Theming for the Masses

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By Michael Fields

I just got word that my 2011 WordCamp Seattle presentation titled “Theming for the Masses” has been uploaded to While the video does not yet have an official page on the site, the video appears to be available and I’ve posted it here.

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9 Comments Comments are closed

  1. Bill Erickson July 24, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Great presentation! I didn’t know about the theme check plugin – will use it now before delivering sites to clients.

    One small recommendation. On your menu fallback slide you defined a function that just returned false. Instead, you could use ‘__return_false’ as your callback function, saving you from creating that extra one.

  2. Rachel Nabors July 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    It’s you! Awesome, I love it! You’re pretty good up there! Hehe, I can’t wait to see how awkward I am when my WP Security talk gets put up.

    This is super useful for when I release my theme into the wild. Thank you! I will definitely use that theme check plugin.

    I hope you will do a talk on using version control next. Do you use SVN or GIT? I use GIT and would love to use it in my workflow.

    (I gotta do WordCamp Seattle next year.)

  3. Sam August 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Excellent – Thank You

    I was also unaware of the theme check plugin. Hope to see more videos from you.

  4. Oscar Gonzalez August 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Awesome, gonna check this out in a bit. You make some really cool themes. Did you enjoy presenting at WC Seattle?

  5. Michael Fields August 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks to everyone for your comments!!! Glad you enjoyed the presentation. I put a lot of work into it and I’m really happy to hear that it was well received :)

    @Bill You are correct! Those magic functions are really handy and if the end goal was to display no menu, I would definitely use __return_false instead of creating my own function. For the sake of the presentation, I kept the code as simple as possible to avoid going on a related tangent.

    @Rachel Thanks! Can’t wait to see your presentation! As for me doing a presentation on Git … um, I’m probably not the best person to speak on this topic but luckily, I know someone who is. Check out a presentation by John Metta from WordCamp Portland 2010 titled WordPress and Github? Not as crazy as you think!.

    @Oscar I really did enjoy presenting at WordCamp Seattle. I felt really comfortable even though I made more than one mistake :)

  6. maar August 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    i didn’t like that title ‘theming for the masses’, it’s kind of ‘theming for idiots’…don’t like any sort of elitism, that sucks, but i adore your work, great work, your wp web site is one of the best out there

  7. Michael Fields August 21, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Thanks for your comments about my site! Glad you find it useful :) As for the title “Theming for the Masses”, I never intended to convey that meaning. I definitely see how it could be taken out of context though. Sorry about that. The title arose out of something I posted on Twitter in December/January that said something like: “Wow, theming for the masses is a lot harder than I thought”. I tweeted this while I was creating the Ghostbird theme and going through all of the theme unit tests. Ghostbird is the first theme that I ever released to the public. Every other theme I have created has been tailored for an individual. The “masses” in the title does not refer to theme authors, rather the end users: Creating a theme the will be used by many people as opposed to one.

  8. maar August 21, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Thanks for your explanation, no need to be sorry. It’s obvious that you never intended to convey any bad meaning, no doubts about that. “Theming for the people” or something like that just sounds better to me. Keep on good work and keep on sharing your knowledge, your site is my first stop whenever in search for a solution or a tip, thanks again.

  9. Neil PIe September 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I completely agree with everything that you put across in this talk Michael. Including never having actually built a ‘theme’ before.

    There’s some really useful tips in there that I’m going to keep in mind…

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