The Ultimate WordPress Theme Test

Bear with me, this one is going to hurt. Load up your blog with your favorite WordPress theme on it. Ready? Scroll down.

Yep, scroll your theme down, down past the header and menu, down past the post titles. Scroll down to a page full of text and links and no distractions. This is where The Ultimate WordPress Theme Test will take place. This is where the best themes shine. Because this is where your readers will spend the bulk of their time and this is where your theme does the real work. Columns too wide or narrow? Font too big or small? Typography lame? Remember, content is there to be read. Don’t let your theme get in the way of that.

Ready to fix your theme? Here’s how to get started. Throw the following code (or something similar depending on your markup) into the bottom of your stylesheet.

/* The Ultimate WordPress Theme Test */
#header, #menu, .sidebar, #footer, img {display:none;}

That’s right, I want you to hide everything non-essential, everything pretty, everything distracting, every single little bit of stuff, with display:none. What’s left? Content. Make it readable and you’ve made it beautiful. Make it beautiful and people will read it.

Good luck.

Author: Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart is probably thinking about WordPress Themes right this very minute.

16 thoughts on “The Ultimate WordPress Theme Test”

  1. That is an awesome idea.

    Being a perfectionist makes this simple idea totally something I’m going to try out during my next wp theme, or any site I’ll make.

    It’s always the little ideas that make a big difference.

  2. It’s something I almost have to do now. It just doesn’t feel right until I make sure the foundation is good.

  3. I agree entirely. I have always thought that the pinnacle of great design is pure content; i.e. remove everything except that which makes it what it is.

  4. OK, I’ll release a link here for it. It will only work for WordPress.com blogs at first, but I will adapt it. Is that OK?

  5. Excellent advice! As someone who frequently reads entire articles (not just skimming, but old fashioned reading every word) I really appreciate when designers have taken the time to make their body text readable.

  6. Ahahah, I like hiding sidebar on blogs with stylish plugin. Because it’s often useless for my, but distracting (with borders or background or gradients).

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