This time of year is synonymous with setting aside time to contemplate where you are in your life, what you have, and what you’re most grateful for. While I typically shy away from posts like this, I thought it might be a good idea, especially since WP Theme Roundups is so new, to jump in and spread some gratitude around.

I’m thankful for all sorts of things in my day-to-day life: my husband, my kids, our collective health, my Keurig. But with regard to WordPress specifically, a few key things come to mind:

Awesome Developers

Since I started writing about WordPress in 2013, I’ve come across more genuinely helpful people than I can even count. Many of these folks have been developers with jam-packed schedules who still took the time to answer my questions or offer assistance. I’ll never forget the folks who took time out of their precious schedules to lend a hand.

Helpfulness doesn’t feature in every industry, but it’s a dominant aspect of the WordPress culture.

In fact, it seems like helping out is one of the key features of many developers out there right now. Some contribute to Core; some create plugins or themes and give them away for free. Still others spend hours upon hours on the WordPress community forums or Stack overflow, answering questions and generally being generous with their time and knowledge.

Install & Go Themes

Themes that require a lot of customization can be wonderful in their flexibility. However, that’s not what everyone needs. A lot of people just need a website that looks and functions well. The specifics don’t matter all that much to them. Many themes out there purport to be ready to use “out of the box” but that’s often not the case. Formatting is wonky it the theme lacks even the most basic flexibility.

That’s why this year I’m thankful for themes that can be installed and are pretty much ready to use with minimal fiddling. A good example is the theme I’m using right now, Paperback by ArrayThemes. Not only is this theme beautiful to look at, I was able to convert all my existing content and images over to it, customize the widgets, and setup the navigation within an hour. And for being so low maintenance, it lacks the bugs and weirdness other quick setup themes possess.

A few other themes that fit the bill include:

Great, Free Stock Photos

This is a simple one but I’m truly thankful for the Creative Commons search engine. With it set to search Flickr, I can find a great featured image for my posts super fast. Like, really fast. I’m talking about in under a minute sometimes. There are numerous other stock photo sites that are great, too like Compfight. But I’ve personally had the most luck with the CC search tool. And for that, I’m grateful.

Nifty Resources

Last but not least, I’m thankful for the multitude of great resources out there for WordPress implementors, developers, and enthusiasts. I’m talking cool stuff like What WordPress Theme is That?, the official WordPress Developer Resources, and all the fantastic blogs that publish awesome tutorials, tips, tricks, opinions, and news day in and day out like WPMU DEV, Elegant Themes, Torque, and more.

And you can’t forget all the cool plugins that make the life of a blogger easier like WP Smush, All-in-One SEO Pack, and WP Subscribe. I could go on (and might at some point in a future post) but for now, it’s just important to note all the work people put into this community and how users benefit. For that, I’ll always be grateful.

What in the world of WordPress makes your blogging/developing heart happy? Offer up your thoughts in the comments below and share in the love fest!

Image source: anjanettew

Posted by Brenda Barron

Brenda Barron is a writer and WordPress enthusiast from southern California.

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