I'm looking to find a theme foundry (ie. woothemes, elegant themes) that has themes that are very well coded; where "code is poetry". To be more precise, I'm looking for themes coded in "the wordpress way" - similar to how Twenty Ten, Eleven and _s themes are coded.

My experience buying and then subsequently modifying themes bought from theme forest was been quite traumatic! The themes look fantastic in the demo (ie. dandelion theme) but then you look at how the theme is coded and it's a tragic mess. Nothing like the elegance and thoughtfulness put into themes like twenty ten or the new starter theme _s.

I am a wordpress developer, so I'm often wanting to go into functions.php, style.css or page templates and change and modify things for a client. Having to work around spagetti code and strange coding practices used in many premium themes wastes a lot of time.

So, which theme foundry has the very clean code that is the most similar to default wordpress themes? And for this question I'll just assume they are all beautiful, simple and elegant. Knowing if the themes are responsive would be a bonus.

Please respond if you have real experience with customizing theme code.

  • 2
    +1 for "code is poetry", Theme Forest should be renamed to Theme Jungle!
    – brasofilo
    Jun 18, 2012 at 22:26
  • 1
    May I ask you to make your question more specific? It is (almost?) a not constructive shopping question.
    – fuxia
    Jun 18, 2012 at 22:59
  • Hmmm. good point. I guess I'm just looking for other developer's actual experience with customizing themes from different theme foundries. I'm definitly not asking "which theme is most beautiful" or "which theme is the best deal". The main focus of the question is on code quality (JS, CSS, PHP, HTML) and so far the answer has been very helpful.
    – dwenaus
    Jun 18, 2012 at 23:11
  • 2
    What good code is … is very subjective. I for example would not describe the TwentyEleven code as a good example. That’s what I see as not constructive.
    – fuxia
    Jun 18, 2012 at 23:35
  • 1
    That first requires you to specify exactly what "the Wordpress way" is. The default themes are quite poorly coded. Jun 19, 2012 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


I hear you. I've been very disappointed with almost every theme I've ever purchased. That includes multiple Theme Forest themes, one from MOJO, Elegant Themes, and more. The only theme foundry I like is...wait for it, this is so poetic...The Theme Foundry. The quality of their themes is underscored (not to be confused with _s) that Matt Mullenweg tapped them to built Twenty Twelve. They offer theme demos that let you see the code, so you can go check it out for yourself.

Though I'm not 100% satisfied, Themezilla (formerly Premium Pixels) themes have been decent. I think there's too much in their themes (and I've come across a few bugs), but the code itself has been easier to modify that most others.

  • Thanks for the poetic response! Looking at the stylesheet of their latest theme, Portfolio, it looks long but organized (demo.thethemefoundry.com/portfolio-theme/wp-content/themes/…). Also it looks like they're also using SCSS. Maybe I'll try the 30 day money back guarantee to check out their php code. but sounds promising.
    – dwenaus
    Jun 18, 2012 at 22:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.