Arena WPI am very honored to have been named the winner by the judges as the field contained many great designs this time around.

Well, actually to be honest I am a little surprised. There were designs in the competition that are aesthetically far more pleasing than Durable. I was sure that those designs would have the extra edge over the themes that concentrated on function over form. I guess that was where the multiple categories came into play, my personal favorite was Derek’s very beautiful Foliage Mod Theme which won “Most Creative Design”. Well done Derek.

That begs a question though, are people beginning to pick themes based not solely on the look and feel, but also the bundled functionality? I can’t help but think that people’s feelings towards what makes a good WordPress theme have changed quite a lot since the WordPress 1.5 competition. The boundaries of what theme authors can do with WordPress has been pushed since 1.5, simply because better documentation is now available, and we’ve had more time to fiddle around with the WordPress code.

Anyway, that was more of a brain dump than anything. It’s just great to see that judges really took time to look at the themes, judging functionality just as much as the look and feel.

Thanks to everyone who put in their free time to make this competition possible, your hard work is much appreciated.

Update: I have released a minor update to Durable. Version 0.2.1 is available for download and decreases page load times by 25%.