Minimum Viable Themes

My themes are based on the Lean Startup idea and I designed and implemented them as Minimum Viable Product (MVP). As a result I created five Minimum Viable Themes with a clear concept to start this new theme shop.

In this article I would like to briefly explain the term MVP and what concrete effects the method had on the features and design of our WordPress themes, including the advantages of this approach.

What is an MVP?

If you don’t know the term Minimum Viable Product yet, the search engine of your choice will quickly find some articles about the concept, which is why I won’t give you a long explanation here.

For me, MVP means a clear focus on a specific purpose (business websites) instead of covering as many application areas as possible. It’s not about offering as many features as possible, but about creating value.

And it’s definitely not about publishing a bad, faulty or immature product. Unfortunately, the term MVP often has this pale aftertaste, because speed is given priority over perfection. I am less comfortable with this point, because reliable and functioning products are the quintessence.

Why Minimum Viable Themes?

GermanThemes was developed under the following hypothesis:

WordPress users prefer creating websites using a page builder like Gutenberg instead of using theme options, templates and child themes. WordPress themes therefore become much simpler (and less important) because page layouts (and soon the whole website) are increasingly implemented as blocks.

For this reason, the themes are very slim and provide the framework for the new main players – the WordPress Blocks.

What does Minimum Viable Themes really mean?

The fact that the functional scope of the themes has been reduced to a minimum is a very concrete consequence of this:

  • One column Layout
  • No Sidebar
  • No Comments
  • No second navigation menu
  • No social icons menu
  • No Theme Options beside colors and typography

The themes mainly define the header and footer area, but the design of the content area is completely taken over by Blocks.

Advantage of the approach

The advantage of the MVP concept is that the themes are very slim and not yet overloaded with functions. Your feedback will determine which direction the further development will take and which features will be added.

There is practically still much open and depending on your wishes.

It is also still unclear how WordPress themes will change with the next phases of Gutenberg, when blocks can be used not only in the editor but for the whole website. Our themes will follow the pulse of the times and use the newest possibilities of Gutenberg. Here, too, the motto of a lean start and continuous development of the product is very useful.

Further development is based on your feedback

For me, this is the exciting time to test my hypothesis on the market. Which assumptions were correct and which turned out to be wrong? Do users want to have comments or was it right to delete this function?

I am therefore dependent on your suggestions, wishes and criticism and look forward to any feedback via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail.

Thank you so much!