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I was about to post a question requesting help finding a theme that matches certain criteria, but felt like it might be borderline off-topic and might be construed as a poll question. Clearly if I worded it like "Whats a good theme for my blog?" it should get closed quickly, but if I am very specific about my requirements it seems like more of a gray area.

Before I submitted it I thought I'd ask the meta-community if it is acceptable.

Here's a pro-forma example of the type of question I am asking about

I've been looking for a new theme for my WP blog and finding the search functionality lacking on many of the theme marketplaces and theme vendor sites. Can you recommend a theme that meets these criteria?

  • Three column
  • Liquid/flexible layout
  • Prominent commenting features
  • Layout to display one blog post per page
  • Custom header banner image support
  • Tabbed layout.

I realize I could just post the question and throw it to the wolves to devour or adopt and raise with the pack. However, I thought it worth discussion as to whether highly specific theme recommendation requests are on topic for the site.

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I don't think this would make a good question, but not simply because it's about looking for theme. As for me it's because your question is overly specific for your needs.

Sanity check:

  • how probable do you think for someone who knows exactly such theme to stumble on your question?
  • how likely it is for any other person in the future to need exactly such theme and benefit from your question?

The problem with such question (that we constantly have with ) is that while the need for answer is genuine, the practical success in getting good answers is quite poor.

So my personal recommendation would be to focus on use-case rather than overly specific features.

So lets rehash your question with this in mind:

I am looking for theme for (blogging? portfolio? eshop?) and would like it to be capable of following functionality:

  • Three column
  • Liquid/flexible layout Three column layout with liquid center
  • Prominent commenting features
  • Layout to display one blog post per page (any theme can, with minor tweak at most)
  • Custom header banner image support
  • up to date, with modern WP features (namely threaded comments, custom header)
  • Tabbed layout. (of what? makes no sense)

See what I mean? Now it looks much less like do-my-research-for-me and much more like other people might find useful in the long run.

  • Up-voting your answer, but just wanted to add that, IMHO, such questions are out-of-scope because the question and answer provide absolutely no benefit whatsoever to the community. – Chip Bennett Jul 8 '11 at 22:21
  • @Chip Bennett I disagree on absolutely. Question on theme for some specific task (but probably not generic blogging) can be beneficial just fine. – Rarst Jul 9 '11 at 7:24
  • but Themes aren't task (i.e. functionality) specific. Most Theme request questions normally boil down to 1) Use the tag filter, and 2) Find a Plugin to integrate desired functionality. To that end, I actually could see Plugin suggestion questions as more likely to be more-generally useful to the community. Let me be clear: Theme questions are not inherently out of scope, but I think questions of "here are my unique/specific needs; what Theme should I use" generally should be out of scope. – Chip Bennett Jul 9 '11 at 23:45
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Possible way to make this valuable for the community. Don't ask for a specific theme, but ask for Starter / Templates themes?

These are re-usable by the community, and knowing which ones are more widely used or better would be beneficial. So I only use these requirements

I am looking for theme for (blogging? portfolio? eshop?) and would like it to be capable of following functionality:

  • Three column layout with liquid center
  • up to date, with modern WP features (namely threaded comments, custom header, and other wp3 features)

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