How to Be the Worst Theme Author Ever

How to Be the Worst Theme Author Ever

So, you want to be a theme author? You want to make themes? Great! I’ll show you a way that would make you the worst theme author ever. With this somewhat thorough tutorial, people will hate your name will be on the wall of shame of theme makers. But hey, you will be remembered!

Excited enough? Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Don’t Know (or Care) About How WordPress Works

Every WordPress theme author has to know about the inner workings of WordPress core to make a theme… except you. Why? Because you’re awesome, that’s why.

You might be the best at the Laravel framework or that magnificent content management system called Joomla, but people might tell you that you need to know about WordPress to make a theme. Nonsense. If you’re good at PHP (and you know that you’re great at PHP) you can sort everything out by looking at the files of some theme and learn how to do the same. Wait, what’s that “loop” thing? OK, maybe Google that one. Huh, looks like there’s a thing called WordPress Codex. All right, now you’re all set. Go make a theme!

Have No Sense of WordPress Coding Standards Whatsoever

When you Googled that “loop” thing, you might have come across some “coding standards” that all WordPress developers should obey in order to understand each other’s work and create a healthier developer ecosystem. Huh. Weirdos.

Coding standards are for losers. When you publish your theme, people will check your theme files and say “Wow, this guy’s/gal’s cool!” and “Look at his/her awesome coding skills!”. In fact, your style should be the strandard for making themes: Fun-looking function names, the needlessness of white space and absolutely no place for inline documentation (because pros don’t have time for that s**t).

Theme reviewers at and ThemeForest both strict about coding standards and documentation? Don’t worry about it: Once they see it, they will appreciate your mad skillz and approve your theme instantly!

Try to Make a Theme That Has EVERYTHING!

Fact: Customers dig multi-purpose themes. And they will certainly love your all-purpose theme.

Seriously now… All the highest-selling WordPress themes offer everything that a theme can possibly offer. A web design agency can literally spend $60 on a theme and make all their customers’ websites with that single theme. Clearly, the consumers (who expect to see functionality they don’t even need in a theme) don’t agree with the industrial visionaries (who want themes to with a single purpose and nothing code-bloated), but in this capitalist world, customer is always right. Right?

So, roll up your sleeves and make a theme that every single human being on Earth can use to make a website about anything they want. Don’t even care for the plugin territory and throw in things that should be served as plugins as well. After all, who needs plugins when your theme can offer everything?

Care for Your Customers… Until They Buy Your Theme

I’m going to keep it short on this one: The only thing you should be worried about is the cash your customers have. Once you get your customer’s money, you can treat them like a ghost. They’re not qualified to call your features “bugs”, or ask for your help. You’re not a damn IT guy, you’re a theme author! In fact, don’t even bother putting together a documentation or a knowledge base either. If they’re worth making use of your theme, they should know how your theme works in the first place.


Congratulations, you’re now a terrible person! Seriously now: If you follow these worst practices, you are a terrible WordPress developer.

Please don’t forget to share this awesome tutorial with your friends. And thanks for reading!

We're part of the Asquared WordPress Agency. All rights reserved.