Fill out your own bracket for WPCandy’s Theme Madness


If you’re a fan of March Madness, you may be bummed seeing that this year’s days of filling out brackets and anxiously awaiting winners are coming to an end soon. We have just the thing for you. Throughout the month of April we will be running our own madness: WPCandy Theme Madness 2011!

Theme Madness is a competition of our own creation, where various WordPress theme shops will face off head to head each week to ultimately win the coveted WPCandy trophy and, ultimately, worldwide fame and superstardom.

Update: We’ve added a Round 1 game schedule, rules, and more info in this post.

Before the games begin we are accepting bracket submissions over here, so head on over and fill out yours so you can play along:

Fill out and submit your WPCandy Theme Madness bracket!

We’ll be starting the games up on April 11, at which point the fun will really begin. We have more details on Theme Madness and how it will work after the jump (as well as a picture of the trophy!), so be sure to click through.

Wait wait waitβ€”what’s this all about?

In short, this month we’re running Theme Madness 2011 at WPCandy. This means:

  • 64 WordPress theme shops will be facing off, head to head, to find out just who the most beloved theme shop is. Each match will consist of a period of voting, where users and fans will decide the winner themselves.
  • You can fill out a Theme Madness 2011 bracket and compete with other WPCandy readers for total bracket domination.
  • In the end, the winning team and the winning bracket will be awarded a hand made WPCandy trophy, pictured below.
  • Hopefully we’ll all have a good deal of fun!

And yes, the trophy below is legit:

Participation in the bracket competition is completely free, just head over and fill out your bracket to participate. You can also download a full size, logo-filled version of the brackets. We are limiting it to one bracket per person, so choose the winners wisely.

After you’ve filled out your bracket, I would encourage you to consider the $5/month option for powering WPCandy. We love the support, and during April we will also be sending all new $5 subscriptions straight to the WordPress Foundation. So you can support WPCandy and WordPress itself. I don’t even know how many wins that is, but it’s at least a handful or two.

The competitors

What’s a month of madness without theme companies to compete with one another? The small image below will bring you to a PDF containing the full bracket with everyone on it. Have a look and then be sure to fill out your own bracket to join in the fun.

Each match between theme shops will be decided by the noise fans make, both in a poll and on Twitter. Social weight can swing any which way, so don’t necessarily go thinking that the biggest shops will win. It’s anyone’s game!

Finally, a few disclaimers:

  • All of the theme shops in the competition are GPL compatible (as of March 2011), though not every theme shop in existence is listed. Sorry for anyone left out, but we had to make cuts somewhere. (There’s always 2012!)
  • Bracket groupings themselves are fairly arbitrary, though seeding was done deliberately.
  • Ashley made the mint trophies herself, which I have to mention or face immense amounts of pain. The trophy is pretty awesome, right?

So what does everyone think? Which shops will end up in the in the final four? Who will win? How crazy awesome is that mint trophy?

Links to care about:

41 thoughts on “Fill out your own bracket for WPCandy’s Theme Madness

      • I’ve got a cheaper idea πŸ™‚ Just come to Wordcamp UK, we’ll get shitfaced, and I’ll convince you to hand over the trophy (although calling it a trophy is an understatement, thing is awesome!).

  1. Look at that Gravity Form! If you are ever wondering if you can create complex form layouts with Gravity Forms, just look at that bracket. Kudos Ryan, mad props for that one.

  2. Very cool idea! Everybody thinks that Themeforest will win but on this site support is not at the fist place so maybe the second place.

  3. Cool idea for sure. I can’t imagine how long this would take to compile. Props for sure. I did notice some of the conditional logic doesn’t work all the way through the bracket though. Did anyone else notice that?

  4. Pingback: Check Out WPCandy’s Theme Madness | ThemeSorter Blog

  5. Awesome trophy, no doubt! πŸ™‚ And excellent idea. I’m looking forward to getting our amazing Catalyst community involved. We just love us some competition! πŸ˜‰


  6. Seems that forgot about Studiopress and Themegarden? At least I couldn’t find their logos in the PDF.

  7. Great idea and I think Genesis will get better position as I am a fan of Genesis now πŸ™‚ Good luck to all designers

  8. Pingback: Support Your Favorite Theme Shop at WP Candy’s Theme Madness | WordPress News at

  9. I stopped filling the bracket because I don’t get the point using such thing for creating a good marketplace, why don’t create a poll on Facebook like wpbeginner did? just my opinion.

    • We will be running polls on game days to determine who wins each round, absolutely. This is just to find out who everyone thinks will win, so we can eventually reward a reader for guessing correctly. The point is to have fun πŸ™‚

  10. What a killer idea! This could end up being a huge annual event. I’ve spent far too much time researching WP themes in my life, but at least now I have something I can actually apply all that to. By the way — nice job with the seeding. I was impressed with how accurate and fair the team pairings were.

    My only suggestion (for next year) would be to try and make the field more apples-to-apples. The majority of the bracket contains true “theme shops,” but there also several “theme frameworks” (aka “parent themes” to some), a few “theme marketplaces” and at least one “theme directory” (which seems awkward). Perhaps you could run a 64-team bracket for theme shops, a separate 16-team bracket for frameworks, and maybe even an 8- or 4-team bracket for marketplaces? I know of at least 50 theme directories / search engines, and I’m sure there are plenty more — so technically you could have a full bracket just for those. (Though there may not be as much interest in that category.) Anyway, just a few ideas.

    Will one of the networks be covering the finals? I can hear Dick Vitale now: “Ohhh!!! Headway dials up a dipsy-doo dunkeroo and now StudioPress needs a T.O. baby!!!”

    • [Scratch what I said about the β€œtheme directory.” I thought I saw “PremiumWP” in the online bracket but after downloading the pdf I realized it was actually “PremiumP” (for “PremiumPress”).]

  11. Man, this is an awesome idea. I’m not a basketball fan so it’s nice to do something for us nerds out here during March Madness. Go Woo! πŸ˜‰

  12. Pingback: WP CAndy’s Theme Madness 2011, que le meilleur gagne! | HELLO! Wordpress Magazine

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