Results from the Tools Follow-Up Survey

The results of the previous survey were unclear about the theme/template question, so I created a new survey to clarify that. The results from that follow-up survey are now in.

The most popular choice was to let organizers build a new theme to meet the specific needs of WordCamps. We’ll also be able to add new page templates to the theme in the future, provided that they meet the criteria discussed earlier.

Once the theme is done, it’ll be reviewed by the Meta team for any security issues, and by the Deputies for general appropriateness, and then made available to everyone on


Building a Team

The first step will be to put together a team of organizers who want to build the new theme. Obviously it should have designers and developers, but it could also benefit from UX and accessibility specialists, and of course lots of people to test it.

If you’re interested in being on the team just leave a comment below, and if you know someone who may be interested, please send them a link to this post.

We’ll need someone from the team to take the lead role, and make sure everything is organized and moving forward. Once we see who’s on the team and what everyone’s skills are, I’ll look for someone who’d be a good fit for that.



The team will have the freedom to build whatever they think is best, but I think we should also agree on some guidelines to ensure the project reflects our community’s values and standards.

  • The team should be welcoming and open.
    • It should be a collaboration from across the community, rather than a small group from one city or company.
    • In practical terms, that means development should occur on an open platform like GitHub, and communication should take place on this p2 and in the #events channel on Slack.
  • The theme should serve the many, not the few.
    • The goal should be to make something that meets the needs of most organizers, rather than just the needs of the individuals on the team.
    • The focus should be more on making it a flexible starter theme for organizers to customize, rather than just something that looks beautiful when it’s first activated. It can (and should) have a great initial design, but the primary goal is to let organizers take it and easily create something that looks totally different.
    • The team should solicit feedback from lots of camps to make sure that their needs are addressed.
  • The project should not be a design-by-committee.
    • Input from organizers and contributors should be weighed heavily, but ultimately the team lead should be the one making the final decision on what choices will have the best outcomes for the entire community.
  • The theme should meet the relevant standards:
  • It should be a theme only.
    • It shouldn’t bundle custom post types, shortcodes or other functionality.
    • Having said that, the team should feel free to contribute as much as they’d like to the existing plugins, provided those contributions will also work with the other themes on
  • It should be thoroughly tested.
    • Because it will be customized by lots of organizing teams, we’ll need to maintain backwards compatibility, which will limit the kinds of changes that can be made in the future. That makes it very important to test well up front.
    • “Testing” in this case doesn’t just mean testing the theme’s internal correctness, but also testing how easy it will be for other organizers to create new designs on top of the theme.
    • It should be beta-tested with a handful of camps before launching to everyone. If fixing any problems are found during the beta period that would require breaking backwards compatibility, then we’ll be able to do that and manually update the beta sites.

If anyone thinks there should be any changes to those guidelines, please leave a comment so we can all discuss it.


Everyone is encouraged to participate in the discussion, but I’m pinging the people who took part in the previous discussions to make sure they don’t miss the post: @ryelle, @harbormark, @chanthaboune, @nvwd, @kovshenin, @rafaehlers, @davidjlaietta, @dimensionmedia, @iandstewart, @miss_jwo, @topher1kenobe, @jenmylo, @georgestephanis@valeriosza@jb510


#improving-wordcamp-org, #official-websites, #wordcamp-org