Not long ago, we published this piece of news announcing that CodeinWP has a new WordPress theme under its wing. The theme is called Jadro and is one of the best full-site editing themes on the market – if you ask us.
Jadro’s story inspired us to do an interview with Manesh Timilsina – the leader of the theme development – and ask him a few questions about the project. Jadro was born on the initiative of Manesh, who coordinated the local team of Nepali developers. Their goal was to contribute to the WordPress community by creating something useful and free for everyone.
Shortly after Jadro came to light and got approved in the WordPress.org repository, Manesh and the team decided to share it with the CodeinWP family for further development and care. With some well-set agreements and conditions in place, Jadro joined our brand, and it’s now our duty to make sure it remains a strong (which is how jadro translates from Nepalese) product that any WordPress user can use at no cost.
In this interview, we talked with Manesh about the idea and process behind building a full site editing theme, the decision to give it away, his expectations for the future of the theme, motivation, and more.
Manesh Timilsina Interview – “Our One and Only Goal in Developing Jadro Was to Give Back to WordPress, From Where We Are Making Our Bread and Butter”
What does the Jadro theme bring to the WordPress community? How does it stand out from other WordPress themes?
Jadro theme is a minimal and easy-to-use block theme. It comes with built-in patterns like Hero, Call to Action, Team, Testimonials, etc., required for a perfect website. Additionally, it is optimized for the speed and search engines. So a website developed with the Jadro theme ranks better in search engines.
As this is a Full Site Editing theme, users can customize every part of their website including the header and footer. Additionally, Jadro comes with 8 style variations. Last but not least, Jadro is developed by a community including WordPress theme reviewers and developers.
What was the motivation behind building a FSE theme with the members of the Nepali community? What was your goal when you started working on this project?
Jadro was launched on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of WordPress. We want to contribute something strong and useful to WordPress users. Thus, we started a discussion on various possibilities. I, Nilambar Sharma, and Ganga Kafle met for a coffee and discussed doing something different for the 20th anniversary of WordPress.
Block-based themes are gaining great traction these days, and we can see lots of block themes get released each day. Despite a good number of block themes being released, we realized a simple and minimal yet powerful and easy-to-use block theme is still missing. So we decided to build one and started working on it.
We requested designers and developers in our network to contribute to the theme. We named it Jadro which means strong in Nepalese language. Thankfully, nine contributors, including us, contributed to making this theme one of the best and most powerful block themes.
Our one and only goal in developing Jadro was to give back to WordPress, from where we are making our bread and butter.
How did you guys coordinate to create Jadro? What was the workload, and what did it imply on a daily basis?
Jadro is built in public, you can find files and codes of this theme on GitHub. Nilambar Sharma, who was the lead of the theme review team a few years ago, initially worked to set up development environments like Composer, PNPM, Husky, Code Lint, etc. I took the lead in design and development, while Ganga Kafle, who is the current theme review team representative, got engaged in the review of the theme.
Other six contributors joined their hands in different areas. Most of the other contributors were new, so we guided them on how to contribute to the public product. As most of them were new, we guided them to fork a GitHub repo and create PR. Surprisingly, I am happy to see six or seven out of nine contributors of Jadro also contribute to the upcoming default theme Twenty Twhenty-Four.
Why did you guys decide to give Jadro away? Could you please share some insights with our readers about the collaboration between you and CodeinWP?
As all of us know, Jadro is a community-based theme, and we do not want to monetize it in any way. Our motive was to develop a theme that can be used by non-tech to tech-savvy WordPress users. One of the other goals of developing Jadro was to establish it as a block-based starter theme. So we made it as simple as possible.
After Jadro was live on the WordPress theme directory, we realized users liked it and the theme started getting a good number of downloads and active installs. But we also realized that we need to allocate some time to keep it maintained and updated. As I belong to a small agency and keep busy often, I started getting worried about the support and time we need to give to keep it updated and maintained.
So I started talking to different agencies who are successfully developing WordPress themes if they like to take over the responsibility of Jadro. We got very good responses from different agencies. Our main concern was that Jadro needed to be free forever. Most of them replied with positive answers.
However, I like the commitment of Ionut Neagu, who is the CEO of a company that has already developed themes like Neve and Hestia. He agreed to keep Jadro free forever and keep it maintained and fresh. This is how CodeinWP stepped in with a promise to make Jadro more powerful and help reach more WordPress users.
What are your expectations regarding the future of this theme under the CodeinWP wing?
CodeinWP is a well-known name in the WordPress fraternity. I am sure the legacy that CodeinWP and Themeisle carry will help Jadro reach more users, besides the effort you make on marketing the theme. Jadro is already translated into 20+ languages after CodeinWP took responsibility for it and is active on 2,000+ WordPress websites. So I can see the exponential growth of the theme.
I and all initial contributors will be more than happy if CodeinWP works on requesting more contributors to get engaged in it. One of the goals of this theme was to establish it as a starter block theme, so it will be highly appreciated if CodeinWP can continue the same.
What is your opinion, as a developer, on the flexibility and possibilities of building products with the WordPress block editor?
WordPress block editor is more powerful than the classic editor in every aspect. I started theme development approximately nine years ago. I have worked on theme options and customizer-based theme development and finally on full site editing themes.
As block-based themes we often call FSE themes are new to users, some of them are finding it difficult to use. Additionally, there are not sufficient resources like we have for classic or traditional themes. But once users get into the habit of using block-based themes, they will really enjoy the power of WordPress.
Regarding the product development based on the WordPress block editor, we can see a significant number of themes, plugins, and services available on the market that are doing great. Our team has also started working on commercial theme and plugin development based on the block editor.
Can you tell us a bit about the WordPress community in Nepal? How do you see it?
The WordPress community of Nepal is very strong and supportive. Besides contributing to core WordPress, theme review, meta, documentation, etc., we are also organizing various events like WordCamps, webinars, workshops, etc. One thing I like about the WordPress community of Nepal is its eagerness to give back to the community.
What is driving you to be active in the WP community? What is your personal mission?
I started WordPress back in 2010 and did not need to look anywhere after that. The agency I own is based on WordPress and the products I am doing are also WordPress based. So what I am today is because of WordPress.
If WordPress is giving me so much, I feel it is my responsibility to give back to the community in every possible way I can. So I never miss the opportunity to contribute to the WP community. I personally focus more on free or community-based products rather than commercial products these days.
That sums up our Manesh Timilsina interview. If you are curious and have more questions about Jadro or block themes, in general, feel free to ask in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. Learn more below: