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Group WordPress Project: A Purpose & A Name

posted by Matt Ward on Nov 2, 2010.

After a great response to the first introduction of the Group WordPress Project, we’re back at it. This time, I’m looking to narrow things down a bit, and need your help to determine the overall purpose of the theme and start thinking about a possible name.

Alright folks, if you thought that I had forgotten about or abandoned the Group WordPress Project, think again! I’m still entirely dedicated to the concept, and am back with the next update. In the first post, I basically introduced you to the concept of the project, which is for me to work on a brand new WordPress theme, based on input, feedback and random strokes of genius from you, my awesome readership.

So far, there have been lots of awesome comments, ideas, suggestions and so forth, and now it’s time to start narrowing things down so that we can build a fuller vision of where we are going with this theme, what it’s going to look like, what it’s going to do and so forth. Based on the comments, I think that there are a few basic precepts that we can all agree on:

  • Typography – I think that any theme design obviously needs to take its typography into consideration (like any design that uses words and letters), but the comments seem to suggest trying to take it even further. Well I have a few interesting thoughts and ideas in this area, so we’ll definitely be talking about typography. Anything you want to add here?
  • Clean design – The general consensus that I gathered from the feedback I received on the first post was that the theme should be simple and clean, without going quite so far as to reach stark “minimalism”. Basically, this tells me that you’re looking for something that presents a clear, visual personality without getting too ostentatious or showy. Awesome. I am totally down with that.
  • Flexibility – Another general thing that I see people asking for is a flexible theme. There has been talk of digging into custom taxamonies and post types. There was at least one suggestion about being able to change colours (I have a neat idea for that one). Basically, what you’re looking for is a theme that you can really take control of and make your own.
  • HTML5 and CSS3 Goodness – Quite a few people suggested that they would want a theme built with HTML5 and CSS3. I absolutely intend to go this direction, making allowances for graceful degradation, of course.

Those are all really awesome thoughts, and we will totally be tackling them as we move through the series. The big thing we need to nail down though, can possibly be best summed up by Jorgen, who commented:

before jumping straight in and making big design decisions shouldn’t there be some rough idea what the theme’s purpose is going to be? An online magazine, photographers portfolio, design showcase, etc., etc. These are all very different types of websites and you cannot make one template to fit all.

This is an excellent point. Some people have suggested making a portfolio site. Others have suggested a quasi-social networking site, or an eCommerce site. I think the biggest thing is that I am seeing is that you want a theme that is more than just a blog, but we need to nail down exactly what that “more” will be. I’ve written and posted about functionality on a couple different sites lately and, as Jorgen rightly points out, an eCommerce site is very different form an online portfolio. They will require different functionality, and so we want to nail that all down from the start!

So, for the feedback on this stage of the process, I’m looking for your votes. Should the theme be for:

  • Magazine style blog
  • eCommerce site
  • Portfolio
  • Brochure site
  • Social network/interaction
  • Online gallery
  • Other (please specify)

That’s the first part. The second part is a name. All themes have some sort of fancy name right? Well let’s start giving our project an identity. Offer up some suggestions for theme names (possibly based on your vote for the theme’s purpose). I’ll compile them all, select my a number of my favorites and then we can have another vote later on.

Armed with a name and a purpose, we will be well armed to start sinking our teeth into this project!

So now it’s up to you! Let us all know what you want our group theme to do, and drop a suggestion or two about potential names. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

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Also from Echo Enduring Media:

An Unfolding Tale

About the Author

Matt Ward is a digital artist who lances freely under the moniker of Echo Enduring Media, and specializes in graphics design, illustration and writing. He is also the Creative Director for Highland Marketing, a creative direct marketing company based out of Waterloo, Ontario. You can follow Matt on Twitter

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Nov 3, 2010

Michael Kuczera says:

-social network/interaction
Hi, i´m a developer from germany and working on my own on a wordpress theme. What about a solution to get every data from social networks and make a stylish blogpost to ist? youtube, flickr, facebook, twitter, etc.

So that each entry on a social network would be a blogpost, styled in different ways.

What about that? :D

Nov 3, 2010

Johan de Jong says:

My vote for the theme purpose whould be a Social-Portfolio-Gallery-Blog. I know, little vague. But the reason is that most themes are very strict in how to use it and since “flexibility” is one on the keywords, I think the content should be felxible too.

My name suggestion… hmmm… hard one… “Echo-o-o” First of all to hint to Echo Enduring ;), and second because a website is about shouting and getting something back (like clients, visitors, etc).

Nov 3, 2010

Kristina McInerny says:

My vote is for a Magazine or an eCommerce site. I’m curious how you would do this and make it minimalistic.

Names: MAGnificent or eCommpetition

The main issue I find with theme usage is the lack of custom-menu; personally I like to control whether or not I use a Cat or a Page in the menu.

Nov 3, 2010

Rox says:

I think most users would want to combine at least two of the types of content/posting, depending on what they’re doing, and being able to have one overall design adaptable to each type of posts would be great.

It would be good to think of this as parts that are mixed in different way to create a layout for a specific need rather than one layout for one type of site. And even if in the beginning you don’t do everything, planning for extensibility will make it possible for the theme to change and evolve.

Nov 3, 2010

Alberto Attia says:

Hello Matt!please make it a magazine style blog

Nov 3, 2010

Pedro Augusto says:

I still vote for an e-commerce theme. This is going to be a great opportunity to use custom post types, custom taxonomies, custom columns, and so on…

About a name… I liked @Johan’s idea. But for an e-commerce, it would be “echooommerce” or something like this.

Nov 3, 2010

Jason Gross says:

Name it echo :)

I don’t have a preference for purpose :p

Nov 3, 2010

th says:

hi Matt!
social network/interaction +1
we need a theme for a personnal page where people would be able to customize the places of their contents and gather their web activities. I think a theme-options’page would be great for an non-geek user… and becoming the first theme to install on a new wordpress-mu …

Nov 3, 2010

Eric says:

I’m going with the social network/interaction type of theme. There are piles and piles of the other kinds of themes and I can’t really say that I’ve seen too many themes that really dive into the social/interactive area. I think that, because the internet has leaned so heavily toward the social networking way of things, a theme like this would be very useful to people looking to start smaller networks that can sit nicely in a certain niche.

I like the name Enduring Discourse. It’s meaning is pretty obvious… your blog/the place we gathered for the project and the purpose of the social/interactive theme.

Nov 3, 2010

Sir Emeth says:

As for a name, I think something along the lines of Echoes United might be wise. It reflects on your blog and the collaboration effort at the same time (we are echoing thoughts back and forth to unite them into a cohesive collaboration).

I still hang my vote on a portfolio type site, with a flexible range of contents, including feeds from social networking (I like that idea) that are customized to fit the kind of content in the feeds (one kind of post for picasa photos, another for youtube posts, another for tweets, another for buzz articles, etc.).

Nov 3, 2010

Philippe Alves says:

I would vote for a social network theme

Nov 3, 2010

Michael La Plante says:

I really would love to go with an eCommerce/Portfolio setup for the theme. For reasons already stated by previous posters.

As for the name, I would play something off your brand as well as the idea behind the project.

Like @Pedro said maybe something like echocommerce or something like that.

Nov 3, 2010

L1 says:

How about “Infra” for the name

Nov 3, 2010

nomadone says:

My take on theme type.

It must be able to promote an individual or a company, self promo but of course any website nowadays needs some degree of blogging even if it’s just for news.

I’d say a mix of a one page self promo with choice of inclusion of portfolio or not. latest blog items in some area linking to the full blog area on another page.

Allow for switching of key colour areas, background colour or texture/image and logo/profile pic

If it scales for mobile that would be perfect.

Nov 3, 2010

Marc says:

Please, not a portfolio site. There are so many great free ones out there, that this concept (in my opinion) has been over done.

I would absolutely love to see a multi media site. Say one that could be used by an independent band.

If that’s a pain in the arse (I’m working on one myself, if it’s a good theme I will share)then a magazine style site would be great.

I find them to be quite flexible and very good at displaying info.

Nov 3, 2010

Ava says:

My website has five contributing writers and I’d like a way to distinguish their individual posts.

I also like to have everybody’s twitters on the front page and would like just their twitters to be on their author pages and single page story.

Being able to more easily designate template pages. Theme is great but every single page you click on being identical is so old. The reader isn’t stimulated after a few page views.
A changing layout can provoke the reader to keep clicking.

Nov 3, 2010

Anthony says:

I say you should go for an e-commerce blog!
And great idea btw!

Nov 3, 2010

Kevin says:

This may sound a little sterile but I’d like to see a theme that featured WordPress as a full blown CMS (with an ecommerce component perhaps)I’ve seen a lot of plugins that help WP act as a CMS but I’d like to see one built from scratch.(Custom post types and all)

Nov 4, 2010

George E. says:

I would definitely go with CMS/e-commerce/blog.

Name: Echo Interactive

Nov 4, 2010

George E. says:

Or the other way around Interactive Echo

Nov 5, 2010

Katie McElroy says:

I’d love to see a magazine-style blog. My name idea is Echo Entourage, to keep with your brand and reflect the group of people helping to shape the theme. (and I love alliteration…)

Nov 6, 2010

3emeOeil says:

hi all,
No portfolio please, we can found some of them everywhere. A magazine style blog will be nice with the use of custom fields, custom taxonomies, an extended search system, everything with some foreign languages translations.it gives the opportunity to have multiple subjets, memus, medias (videos, audio…)but also different templates in function the the categories, tags or whatever we want
In the backend side of wordpress, the ability to have different custom fields for the posts, the pages.
Why not make a forum section for the readers also.
For the title : 2Gather for the idea of the word together and of a joined team.

Nov 8, 2010

Gio says:

Social network/interaction

With facebook-a-like easy link posting option would be perfect.

each share – each post

Nov 10, 2010

Athmane says:

I vote for an e-commerce site, I think its more challenging than the other theme!

Name suggestion

Trade in, or e-Business

Jun 8, 2011

Mulberry Clutch Bags says:

My vote is for a Magazine or an eCommerce site :)

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