One popular (great) theme garners more rewards than ten average themes. If you don’t have the patience to put out a great theme, you’re wasting your time. So, while you sit there to admire your creation, here are some things to think about to better your theme.
Although the future for free WordPress themes is more and more plugin support and customizable theme options, looks matter. Bloggers are judging free themes, mostly, by the quality of their designs. With less experienced theme users, you need to make a good first impression.
Second, your theme needs to function well. Cross-browser compatibility is a must. A widget-ready sidebar is a plus (should be a must). Fluid width is a plus (expand and contract, based on users’ resolution). And if your theme supports multiple plugins, you’ve got a winner.
Last but not least is patience, the design is about details, styling is about details, coding is about detailed testing. Without a lot of patience to take care of the details, you end up with an average theme.
Before you start another free theme, make a checklist. Don’t release that theme until every item on that list is checked.