Thanks for listening WordPress!

For me it all started back in July when I wrote a post about what I’d like to see in a WordPress theme. I had been driving family and friends nuts with my chatter about WordPress themes for months. Even those with blogs were beginning to roll their eyes when I started on the subject again. Several people suggested I write a post about it. Pretty much the response that I get when I go on and on about any current obsession. As in “bore somebody else with this, why don’t you?“!

So I sat down one weekend and wrote it. The response I got from my own readers was very positive. They all had ideas about what they wanted to be able to do with their own blogs. But I still felt my message wasn’t getting to quite the right people. Since the folks at WordPress (Automattic) are always encouraging users to interact with them, I put up a link to my post on one of the forums. This with the hope that maybe one or two of the WordPress people would see it, and mention it in a design meeting or something. WordPress did better than that. They featured my post and mentioned it on one of their blogs. The response in the months since then has been overwhelming. A lot of fellow bloggers added their ideas regarding what they were looking for theme-wise. Theme designers – from WordPress and beyond – read my post and more importantly took note.

Since I published that original post, WordPress has added 36 new themes – 23 of those free themes. Obviously a lot of those themes were already in the pipeline when I wrote my post, but in especially the more recent themes, I see things which I and other bloggers had asked for. Wow. We spoke and were heard.

One of the more exciting aspects for me, is that WordPress has built some of those ideas into their “older” themes. Themes which are loved by thousands of bloggers, but needed to be tweaked to make them that much better. I still intend to follow up my original post with some new observations, but in the meantime have a look at Ian Stewart’s post More Custom Headers, Color Schemes, & Theme Improvements. WordPress really got it – that we users wanted to be able to customize our blogs ourselves more easily.

There have been a lot of other changes in the functionality of WordPress since then, which have also been noted and appreciated. The one I particularly want to mention now, is the new “photo carousel” feature. (See Your Memories Take Center Stage with the New Photo Carousel). My current theme (which I really like for a lot of reasons) does not “do” photo galleries well. As an amateur photographer who likes posting photographs, this was really bugging me. I kept looking for some way to work around this, and was recently delighted to find that WordPress had solved this problem.

Thanks for listening to your users WordPress!

To other bloggers: if you have ideas about changes you would like to see, it is really worth voicing those “requests”. They might just come true.

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Categories: Random

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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90 Comments on “Thanks for listening WordPress!”

  1. November 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    How amazing, Lisa! I had read Ian Stewart’s post this morning, and actually spotted that link to your blog post about your quest for the ultimate WordPress theme.

    I for one would really like some more *FREE* magazine-style themes, with options for featured posts, featured images, featured headers and options for different fonts.

    Those premium themes are GORGEOUS – none of the free themes come even close to looking so beautiful and polished.

    • November 23, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      Reggie, according to Ian Stewart there are some free magazine-like themes being developed. So it looks like your wish just may come true! :-)

      • November 23, 2011 at 11:17 am #

        Ohhh! Now THAT is something I look forward to very, very much.

        Thank you for letting me know… I wonder whether they’ll “hit the shelves” before Christmas??

        I’m getting all excited here…

      • November 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

        Yes, I’m also very keen to see what WordPress comes up with.

      • November 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

        That sounds good – I am always loooking for magazine type themes but all the best ones are premium themes!!
        I hope you are right!

    • November 23, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      How Great1

  2. November 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Great post. Pretty cool that you’re post has had such an impact! This is the magic of the blogosphere :)

    • November 23, 2011 at 7:11 am #

      Thanks! I can’t take credit for it all though. Bloggers have also been posting suggestions on the forums.

  3. November 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    As soon as I saw that post about themes, I thought of you–even before I read it–as soon as I saw it in my email inbox. Thanks for speaking, Lisa! Thanks for making a difference for all of us. Congratulations, my friend!
    Kathy

  4. November 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    I also saw the WordPress post and immediately thought of your “quest for the ultimate theme” – although, I have to admit, it keeps making me think of cheesecake ;)
    It’s great to know that the time and effort that you put into that original post has made such an impact.
    I totally agree with Reggie re: more free magazine themes :)
    Well done, again!!

    • November 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      And congratulations for getting FP’d, again :)

    • November 23, 2011 at 7:17 am #

      Ha. Yes, it makes me think of cheesecake too – which I haven’t had for quite a while . . . :-) As I said to 2Summers, I can’t credit for all the changes that have happened regarding the themes, but I am happy that the WordPress folk took note of my post.

      Ian Stewart says that there are some free magazine-like themes being developed. So it looks like your and Reggie’s wishes just may come true! :-)

      On being FPed: Thanks! I meant this as a personal thank you to the people working at WordPress. Again it has snowballed into something bigger. Not complaining, just wasn’t writing the post to be FPed.

  5. November 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    I agree. WordPress staff are just awesome. :>

  6. November 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Ah, it is delightful when the internet overlords grant your wishes!

    • November 23, 2011 at 7:23 am #

      Yes, who knew they would actually listen to the little people! :-) Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment.

  7. November 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Whenever I have had a question and have commented in their forum, WP has always gotten back to me within the day, sometimes within an hour!

    Congrats on being Freshly pressed!

    • November 23, 2011 at 7:24 am #

      I have also had very positive experiences when I’ve posted on the forums. Quite amazing considering the number of bloggers they have using WordPress.

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  8. November 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Your posts are so expressive and the stories they tell should not be limited by any creative boundary. I have been continuously impressed by the team at WordPress. I don’t know how they manage to balance the input of ideas with the implementation of changes so well, but it is truly a remarkable feat! Congrats for being featured!

    • November 23, 2011 at 7:43 am #

      Yes, I agree. WordPress has really put a good team together. I’d also love to know how they do it.

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  9. November 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    This is interesting!

  10. November 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Listening to what the customer wants is always paramount. But the hard thing is getting constructive feedback from the customers. You’ve provided that, Lisa.

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      Thank you! As a computer programmer (often working behind the scenes and not having direct contact with users), I’ve always valued getting feedback. I’m glad that the people at WordPress took my suggestions in the spirit in which they were meant.

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  11. November 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    It’s Freshly Pressed, again, my friend! Hooray for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Kathy

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:01 am #

      Thanks Kathy! As I said to Lu, I meant this as a personal thank you to the people working at WordPress. Not complaining, just wasn’t writing the post to be FPed.

  12. November 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Yay for you — and yay for all of us!

    WordPress rocks. ‘Nuff said.
    :)

  13. November 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    I have be doing a wordpress blog for poetry for about six years now. My current posting is getting ready to hit 19,000. A previous poetry blog posting had over 20,000 when I took it off the wordpress program, mainly out of anger with personal religious attacks on my work (from outside the WordPress family). I saved the new poetry work from this previous site, for my soon to be published, third non-profit book to serve the “homeless cause of Texas.”

    My experience with WordPress is that when one stays in the circle of WordPress blog members, one is truly in the company of the “best of people on the planet.” If the WordPress program ever decides to go into a social program consisting of strickly wordpress bloggers, it would kick the pants off of all comers in this field.

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      My experiences within the WordPress community have been very positive as well, and I wish them well in the future.

      Congratulations on your book!

  14. HL BISE
    November 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Great Story—a success story, actually! Just loving it.

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:08 am #

      Thanks! I like posting positive stories, and believe in giving credit where credit is due.

      Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  15. November 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Great post, and it seems wordpress heard you again since you’ve been freshly pressed! Congrats on being heard and being freshly pressed!

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks! It was meant as a personal “thank you” from me to them, but obviously they were happy that I gave them recognition for their hard work.

      Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  16. November 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    It’s always nice being heard!

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:12 am #

      Yes, it does feel good. Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  17. November 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Nice post but I fear the perfect, even near perfect, template doesn’t exist. But please keep pushin’ them to make me wrong.

    Regards,
    Doug

    • November 23, 2011 at 8:16 am #

      Thank you, Doug! I agree perfection does not exist, but there’s no harm in asking for it. I reckon that unless you design a theme specifically for yourself, you’re not going to ever get what you want 100%. And even then I think it’s a little like building your dream house – once you “live in it”, there are always going to be things that you wish you had done differently.

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  18. nv
    November 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    That’s awesome! Well I wish they would incorporate Google Analytics into WordPress.com somehow. Seems to be the only thing missing right now :s

    • November 23, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      I wonder what the reason behind this is? With WordPress.com being a free service, maybe this has resource or security issues which WordPress can’t accommodate?

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  19. November 23, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Congrats on the FP! I still refer to your older post as it rocks.

    • November 23, 2011 at 9:32 am #

      Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that people have found my theme post interesting and useful.

  20. November 23, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    I’ve always said WordPress is the best blogging platform and the best people work there and the best bloggers blog here! Congratulations on being FP’ed

    • November 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

      Right, lets not forget about the wonderful WordPress bloggers! :-) Thanks for reading my post and leaving and comment.

  21. November 23, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Enjoyed the post! It’s nice to know WordPress has been so accomodating. I have been very happy with the theme I’ve chosen, but there’s always room for improvement. Congratulations!

    • November 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

      Thank you, Diane! I see that you’re using the Twenty Ten theme. It remains one of my favourites – still using it on my photoblog.

      Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  22. November 23, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    Oh my, WordPress did hear you out, congrats! I bet they do read our works, don’t they? Just keep them ideas and the pressure coming! I’ll be looking forward to see more themes one of these days…we’ll owe you a great lot! :D

    • November 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks, but I can’t take all the credit – a lot of other users have put forward requests as well. Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  23. November 23, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    I also want to THANK WordPress for its caring about the bloggers’ ideas.

    I only began blogging on wordpress.com for a couple of months but I like my blog more and more.

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi John! Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-) I’ve been with WordPress for over a year and also think I made a good choice starting my blog here. I’ve also “met” so many wonderful WordPress bloggers from all over the world. Congratulations on your blog – I’m impressed that you are writing in English to share your life and thoughts with others outside of China.

  24. November 23, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Wow, your ideas were so great! So, do you think, if I have a suggestion to WordPress blog, they can hear me?

    One more time, it’s amazing.

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks! If you have any ideas you should share them with the WordPress staff. Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! :-)

  25. November 23, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed again. I obviously don’t know enough about blogging. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to ask for something of the WordPress team. I am perfectly happy with my theme as it is.

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Thanks, Debra! If you’re happy with your theme that’s great. You spend all your time and energy concentrating on getting great content out there. Better than somebody like me who gets bored and restless after a couple of months of using a theme.

  26. November 23, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Blogging has never been this easy and fun and interesting and positive and wow and … the like … with WordPress by my side.

    WordPress rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      WordPress does rock! Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment. :-)

      • November 24, 2011 at 6:18 am #

        The pleasure is mine, Lisa.

  27. Sarita Botha
    November 23, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Congratulations! Once again Freshly Pressed.

  28. November 23, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    WordPress themes is one of the many things that caught my eyes and influenced me to using this to blog. Didnt realized they added so many lol

    http://triviayourmind.wordpress.com/

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      Yes, they’ve been very busy over at WordPress! Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment. :-)

  29. November 23, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Practice makes perfect! Good work friend!

  30. November 23, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    nice:)

  31. November 23, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    You are *incredible*, Lisa.

    I am sooo delighted that you are FP’d AGAIN. How do you do that?! No, let me answer that – it is well-deserved acknowledgement!

    Hugs!

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

      Well, thank you Reggie! My tip on getting FP: say nice things about the WordPress staff and you’ll be on the front page in no time! ;-) Seriously though, they do deserve the praise and acknowledgement.

  32. November 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    excellent post . !!

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      Thank you! I appreciate you reading my post and leaving a comment. :-)

  33. November 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Been on WordPress since 2007 :D

    • November 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      That really says it all! Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment. :-)

  34. November 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I love a site that actually listens to it’s users. Kudos wordpress and thanks to you for the original post.

  35. November 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Thanks for doing your part in bringing about these lovely new themes for us!

  36. November 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    What an ambassador in the blogosphere you are. Thank you for all you do. Happy Thanksgiving from our continent to yours.

    • November 24, 2011 at 6:10 am #

      I am somewhat embarrassed about being called an ambassador, but thank you for the compliment! A happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  37. November 24, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Nice work, my friend! Your words have led to positive change in the world around you; a blogger’s greatest achievement!

    • November 24, 2011 at 6:12 am #

      Thanks for the compliment and reading the post and leaving a comment! :-)

  38. November 24, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    Congratulations!
    I’ve been here since 2008. And I can say WordPress listens to those they listen to. And those they don’t listen to, never listens to. (I know I made the sentence way too complicated. I’m not good at English. :( ).

    • November 24, 2011 at 6:23 am #

      Thank you! Your English is fine – in fact much better than my Bangla! ;-) I understand what you’re saying. Have you had a less positive experience with the WordPress staff?

      Thank you for reading my post, and taking the time to leave a comment! :-) I really appreciate you making the effort to respond.

      PS: Like your current blog header. It was a sad day for the technology world when Steve Jobs died.

      • November 24, 2011 at 9:37 am #

        You’re welcome. I never knew you speak Bangla. :-o Where are you from and how, more importantly, why do you speak Bangla?

      • November 24, 2011 at 10:39 am #

        LOL I don’t speak ANY Bangla – which is why yours is a lot better! ;-) I find it impressive that you write in English. Besides English, I speak two other languages quite fluently, but would never dream of blogging in them.

        I live on the Southern Cape coast of South Africa. Although we have a lot of Indian people here in South Africa, I’ve never met anyone from Bangladesh here.

      • November 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

        I have a couple of relatives living in South Africa. They are shop owners there.

  39. November 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    I am so happy that I chose WordPress. I worried that it would be hard to use but I felt it was way more professional than all the other hosting people (the word is not coming to me at the moment :)).

    Another thing I noticed was that besides for their constant help, they listen, which is pretty incredible. They should educate my children. You were right about your post, you seem to put a lot of others feelings into a very detailed post. So thank you.

    I wish I knew more about CSS to even know what they are changing, but as of now I am happy with their themes. They have pretty awesome ones.

    …And you pictures are not amateur. They are perfect and professional.

    • November 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      WordPress does a good job with its tutorials and help section instructions – if one can’t figure out how to do something.

      As I’ve said before, I can’t claim all the credit. So many WordPress users added their ideas (via comments) to my post, and also posted their ideas independently on the forums.

      Thank you for your kind words about my photographs! :-)

  40. Sports & Concert Updates
    January 7, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    And i guess this post has reached WordPress. . . :)

    Great stuffs… Keep it coming…

  41. July 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Reblogged this on Vijana wetu.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My quest for the ultimate WordPress theme | Notes from Africa - November 22, 2011

    [...] Thanks for listening WordPress! November 22, 2011 [...]

  2. I’ve got blogger’s block. | What Gives 365 - December 16, 2011

    [...] to Lisa — the amazing WordPress Theme Guru and author of Notes from Africa. Her posts on choosing a theme helped me narrow the field, and now I’ve settled (I think) on either Twenty Eleven or Elemin [...]

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