Less Is More, Dear Theme Developers

I’ll keep this column short and sweet because I’ve just delivered the manuscript to the third edition of Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog to my publisher. That’s right, another one for you guys to spend your hard earned money on (or download from The Pirate Bay, I guess) so that I can continue to feed my single malt addiction interest.

So here’s the punchline, served up like a Talisker Distiller’s Edition from 1994: Theme developers need to chill with all the bloody options!

Options are great. I like to have options, and I imagine I would if I relied on commercial or free themes. But enough is enough, don’t give me a settings page with 37 choices. In fact, if you can deliver a kick-ass theme without a settings page at all, more kudos to you. Most settings will just risk ruining your balanced design anyway. If not for me, do it for yourself. You deserver it, being brilliant and generous and all, sharing your most excellent work with the WordPress community. I’m not even being sarcastic here, I truly mean it. This is for you. You.

Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes settings are needed and I’m all for that. Just make sure you question their existence, and if you really want to add a ton of cool stuff, consider doing it in a plugin or by releasing a child theme instead.

Keep it lean and mean, folks.

And with that I’ll get back to feeling bloody great about having delivered yet another book manuscript, by enjoying this most excellent single malt. Yeah, I deserve it.

Photo by kaktuslampan (CC)