Justin Tadlock

New WordPress.org theme directory

I just stopped by WordPress Extend to find a few “ideas” to rate down, which is part of my nightly routine.

Tonight, I was a bit surprised to see that there was a new WordPress Themes Directory. I was completely caught off guard as I hadn’t checked my WordPress dashboard yet. Yes, I check WordPress.org before my own site’s admin panel.

WordPress Theme Directory announced

What does all this mean for current WordPress theme authors?

It’ll probably mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

I’m happy to see the folks over at WP.org taking some initiative with themes. It’s been a long time since we had something remotely decent with WordPress themes and the WordPress.org stamp of approval.

We’ve seen the WordPress theme market take a lot of turns in the last year or so, especially with the pay-for-use market really shaking things up. And, I hope to shake things up a little more with Project M (more on this in a coming post).

My questions for you are:

  1. What effect will this have on the way we currently get themes?
  2. Do you see this as a step in the right direction?
  3. How will this change (if at all) the premium theme market (I imagine this is on a few people’s minds)?
  4. Will this make it harder for new theme authors to get their themes out who don’t want to use the directory?

I knew this day was coming but was a bit surprised that it actually happened. One thing to note is that all themes must have a GPL-compatible license, which is sure to generate some discussion.

My initial thoughts

Will my themes start popping up in the new theme directory?

As of now: no.

I’ve thought about this for much longer than the last few minutes since I knew the theme directory would eventually get reestablished.

I’m sure I’ll lose quite a lot of potential downloads and users, but I’m planning on going a much different route with my themes. I’ve invested too much time in doing things my way.

One of the reasons for not going the theme directory route is because I believe in being able to support my themes 100%. I don’t feel like the WP.org support system will work well in this type of capacity. I’m much more inclined to run my own support forums.

Another reason, and I won’t get into it here, is the GPL license thing. I’m always riding the fence on this, and I’ll just leave it at that.

Lastly, I’m a control freak. Seriously. I like to have full control over everything, which I’ll have to give up a little with the theme directory. It does look like a good system that’ll offer a lot of control to theme authors, but it’s still not enough for me.

Ultimately, WordPress is promoted, and that’s always a good thing. It’ll make things much easier for first-time WordPress users to get their hands on a theme and start learning the system.

What are your initial thoughts?

Read the development blog release post.