Q&A with StudioPress Founder Brian Gardner


Tonight I had the opportunity to attend the Wordpress Naperville Meetup in the Rev3 Innovation Center at the Northern Illinois University Naperville Campus. The guest speaker, Brian Gardner, held a Q&A about design.

Brian is a Chicagoland self taught web designer who started selling WordPress themes in 2007, hence the birth of StudioPress.

Also creator of the No Sidebar Movement...

What is the No Sidebar Movement?

No sidebar means to be intentional with your website. Often times people develop a Monkey See, Monkey Do Mentality and end up with too much junk. ie: Google Adsense, often times alienates your viewers and your lucky if you make $1.25 in a week depending on your traffic.

  • Declutter your website/blog and focus on your goal.

What do you want people to do once they arrive? Focus their attention on that.

thoughts on Comments...

  • Newer bloggers may want to leave comments 'on' to grow user engagement.
  • Turn off comments for tutorial posts and leave information on how they can contact you if they have any questions.  This makes things less confusing for everyone.
  • Facebook vs. WordPress comments... He has always just used WordPress comments but in some instances can see where FB Comments would be useful. (Probably should have asked a follow up question)

How to learn to code on your own?

  • Google is your best friend.  Master the art of copy and paste.

What is the biggest problem when designing for responsive design?

  • The use of hovering elements like nested menus.

Where do you go for design inspiration?

Popular StudioPress WordPress Themes and favorites?

Ambiance Pro ( view demo )


Foodie ( view demo )


Lifestyler ( view demo ) *most popular


Remobile Pro ( view demo )


Whitespace ( view demo )


Screenshots of the StudioPress themes were taken on StudioPress.com but for some reason Photoshop altered the HD quality of them when I resized. #sorrynotsorry

Go see the demos ^_^

Please note that answers were translated from my notes and are not word for word.  I often write things down so they will be meaningful to me to make sense of later.  I hope you found value here.  I enjoyed meeting Brian Gardner, he was very willing to answer questions and awesome enough to take a selfie with me!

Tweet us @BGardner and @JustenPerez ♥