Theme Tip 23 – 2011 WordPress Themes Predictions

It’s that time of year where we can’t help but to reflect and look forward to next year and gaze into our crystal ball and make some predictions about what will happen with WordPress themes in 2011. So let’s jump straight into it!

Premium Themes will NOT perish

WPCandy posted today leaning towards a decline in the premium theme market. I disagree and posted on it earlier.

Themes become more and more advanced

This has been a trend for the last few years and I think 2011 will be no different. First we had advanced functions.php files. The next wave of innovation was around theme options panels. Well in 2011, themes are starting to become almost mini-CMS systems in their own right. Only this week WooThemes released the kick ass Listings theme – which is much more than a theme. Earlier this year we had Carrington Build from Alex King and the Genesis framework was released in Feb/March of 2010 (wow- hard to believe Genesis is only a few months old!!). The work people are doing to create solutions to some core constraints with WordPress is simply outstanding. This innovation wave will grow big time in 2011.

One of the big premium theme makers will be sold for big money

The top theme makers are building highly profitable and sustainable businesses and growing rapidly. This is attracting a lot of attention from potential suitors. We’ve already seen StudioPress join the Copyblogger Media family. If all the bigger premium theme makers have bootstrapped their businesses to date, we’re now entering a phase in the evolution of WordPress where lots of business now rely on it for their businesses. The WordPress ecosytem has serious value to lots of different stakeholders. I can easily see a VC’s and Media/Publishing businesses looking to tap into this market by making a big offer to one of the bigger theme makers.

WordPress will completely update the themes directory in 2011

This one is long overdue. Right now I find it’s not an easy system to use for browsing and discovering new themes. I think this will be set to change big time in 2011.

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