NEW WordPress Theme Directory

July 18th, 2008
Blogging News, WordPress

This is pretty exciting news and I am very enthusiastic about it. The new WordPress Theme Directory has just been announced. It is available through just like the plugin directory and has all the features and infrastructure support of the WordPress Extend umbrella. The look of the plugin area has also been maintained to provide a familiar feel.

That being said, there are only a few themes on the new directory. You can upload your themes by just logging into the Theme Directory using your username and password and following the instructions and meeting the requirements on the upload page. The theme upload process is mostly automated except for a manual review. When you upload your theme, you should expect to receive an email (soon after uploading your theme, email reception times may vary) saying that your theme is waiting to be reviewed. If you do not receive this email, your upload did not work.

A lot of usable and popularly expected features have been added to the system including some that I believe the theme authors will love and will really help highlight them and their designs. Thanks to Joseph for his hard work on the Theme Directory.




  1. Will (4 comments.) says:

    About time. YAY!

  2. John (35 comments.) says:

    wow. yah. about time.

  3. Chip (14 comments.) says:

    Good idea, I’m waiting for approval of my first 5 themes. Hope they will be approved soon. The only thing I didn’t quite understand was the GPL licensing. They should have some guidelines on how to specify the license of themes. Just like “Version: X.X.X” and “Tags: tag1, tag2, tag3″, something like “License: GPL”.

  4. Nathan Rice (18 comments.) says:

    I think GPL will be a problem for a lot of people. CC (creative commons) is NOT compatible with the GPL

    Makes me glad that I released all my free themes under GPL.

  5. Mavis (2 comments.) says:

    Still learning myself about how all this stuff works, I am an avid consumer of Themes. This new directory will certainly be of help. I hope one day that I learn anough about WordPress, that one day I myself can contribute to the best blogging platform by far.

  6. Neil (30 comments.) says:

    Good news for the wordpress community ;)

  7. Amir (1 comments.) says:

    It just getting better, love it.

  8. Ulysses (15 comments.) says:

    I’m glad its back. I’ve been waiting for this.

  9. Artur Kim (3 comments.) says:

    It’s finally back.

  10. Geoserv (3 comments.) says:

    This is definitely good news, will make it easier for finding themes.

  11. Chris (29 comments.) says:

    The extend themes site is down for me right now.


    Something has gone wrong with our servers. It’s probably Matt’s fault.

    We’ve just been notified of the problem.

    Hopefully this should be fixed ASAP, so kindly reload in a minute and things should be back to normal.”

  12. George (7 comments.) says:

    That’s fun, the prologue theme from there doesn’t actually work with 2.6. Nice.
    It’s a good development for the WP community though, now lets start developing more GPL themes!

  13. EL (2 comments.) says:

    so much improvement! cool!

  14. Claude Gelinas (19 comments.) says:

    It’s a change for the better since the new interface makes it easier to find a certain type of theme instead of having to review all of them.

  15. Ajay (72 comments.) says:

    I tried to upload my theme but landed up with this:

    Only zip files are supported.

  16. Justin Tadlock (51 comments.) says:

    Here’s my question: Will this have any effect on WLTC’s theme release posts?

    It might be too early to ask this, but I’d figured I’d put the question out there. I assume you’ll continue with theme releases as you have plugins. The question came up at my latest post (about the theme directory).

    I definitely think this is a good thing for the WordPress community and am glad we have a proper directory up once again.

  17. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    Justin: This should not have anything but a positive effect on our theme release posts.

  18. Donna (7 comments.) says:

    This was absolutely the worst decision at WP, to wait over 6 months to update and themes. It has also shown disrespect to designers, as if the structure and appearance of blogs meant nothing!!! And to new WP bloggers, it looked like WP was 6 months backwards in thinking, always a popular impression.

    But now it’s here, and I hope all the wonderful hard-working designers out there will forgive this delay and give us what we crave: great new themes!

  19. Justin Tadlock (51 comments.) says:

    That’s great to hear Mark! This blog is my favorite place to see the variety of new themes coming in, and I definitely didn’t want that to stop.

  20. Truden (23 comments.) says:

    Why ONLY GPL license is allowed!?
    What about Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

  21. Michael (7 comments.) says:

    Geez, it took them long enough.

  22. Susan (3 comments.) says:

    Very cool :) Can’t wait for more themes to get loaded

  23. Otto (215 comments.) says:

    Truden: WordPress is GPL and so a theme (being a derivative) must be GPL-Compatible. CC-BY-NC-SA is not GPL-Compatible, mainly because of the “BY” and “NC” parts.

    In general, it is a bad idea to use CC licensing for code of any sort. CC is primarily designed for creative works *other* than software code.

  24. Truden (23 comments.) says:

    Thanks for answering to my question, Otto.
    BY means “by” and I don’t understand how NC is not compatible with GPL.
    Would you explain, please.
    Furthermore themes are software which is not usable on its own but only attached to other software (WP in our case).
    Wouldn’t it be wiser if Automattic allow this type of licensing thus enriching the range of the developers working for WordPress?
    The rule for the sponsored links can still apply to CC license.

  25. Rebecca says:

    Is there a way to get a feed for all the new themes that get uploaded to the directory? Maybe I missed it. Thanks!

  26. Andrea (40 comments.) says:

    Many designers are concerned about just the GPL license because of the *graphics* they include in the theme. CC doesn’t make sense for code, but GPL doesn’t always make sense for graphics.

  27. jez (56 comments.) says:

    hello, I am not yet digging the GPL license- what is the principle it operates on?
    So far what I have read is that images, css and javascript as well as custom code can be “claimed as one’s creative property”, while the wordpress functions (such as listing pages, the loop, etc) is GPL and not ‘owned’ (so to say) by anyone?

    For instance, if I were to release a theme under GPL, wouldnt that mean people could just rip and sell it without giving me a chance of getting back to them at all?

    I can understand the argument that themes, as a ‘inherited product of wordpress’ must be licensed as GPL, however as a designer without any great knowledge f licensing I am stumbling to grasp “what exactly” this means.

    Maybe someone can put it dead-stupid in a single sentence.
    I see no great point in spending numerous of hours working on a free design (which I loved to do for the community) if someone can just come around and “claim it”, do stuff and re-sell it.

  28. Truden (23 comments.) says:

    That was exactly my point, Jez.
    I just wanted to say that CC license is a good way of theme licensing and it should be accepted by Aoutomattic.
    Given that it is part of the GPL WordPress software the theme can not be claimed as private properti but the CC license is preventing from stealing the designer’s intellectual property

    I think that all theme developers should stand for CC license and force Automattic to accept it as standard licensing for WP themes.

  29. Jeffro2pt0 (164 comments.) says:

    @Rebecca Yep. Just browse to and click on the RSS link/graphic. This will allow you to be notified of any new themes which are uploaded to the new directory. There is also an RSS feed for recently updated and most popular.

    Loving the new theme repository and I fully support their decision to start off from scratch. May the old repository R.I.P. Also glad to see that this will have no effect on the theme release posts as I love browsing those and commenting on my favorite one out of the bunch!

  30. Truden (23 comments.) says:

    I’m coming back to the Creative Commons computability with GPL, and please, all WordPress developers and leaders, consider very carefully my words.

    GPL license is needed for free software in order to make it freely available for further development by other developers.
    Kind of, “if it is free give me the chance to make it better”.
    GPL is good for software code and documentation but not good enough for artistic work, where some restrictions may apply.

    The WordPress themes are to be considered more artistic work than software work and they don’t necessarily have the need to be open for further developing.
    On the contrary, as artistic work they have to stay intact if the author wishes so, but can still be free under the Creative Commons Share alike license.

    My point is:
    WordPress themes are not software or part of a software which have the need to be open for developing.
    The CC license for themes does not limit in any way the freedom of WordPress to develop, because the code used in them is already GPL licensed and is used for displaying artistic content.
    The CC license actually does not apply to the code because all the functions are already GPL licensed but applies to the graphics as intellectual property and the way they are used in the theme layer.
    (just imagine someone takes your theme, reorder it in a terrible way and leave your name at the bottom, or take your graphics and art and use it in another theme)

    I suppose I can be wrong in my interpretation.
    If so, would someone explain me how a designer can protect the graphics and the art in his/here theme?
    I don’t say that there is no other way.
    I just don’t know it.

  31. Rebecca says:


  32. (5 comments.) says:

    @Truden: well, if you look at the requirements, you’ll see that it actually says “GPL Compatible”, and this actually includes many other licenses, such as the “Artistic License 2.0″ or the “Clarified Artistic License”, and even though these are also designed for software, I think they could be a very interesting alternative to GPL and CC… check ‘em out, they’re not very long, and I really think the Artistic License 2.0 it’s a good alternative

  33. (5 comments.) says:

    @Jez: “gratis” is not equal to “free”… as far as I understand from the GPL2, if someone intends to re-distribute a modified form of a GPLv2-licensed software, they should also distribute it under the GPLv2 and cause the modified files to carry a notice that the files have been changed. It has always been a mystery for me if someone could, as you say, take some code, re-brand it and then sell it, but even if they do, they must distribute the source code for free [gratis] or charge only a “transfer fee”

  34. jez (56 comments.) says:

    hello felipe,
    good follow-up to truden’s and my questions and statements.

    if a person was to take stuff, re-brand and sell it, would that be a breach of license and thus be making it applicable to law-suits/legal action?

    The reason why I am not releasing my themes under gpl is specifically this issue: I see no point in spending more of my free time (that I could use to spend time with my fiancée, do sports, ) to work on designs and code if it is explicitly easy to rip, copy and sale as under gpl license without any legal consequences.

  35. (5 comments.) says:

    With the GPL, it could be possible, even though the person that re-distributes your work MUST follow the GPL terms… and that includes making the source code freely available, which is a great thing for WP themes, since all of them is “source code” (there is no executable or compiled code, at least as far as I know).

    If they don’t make the source code freely available (or charge more than a pure “transfer fee”), it seems that you could sue them.

    This is covered in the GPL faq:

    … but I would triple-check it with a lawyer, anyway ;)

    I think the Artistic License 2.0 it’s more restrictive about this, and establishes some very specific conditions on redistribution… check out numbers 2 and 5 on the license. I’m almost positive I’ll use it in the future.

  36. Truden (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks, Felipe.
    I haven’t seen themes protected with “Artistic License 2.0″ which makes me think that it is not that popular between the theme designers.
    Thanks that you pointed at it.
    It would be good to have a special article in the leading WP weblogs, revealing the ways to license plugins and themes.

  37. Hendry Lee (7 comments.) says:

    I, too, was contacted because I submitted CCA 3.0 theme. The problem is, I saw at least one exception in the directory. They are featuring the CCA 3.0 licensed theme in their directory…

    Oh well…

  38. jez (56 comments.) says:

    what do you mean mate?
    I am almost at a stage where I am about to release my stuff as GPL, as much as I would hate it!


  1. […] Weblog Tools Collection] Liked what you read? Subscribe to our Full RSS Feed to keep instantly […]

  2. […] Weblog Tools Collection » Blog Archive » NEW WordPress Theme Directory 7/18/2008 ?NEW WordPress Theme DirectoryAuthor: Mark Ghosh Category: Blogging News, WordPress […]

  3. […] Should WordPress themes use GPL licensing, or Creative Commons is protecting them better? What do you think?   […]

Obviously Powered by WordPress. © 2003-2013

page counter