSS editting and only being able to host image specific file types (images, doc, pdf, ppt). Most of these restrictions are for the best because they keep away the sploggers and force minimalism. This is a good thing, there is far too much sidebar cruft out there which distracts from content.

You know, content? The reason why people read blogs in the first place? The reason why people write blogs in the first place? (And you thought it was AdSense revenue)

In my five months at engtech.wordpress.com my most negative experience with has been themes. Theme selection isn’t a problem, there are a number of themes to choose from (although there is a distinct lack of cat-focused themes, but hey, I can suggest one). It is the inconsistency in theme features.

Choosing a theme is like buying a house, there are purely cosmetic features that will appeal to some, but what’s of real importance is the bare bones — the foundation. My goal is to find the themes with the best foundations, and hopefully draw attention to the themes with poor foundations so they can get some Automattic lovin’.

Around once a week I’m going to review 4-5 different themes on WordPress.com and post my findings. I’ll highlight features and bugs, as well as develop a spreadsheet of what’s available so that the WordPress.com community can evaluate themes at a glance. Luckily switching themes is very simple, so I can do it all with one test blog.

2 Responses

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  1. Donncha said, on September 16, 2006 at 2:03 am

    Glad you like my photo on the beach!

  2. engtech said, on September 16, 2006 at 2:18 am

    It’s a great photo, and I’m stealing it for my wordpress related posts :)

    I wasn’t entirely sure who took it — thanks for mentioning.

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