If CMS/static site generators like Eleventy, Statamic, Gatsby, etc. want to grow outside of just the developers/designers who use them, they need robust theme options for those of us who can't design our way out of a gradient box.
You could argue that maybe I need to learn more about design and HTML/CSS - which would be true. But I also know I want to put stuff (podcast episodes, blog posts spouting dumb theories about themes) out into the world and spend my time getting better at that, not learning how to design the container for it.
Which is why every time I reach for anything besides WordPress, I always fall back to WordPress because of the themes.
I'm not scared of the command line, GitHub commits, or NPM installs. I am scared of having a site that doesn't work responsively and having no idea or time how to fix it.
Not the sexiest design. But it works for now.
I built the Castaways Club site with @gatsbyjs only because I found a half decent theme via @Netlify to work with. But now I feel stuck because I have ideas for content but no idea how to work with it going forward.
I realize I probably come off a bit lazy in complaining about amazing technology that allows me to write stuff and post on the internet with ease but waah just make it look pretty for me so I don't have to pay for it or figure it out. I'm speaking from my experience as a half-developer/half-designer nerd who wants to play with the cool kids and how I think even when a CMS / static site generator is built in response to the complicated theming of WordPress, you can still foster and support smart designer/developers to help bring the rest of us along with you.
This post started as a thread on Twitter.