Remember when WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg used his company, Automattic, to purchase for $100,000 just to spite me?

Apparently, Mullenweg was unsatisfied by a questionable ruling that saw Automattic retain ownership of the domain. He wanted more.

In an attempt to twist the knife, Mullenweg directed Automattic to open a Federal Trademark Cancellation case to try and strip me of the following trademarks: THESIS, THESIS THEME, and DIYTHEMES.

After nearly two years, the trademark cancellation case is finally over, and I “won.”

What did I win? It would appear Automattic no longer has legal ammunition to bully me into submission, debt, or whatever other horrible outcome Mullenweg no doubt wishes upon my head.

Quite the prize, I know.

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On July 8, 2015, I lost a legal battle against Automattic over, despite owning the trademarks for Thesis and Thesis Theme in the website software space.

Many of you have probably read the initial account of what happened on WP Tavern along with all of the comments. Unfortunately, as is customary with legal disputes involving WordPress that receive widespread criticism, Jeffr0 closed the comments on that post, effectively shutting down the conversation.

However, there is a lot to talk about on this issue. I’d like to walk you through how Automattic and I ended up in a legal battle for a domain, why this was connected—in a very personal way—to a public disagreement that happened years ago, and finally, what this could mean for business owners who operate in the WordPress ecosystem.

I think the most important place to start is by asking: Why would Automattic—a website software company with over $300 million in funding—buy when I owned the trademark for Thesis in the website software space?

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In my research into Golden Ratio Typography, I focused primarily on the core geometric properties of text—font size, line height, and line width.

But there’s another facet of text that nearly all of the existing research on typography deals with: It’s called characters per line (CPL).

If you’ve ever read a study on typography, you’ve no doubt encountered CPL. Many of these studies recommend “optimal” CPL ranges that include anything from 55 to 100 CPL.

With an “optimal” range that large, the CPL you use on your site ultimately comes down to personal preference. This raises one huge question:

How can you tune your typography to an exact (or, at least approximate) CPL? [click to continue…]


Right now, there’s a mathematical symphony happening on your website.

Every single one of your readers is subconsciously aware of this symphony, and more important, they are all pre-programmed to respond to it in a particular way.

The question is this:

Is your site’s symphony pleasing and inviting to your readers, or does it turn them off and make it harder to communicate with them? [click to continue…]