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One-on-Two with Organic Themes Founders Jeff Milone and David Morgan: Part 4

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This is it. This is the last chance we have to pick the brains of Organic Theme Founders Jeff Milone and David Morgan. So far, we’ve covered topics like the growth of Organic Themes, the duo’s design philosophies, and the company’s use of outsourced customization. Now, we’re going to talk about two major trends permeating the WordPress industry: responsive themes and retina displays.

WPHub: Talk about the demand you’ve seen for responsive themes.

david morganDave Morgan: We’ve definitely seen a growing demand. Earlier on when responsiveness was just starting to be thrown around, we were a little leery and had just been implementing media in our themes. As better options came forth, it became obvious that responsiveness was here to stay and wasn’t a passing trend. We have been trying to implement responsive frameworks in our older themes.

Doing so means rebuilding older themes completely. It’s three times the amount of work as building a theme before responsive frameworks. You’re taking design on so many platforms into consideration. It’s a lot more work, I would say, but adds a lot of value.

Jeff MiloneJeff Milone: Responsive themes have probably slowed down the progressions of the current theme shops. It now takes a lot longer to churn out a polished theme because it has to be responsive. Those technologies are what we’re focusing on in the first part of 2013: retina-compatible graphics, responsive frameworks, and more compatible designs. Some designs are getting radically different to where they don’t match anyone’s needs.

WPHub: Why has there been an emphasis on retina display? Dave Morgan: The new Macbook Pros have a retina display screen. iPads and iPhones have them too. It’s a much higher resolution theme. If you view an older theme on a retina device, the images will appear fuzzy because their resolution doesn’t match the screen resolution on the device.

There are different ways to handle that problem like using font icons, @2x images, and different scripts to recognize that when you have an image marked as “logo,” you can have the exact same image that’s twice as large that displays on retina devices.

It’s pretty standard across the different devices, especially if you use something like font images instead of icons. If you’re using images, then there’s some testing involved, but if you have the right scripts, you just need to make sure you have the right extensions. We try to keep our images to a minimum number anyway.

WPHub: What’s the next big trend coming to the WordPress industry?

Dave Morgan: We’re in the process of working with another site called It is a minimal content management system for simple, one-page websites.

Jeff Milone: This is a departure from WordPress. We found that a lot of people who were buying themes and developing sites on WordPress didn’t need a lot of the robust stuff that comes with WordPress. We found that a new trend is one-page websites that are dynamic. You click on things and it’ll either reveal a portion of the website or scroll down. A limited amount of information needs to be displayed, so it’s more efficient to display it on one page or on a few pages.

In WordPress, you get everything. In Leeflets, it’s designed with the theme developer in mind. The theme developer controls what the theme looks like in the admin section. The admin section then morphs to the desired function of that theme. Leeflets, with no template, is nothing. As soon as a template is added, it morphs into what the theme is.

WPHub: We’d like to thank Organic Theme Founders Jeff Milone and David Morgan for their time. We’ve reviewed nearly 20 Organic Themes here on WPHub, so be sure to check them out.

If you missed parts 1 and 2 of this interview series, you can get caught up via the links below:

Link: Part 1 of our interview with Organic Themes founders Jeff Milone and Dave Morgan
Link: Part 2 of our interview with Organic Themes founders Jeff Milone and Dave Morgan
Link: Part 3 of our interview with Organic Themes founders Jeff Milone and Dave Morgan

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