Theme Show #11: “A New Year and a New Sound”


Theme Show #11 graphic with Fort Wayne background

I’m very happy, and very excited to announce the newly refined Theme Show. For our eleventh episode, and first episode of 2013, we bring a new format, introduce a new member to the show (hi Ray!) and also introduce a brand new theme song courtesy of Chad Deutsch.

This year on The Theme Show we’re taking on a new format entirely. Each week, the four of us will bring a new WordPress theme to the table — something from the previous couple of weeks, something released this year. We’ll review it a bit on the show, and then each week we’ll choose which one of the themes is best. Each week we’ll be awarding a best theme of the week, and we’ll pit them all against each other at the end of the year. Got it? Cool.

This week we talk about the Reader theme by WP Minima, Response by Organic Themes, Gallery by UpThemes, and Velo by The Open Dept. Which theme will reign supreme? Well you have to listen to find out.

Episode #11 Show Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 06:00 Velo theme review by Nick
  • 15:20 Response theme review by Justin
  • 21:40 Break: Brief Troll Hunter movie discussion
  • 24:30 Reader theme review by Ryan
  • 30:22 Gallery theme review by Ray
  • 43:50 Final debate and a winner is chosen!

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12 thoughts on “Theme Show #11: “A New Year and a New Sound”

  1. So, I think overall, you came to the correct conclusion with Reader.

    Thank you for dismissing out-of-hand a Theme like Response. I have zero tolerance for spam links in the footer (which is exactly what the SEOed “WordPress Hosting” link is). Also, the Theme doesn’t function properly without installing a Plugin, and doesn’t support a core WordPress feature (blog posts on the site front page).

    I understand Gallery being discounted as being a niche Theme, but so is Velo, and Gallery appears to be a much better-coded Theme than Velo. In fact, the only real “knock” against Gallery is that it is a niche Theme.

    Velo, on the other hand, requires manually editing header.php to add in page icons (seriously? 2006 called and wants its Theme “feature” back), includes Plugin-territory features such as Google Analytics and Favicon, and adds a separate WP-Admin menu entry for “blog”, rather than using the core features.

    The only real issue with Reader was that it also included a Favicon feature.

    In the end though, I would have put Reader against Gallery, and would still have chosen Reader, ad the more general-purpose Theme.

    I’d love it if, in the future, you guys would dismiss out-of-hand Themes that add spam links to the footer, or circumvent/reinvent core features. Three are so many great Themes available now that don’t do those things.

    Also: nothing from the official WordPress Theme Directory? Do you need me to nominate some candidates? 🙂

    • Chip! Thanks for the feedback. As time goes on I’m sure we’ll expand our search for new themes every week. The themes in the .org directory has dramatically improved design-wise recently, and I’m sure Ryan looked through there before compiling last week’s list. I know we want to call out unique and somewhat niche themes, so a lot of “portfolio” style themes get overlooked. If you see something come through that could use a second look by us, send it Ryan’s way!

    • Video is a whole different animal. We may tackle it some point, but we’re mainly focused on sound quality right now. The post production on this last show took about 45 min, while editing a video that long could take hours including rendering on both ends. Some of our older shows have thousands of downloads, while some of the video streams of podcasts on WPCandy have less than 100 YouTube views. Thanks for listening!

    • Hey Chris!

      I loved Gallery and think you’ve got a really solid theme in all honesty. Please keep up the great work!

  2. Hello guys,

    Thank you so much for the kind words and great review of our first premium theme. We really appreciate the great feedback we’ve got from the WordPress community, we never thought this would become such a well received theme since minimalistic design tends to be perceived as dull and boring. We are now more determined than ever to make beautiful minimalism done right.

    Thanks again guys! ( And thanks for the golden shotgun ;D )

    Kind regards,

  3. Pingback: Reader theme review: Minimal, but not in a lazy way | WPCandy

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  5. Pingback: Reader review on WpCandy - WpMinima

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