Wanting to Collaborate with Coder to design a Free WP Theme

  • Author
  • #500330


    Hi, after looking through all of the “Free” wordpress.com themes, I must say I am a little disappointed. Overly large Garish fonts in Black and all seem to be in “Times” Roman etc. Small Header images I could go on..

    I realize I can upgrade to get nicer themes but it would be nice if there were a couple of “Free” themes which were designed with San serif fonts and which were light grey rather than black.

    So, I would like to work with someone to create a very nice and clean theme that is “Free”. If you are a programmer or have the skills to design wordpress.com themes then please contact me if you are interested.




    The ONLY themes we can use are here > Appearance > Themes

    Changing font families, sizes and colors by purchasing the paid CSS upgrade is also possible. See here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/custom-css/ and here http://en.support.wordpress.com/editing-css/

    Are you aware that you can use TypeKit Fonts to change font families?
    > Appearance > TypeKit Fonts
    More info about using TypeKit with WordPress.com here.

    We can also change fonts page by page and post by post by coding into the HTML editor. > http://en.support.wordpress.com/editors/font-size-color/


    Also, we cannot upload themes here, and if you design one and submit it to wordpress.com, there is no guarantee that they will implement it.

    All of what you are talking about changing can be done with the CSS upgrade as long as you have some CSS editing skills.



    One other thing to remember when it comes to fonts. The fonts that you use in a theme have to be something that is common on all computer platforms (Windows (all versions), Macintosh, Linux), and now you even have to concern yourself also with smartphones. If you choose some slick looking font, the browser on any computer that does not have that font will substitute either the box stock standard serif or san-serif font, and your entire design may completely blow up and look bad. Also, each visitor can set what font they want their browser to render pages in, which again means that your slick font won’t be used on that computer.

    That is the reason you see virtually all web pages using standards like helvetica, arial, geneva, times or times new roman. Those fonts are part of the standard installation on all computers, so the theme designer can be assured that the theme will look like what they intended.



    Thank you for your timely response. I don’t want to offend as I know a lot of people have put a lot of hard work into creating the various themes etc. It’s just that from a designers perspective they are really bad and I was hoping to find something that look somewhat professional.

    I know for a fact that there are a “lot” of really nice themes “for sale” but it could be that “WordPress.com” prevents any really nice themes from becoming “Free” templates so people are more inclined to pay for the upgrade. This is unfortunate because I don’t want an ugly blog so I am most likely going to look elsewhere. :(

    So now I have to consider if I want to “pay” (which I don’t really want to do since I am already paying for a domain and web hosting for my website etc.) or look at Blogger.com which allows you to edit the HTML of the page for “Free”.

    If I wanted to design a theme for implementation, where could I learn hoe to do that and any ideas where I might find a designer who I could work with to do this?

    I just really wish “All” of the current Themes allowed you to customize the themes more. For example I want an theme with a large banner image approx. 960 wide x 320 tall. It’s too bad there’s not a Banner or Image Widget that would allow you to add any size banner to the header area.

    I also wish you could change the font style from Serif to Sans Serif on all Themes. There is a default Sans Serif font for all computers and it’s called “Helvetica”.

    I also wish you could change the color of the fonts on all themes. For example I wanted to use a certain theme but there was no way to change the font color where some of the themes allowed to you to do this.

    Why are there so many limitations!!!




    The wordpress.ORG codex has information on building themes, but building one from scratch is quite a job and you have to have a lot of in-depth experience with PHP script to do it and do it in such a way that you don’t introduce security issues. Also, there are things that would have to be changed once you built the theme in order for it to work here within the restrictions on this platform. There are certain “bells and whistles” you might add that staff will remove.

    My suggestion is to find a good GPL licensed theme that has the basic elements you want and work from that. There is no sense reinventing the wheel.

    The thing is, the majority of themes here are san-serif fonts. These are the only ones with serif fonts: http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/themes-with-serif-fonts/ . The rest are san-serif.

    The main reason we do not have access to the theme files (in addition to the fact that few people can even spell PHP) is the fact that this is a multi-user platform which means we all share the same theme and wordpress files. If you were allowed to change a theme, it would change it for everyone using that theme.

    With blogger, one of the things I’ll mention just so that you keep it in mind, is that right out of the box, before you even add a post, a blogger blog will have over 350 XHTML errors and 85 warnings according to the W3C validator. You are starting from deep in a hole, and at blogger, there is absolutely no way to get rid of all those errors. It’s been that way since 2006 and has never improved.


    Since you already have hosting, why not just install the wordpress.ORG software there and do whatever you want? That way you have no restrictions and you can hack to your hearts content (along with the headaches that might bring).



    If you can design something of very high quality, then I would be very happy to code it for you and release it as a joint project for the rest of the community to use. I’ve been looking for a chance to code something terrific for WordPress.com for a while now but have been having trouble finding a suitable project to work on.

    There are many limitations on WordPress.com, but there is still sufficient flexibility through the use of CSS to create something great looking.

    I may not revisit this forum topic, so best to contact me directly if you are interested in pursuing this further:

    Here are some examples of my previous work on WordPress.com:



    lornemclean – For more information about developing themes for WordPress.org, see here:

    WordPress.com uses the same kind of themes as WordPress.org, but only after these were tested and adapted for use on WordPress.com. New themes are added to WordPress.com constantly.

    If you create a great WordPress.org theme, it may get added to WordPress.com.



    @ranh – lornemclean is not asking about creating themes for WordPress the software, but to create new designs for WordPress.com the service.



    Hi Lorne,

    I’ve done custom CSS designs for wordpress.com blogs, click on my username on the left to take a look at my simple, custom sound/music programming blog. Get in touch and let me know what you have in mind and I’ll see if I can help.




    Skinning an already existing theme with the CSS upgrade is about the best we can do here on WordPress.com. Sandbox was made for this, but any theme can be skinned.

    What we can’t do is change or code the underlying HTML or PHP on WordPress.com blogs.

The topic ‘Wanting to Collaborate with Coder to design a Free WP Theme’ is closed to new replies.