Update on building a new WordCamp theme

This is a follow up to the @iandunn post on the WordCamp.org tools survey results.

I setup a Github repo for the new WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. theme with a fork of Underscores to get things started.

To start with I have been collecting feedback and ideas for a new WordCamp theme so that our design lead, @robertnienhuis, has something to work with. I haven’t gotten too much feedback online yet, but have gotten some good ideas from several other organizers offline. If you would like to share some feedback as well please post a comment below!

Theme Features

Here is the feedback that I have collected so far, as well as my own ideas:

  • Great Design: I would like to keep the theme light and minimalist, easy to build on, but also have it look good enough out of the box for a WordCamp without a strong designer to be able to use as-is.
  • Mobile First: I’d really like to include a strong mobile version that makes WordCamp sites easy to use at the event when you are on the go.
  • Widgetized: It’s always tough to get markup where you want it, I’d love a lot of widgetized areas so I can get the content I need in the right spot to match any design. I spoke with some other organizers who would also like more widgetized areas, sitewide and page specific. Particularly for the featured content sections typically found on a WordCamp site.
  • Widgets: Building actual widgets into the theme might be a step too far, but there was some interest in having a few featured widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. styles built in, so that if you used the right markup in a text widget you could get a good looking featured section right out of the box that organizers can expand on from there.
  • Page Templates: Most of the people I talked to were interested in having more page templates to choose from. Like a homepage template with a page content area and multiple widget areas for featured content and also a similar homepage template with a smaller blog area setup as recent posts with excerpts. We’ll need a single column page template of course, but I’d also like to try to include a more minimalist template with little or no headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. or footer as well that people can use for whatever they want as a blank canvas.
  • 404 Template: I’d like to include a pretty minimalist template for this too that includes a widget area just for the 404 page, so that people can create a nice custom 404 page if they want to.

Website Examples

I also have a few examples of WordCamp sites that I like, please share your favorites in the comments!

  • WordCamp Minneapolis: Westwerk did an awesome job designing this site and if we can do half as good I’d be thrilled!
  • WordCamp Montreal: They had a sharp looking site this year, I really like the call to action blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. on the homepage below the header with the tickets/schedule spot, and the subscribe/ social media spot.
  • WordCamp Denver: A nice clean site, great for mobile, with a sweet camping vibe.

I’m pinging people that volunteered to help out in the previous post: @cheffheid, @valeriosza, @dnelle, @danielgcarvalho, @brettshumaker, @davidjlaietta

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