The SandPress Theme Won 1ST Place, So What’s Next?

Update I Wrote this in a hurry, Corrected some Typos and added list of other winners

When I logged in to my computer this morning, I had completely forgotten that today at 5:30 AM (Indian Time) the results for the SandBox Design Competition would be announced. I opened FireFox and my Gmail Manager Extension showed that I had received more than 25-30 mails and Comments.

I found out that The SandPress Theme won the First Place in the SandBox WordPress Design Competition. It took a while for it to sink in. I want to thank the judges and everyone for the support and kind words. There are a few people I would like to thank specially, while I might not have the time to comment and take part in discussion in forums (WordPress.Com,, these are the kind of people who make the WordPress community such a great help and resource, without such people WordPress would be just another obscure Blogging Platform.

  • Scott for running the SandBox Competition in the most professional and transparent way, providing all possible help and support.
  • Adam the CSS Genius for giving me the idea for implementing the Date Stamp using Images.
  • Engtech for providing the SandBox HTML Dummy code it was a great help.
  • People in the SandBox Forums and the forums, again it was Scott, Adam, Engtech and a few dedicated WordPress Community members like DrMike, timethief, thatgirlagain, atthe404 sorry if I missed out anyone.

I have tried my best to personally thank everyone who had some encouragement and kind words for my me.

A List of other Winners and participants. Copied from scott’s blog. The numbers indicate the total points. you can also look at the complete data score here

  1. Moo-Point by Will Wilkins 23 Second place
  2. Prima Sunaryo Hadi 19 Third place
  3. Essay Ian Stewart 15 Runner-up
  4. Tiffany Blue Ia Lucero 10 Runner-up
  5. Shades of Gray Leslie Franke 10 Runner-up
  6. Diurnal Carolyn Smith 9
  7. Milkia Christian Betancourt 8
  8. Oriole Jason Porritt 8
  9. MIX Jauhari Nurudin 6
  10. Blueberry Dean< Robinson 5
  11. Walk in the Shadows Adam Freetly 4
  12. Scrappr Gordon Brander 4
  13. Hourglass Daniela Risse 4
  14. Sakeena Shazia Mistry 3
  15. Oranges Chris V. 3
  16. The Blue Butterfly Carolyn Smith 2
  17. Takimata Robert Ellis 2
  18. Picnic Carolyn Smith 1
  19. Chocolate Vanilla Stephen James Broughton 1

So what happens next with The SandPress WordPress Theme?

I will continue to support the SandPress Theme. Here is a mini Road Map

Current Goals

  • Bug Fixes
  • Side Bar Content and Widgets Needs more styling for various widgets.
  • For the Date Stamp on 31st the Image doesn’t show up.
  • Remove The SandPress Header or show people how to do it.
  • Content Formatting Bugs example Bold or the strong tag doen’t show up properly

Future Goals

  • Move The SandPress Code to Google Code.
  • Get Feeback from the community for new Features.
  • Launch a forum for support and discussions.
  • Launch
  • SandPress Candies (Different Colour Schemes)
  • Comment Box needs to be made flexible i.e. it expands if there are more fields.
  • Support for Popular plugins while remaining backward compatible with SandPress.

A few things I am debating.

  • While three columns are great some people prefer 2 columns with a 780px width. I am thinking of making a two column version too, with a large footer.
  • I don’t like the semantic structure that SandBox is following .i.e. h1 for blog name and h3 in the side bar. I prefer to follow what Chris Pearson has outlined. But this means I need to break away from the SandBox.

So the competion may be over but I am not done yet with SandPress, in the end it has a lot of hidden potential its just waiting to be discovered ;)

36 Responses

YAY Arpit! Congratulations. Surely this will give your site a well deserved boost.

Congratulations Arpit! Great Job man… and adore your designing skills!

You did it dude !! I was sure , there was nothing as good as this :) Congratulations once again

Oh My God :D amazing arpit :)

Looks like you are new design God of wordpress hehe an excellent job

You made us proud kid ;)

Have downloaded the theme. Hoping to get sometime to play with it.

Adam the CSS Genius for giving me the idea for implementing the Date Stamp using Images.

That was truly an ingenious idea. Well done and congrats, Arpit.

Nice Job! Congratulations Arpit! Kudos! Well done….

Congratulations, I wish I also made a theme based on sandbox template and participated the contest. But I have to little experience with it.

Congrats, Arpit. I had high hopes of you winning. ;)

Congratulations, Arpit! Two things: I’ve been showing people since way before the competition — I really admire your design skills — when I saw you’d entered the competition I knew you had a shot for the top. Second thing: Your commitment to Sandpress — exemplary.

Keep up the great theming work and the great blog, Arpit.

CONGRATULATIONS, Arpit. You rock :)

Amazing goals there. ALL THE BEST!

Congrats on winning :)

Congratulations Arpit! I really like your design and I really appreciate the thoughtful layout and the very clean and classy look. It’s really well done and your First Place award is well desrved! Your building on Sandbox gave me the confidence that I had a first class platform to start growing my blog from. Thank you for the great work! One question, wouldn’t changing the semantic structure from Sandbox’s to Chris Pearson’s create more work for you from a design and support standpoint? In other words, your no longer building off the Sandbox platform with it’s support and roadmapped mods now your kinda out on your own? Again, CONGRATS for the First Place! and thank you for making this wonderful theme available to us in the “blogosphere”.

Well done Arpit, Nice Impressive design..

Let me simply add my congrats to the ever growing list. As I said earlier, I admire the sandpress theme and I am happy to know that it has won!

congrats! really well deserved!

Blah Blah Blah…
There is nothing big in winning for design…for AJ

Everyone knows you are “D BEST” … i used to tell tht from a long time…now the world will know it!!!

Along with bug fixing…do try to make some more…and teach us also…
i won’t congratulate you…it would become a habbit ..hehe

Don’t forget my treat…else!!!!!!! ;)

Congratulations Arpit, Sandpress is beautiful. Nice Job!

Thank you very much everyone.

@Rebecca its just a idea that I am tossing around in my mind. I think its possible since I could make use of the dynamic classes instead of addressing the h1 h2 directly using CSS that way when I change the h2 to h1 it would still be compatible with SandBox. what do you think ?

Arpit, Upper Fort Stewart makes uses of Pearson’s recommended heading structure. It’s really no big deal to implement. The only change is an IF THEN statement in the header and making your entry titles h1 headings in singlepost.php — check out Pearson’s Copyblogger theme for a working example. Reset your headings and be specific about their styling (using, you guessed it, the dynamic classes only). It’ll take you two minutes.

@Ian interesting Solution you got there. I myself am using Pearson’s recommended heading structure for this blog. I will need to dig in deeper.

Coool.. Congrats.. Arpit :)
Time to try out all those top themes :)

Yeah! congrat arpit :) cool!

Congratulations ! Well done !

Congratulations on first place!

Hi Arpit that sounds fine by me :-) And Ian, it does sound like it’s not that big of a deal. I guess my worry was that there would be this fork in the roadmap that might depart from what the niceties that Sandbox brings as the base design. It sounds like that’s not what would happen at all and it’s just the simple header code changes to improve on Sandbox. Thank you very much for responding (to you both). It’s neat to see how alive the WordPress ecosystem is and now the Sandbox ecosystem with your fantastic Sandpress theme :-)

Congrats Arpit, Your theme was really nice one.

heya..congrats arpit..i guess i missed the celebration..hehe
just check out the snbox site and your design comeup first.
now where’s your crown as the sandking:)

Congrats my friend! I’m really glad your hardwork paid off. Even while guest posting on Clazh, I somehow knew it would :)

Arpit, I believe you will be the next Amit Agarwal( of India.

You are great.

Hi arpit, congratz.. i knew you would win the design contest.. i used your theme for my site (

well well well..what do you man wins the competition! Congrats bro. And so where are we going for that beer you owe me.. And what the hell is happening to your portfolio..Am telling you get that thing up. Dont make me come there…. Just messing with ya…congrats man..enjoy the ride!!

Congratulations! Great Theme.

Congrats maacha ;-) nice design da..

Hi, Love your theme,I found a problem and I “think” this is workaround fix.

When using the “more” tag in the main post, viewing the category only showed the part of the post before the “more” tag. I added the “the_content” and that seemed to added the read more link back in.

[?php the_excerpt(''.__('Read More [span class="meta-nav"]»[/span]‘, ‘sandbox’).”) ?]

[!-- START JR add readmore link --]
[?php the_content(''.__('Read More [span class="meta-nav"]»[/span]‘, ‘sandbox’).”); ?]
[!-- end readmore --]